Snowboarding Injuries

 

 

 

In 2004, there were almost seven million snowboarding participants of all ages and sexes in the various different styles of snowboarding. As a whole, the sport has seen rapid growth rates since it was officially recognized as a sport in 1985. Although a popular winter recreational activity and competitive sport, snowboarding isn’t without a risk of injury. In fact, some studies have estimated that snowboarders are twice as likely to suffer an injury as their skiing counterparts.

How Do Snowboarding Injuries Occur?

Snowboarding is a extreme winter sport that requires good physical conditioning, balance, and flexibility. Obviously, the mountainous environment itself presents several risks. These risks are increased when a snowboarder attempts runs, speeds, jumps, tricks, and other snow maneuvers that are beyond their particular skill level. Even among professional and seasoned snowboarders, both feet being fixed on a relatively narrow snowboard in a non-release binding makes it difficult for a snowboarder to maintain a stable stance. Since both feet are fixed on the snowboard, this leaves the snowboarder with only his/her hands and wrists to catch themselves if they lose their balance or fall. Collisions with stationary objects, other snowboarders, and skiers are also frequent causes of snowboarding injuries.

What Are Some Common Snowboarding Injuries?

Wrist Injuries

Research by the American Academy of Family Physicians estimated that wrist injuries account for 25% of all snowboarding injuries.

The wrist is comprised of several bones - the radius, ulna, lunate, scaphoid, pisiform, triquetrum, trapezium, trapezoid, hamate, and capitate. The radius and ulna are the two bones extending from the forearm. The other eight are the tiny carpal bones surrounding the wrist. All of the wrist bones meet at several large and small joints and are held together by a multitude of ligaments.

Falling onto an outstretched hand is the number one cause of snowboarding-related wrist injuries. When a snowboarder looses their balance or slips backwards, it’s a natural instinct for them to stick their hand out to break their fall. Wrist fractures and sprains are two common results:

1. Wrist fracture

A wrist fracture, or broken wrist bone, is when one or more of the wrist bones break or crack and lose natural continuity. In snowboarding, the radius is the most commonly fractured bone. Depending on the force applied to the wrist during the injury and the positioning of the wrist during impact, there are several possible types of wrist fractures. For example, a bone can break into a couple of large pieces or multiple smaller pieces, remain under the skin or puncture through the surface of the skin, be well aligned and stable or displaced and obviously deformed, and so forth. In any event, the wrist may be swollen, painful, tender to touch, warm, bruised, and difficult to impossible to move following a fracture. The snowboarder may also hear an audible pop or crack during the fall.

2. Wrist sprain

Another common wrist injury in snowboarding is a wrist sprain. A wrist sprain involves the ligaments holding the wrist bones together being abnormally stretched or torn. Again, this is a common occurrence during a fall with an outstretched hand. The force of the impact bends the wrist back toward the forearm and stretches, possibly tearing, the ligaments in the wrist.

Sprains are graded based on how severely the ligament was stretched or torn. A grade one sprain involves stretching or microscopic tearing, but the wrist itself remains stable and mobile. A grade two sprain involves moderate tearing and some degree of wrist instability, pain, tenderness, heat, swelling, and bruising. A grade three sprain is the most severe, involving tearing of 90% of the affected ligament. This grade is frequently accompanied by loss of mobility and stability and some degree of swelling, pain, tenderness, heat, and bruising.

Snowboarder’s Ankle

The ankle joint is comprised of the fibula, tibia, and talus bones. Without these bones working in unison, activities like jumping, running, and even walking would be impossible.

Snowboarder’s ankle, also called a lateral talus fracture, refers to a specific type of ankle fracture that occurs along the outer side of the ankle. Although a rare fracture among the general population, snowboarders are highly susceptible to this injury. Snowboarder’s ankle occurs when the foot simultaneously dorsiflexes (flexes up) as the ankle is inverted (inward position.) This is a common foot position during landings from jumps and aerials, especially if the landing is over-rotated. Symptoms of snowboarder’s ankle include pain along the outer side of the ankle; localized tenderness, swelling, pain, bruising, and warmth; decreased range of motion; and difficultly putting weight on the affected ankle. Of note - this injury is often mistaken for a sprained ankle. However, snowboarders with a history of ankle sprains may be particularly susceptible to snowboarder’s ankle.

These are just a few of the many injuries common to snowboarding activities. Snowboarders are also at risk for low-back injuries, head and neck injuries, knee injuries, elbow injuries, shoulder dislocations, abrasions, contusions, lacerations, and muscle strains.

Products

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Acute Sinew Liniment

Acute Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

Quickly relieves pain, reduces swelling and inflammation, and breaks up clotted blood and stagnant fluids in the injured area. Stimulates circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues, providing rapid pain relief and faster healing. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $39.95
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Chronic Sinew Liniment

Chronic Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

Strongly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles, thereby quickly relieving pain, stiffness and weakness. Sinew Injury Poultice, Sinew Relaxing Soak, and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Herbal Ice

Acute Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

This first-aid ice alternative poultice (balm) is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the recovery and healing process. Reduces redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the injured area. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain normal range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $34.95
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Sinew Injury Poultice

Chronic Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This poultice (balm) is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful in cold and damp weather. It significantly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and further promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Relaxing Soak and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $37.95
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Sinew Relaxing Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your injured area. It is used to relax muscles, tendons and ligaments that are in spasm to reduce pain and stiffness and improve range of motion. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Sports Massage Oil

This specially formulated massage oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It penetrates deep into muscle layers to warm and stimulate muscles, increase circulation and relieve tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.
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Our price: $29.95
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Sinew Warming Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. It is used to bring warmth into the injured area to drive coldness out of damaged tissues and increase local circulation, thereby relieving pain and stiffness in cold weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $23.95
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