winter might go on for another few months at this rate. It has been freezing.
At this time of year in our clinic we see a few patients who have returned from a weekend away at the snow nursing sore wrists, knees, backs and ankles. Snowboarding in Australia is growing in popularity, particularly with young males who account for around three quarters of snowboarding related hospital admissions.
There are two major causes of snowboarding injuries on the slopes. Boarders end up injured due to falling over, or from being cleaned up by another person bombing down the mountainside behind them.
Soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains account for about 40% of snowboarding injuries that present to emergency departments. Bone fractures are also high on the list, particularly at risk are beginner snowboarders still grasping the basics of how to safely get down the mountain in one piece. I recall my own first day snowboarding as a schoolboy, trying to see how fast I could bee-line it down a run before ending up head first in the snow with a fractured wrist. I still remember the audible sound of my radius cracking.
Our associates at Sports Medicine Australia give us some guidelines to consider when it comes to boarding safely.
Like most sports, pre-season training and preparation to improve strength, flexibility and cardio fitness are important to prevent musculoskeletal injuries.
It is recommended that you warm up and complete some off the board stretches before you hit any serious runs. Gentle walking and stretching when you finish works as a good cool down. (Yes cool downs are still important in the alpine environment.)
Novice snowboarders should book in for some professional lessons to learn how to control the board and also how to safely fall over without causing too much damage.
In addition to this learning how to read the different snow conditions is important, as is nutrition and hydration when on the mountain.
If after your snow trip you have some irregular aches or pains we recommend checking in with your GP or Sports Therapist.
Appointments for sports therapy and remedial massage are available at our Gladstone Park clinic.
Call us on 0405833497 to book an appointment.