Snowboarding injuries are more common among novice boarders than professionals. Some reasons are improper balance, conditioning and not wearing proper gear. Snowboarding injuries may run the gamut from contusions, concussions, fractures to spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries.
This is a bruise and is the mildest form of snowboarding injury. It may occur as a result of a bump or fall and blood vessels may break and leak into the skin. This accounts for the purplish or bluish appearance of the skin. With ice application, rest and anti-inflammatory medications where required, a contusion should heal in few days.
These may be mild or severe enough and may occur from a fall or direct blow to the head. A concussion occurs when the brain moves violently in the skull as a result of the trauma. Someone who sustains a mild concussion while snowboarding may appear disoriented, confused and may suffer memory loss. In severe cases, there may be headaches, stiff neck, bleeding from the nose or ears, dizziness, blurred vision and even loss of consciousness. Any of these signs require immediate medical attention. Even mild cases should be reported as more severe effects could be felt later.
Wrist fractures are among the most common snowboarding injuries. A wrist fracture will require medical attention which may include casting to allow the bone to heal. The bone may have to be reset through either closed or open reduction by a physician. Closed reduction is done without an incision. Physiotherapy will be needed to restore range of motion and strength after the cast is removed. Wrist fractures can be avoided by wearing the appropriate safety gear.
Rotator cuff injuries
This type of injury affects the four muscles and tendons that keep the shoulder in place. When this happens, shoulder range of motion and function are compromised. Rest, icing and anti-inflammatory medications are helpful, however physiotherapy is needed to restore range of motion and strength to the shoulder.
This is one of the more severe types of snowboarding injuries and can result from a fall or direct trauma to the spinal cord. Effects can be mild or severe depending on the level of the injury and may range from loss of function in one limb to paralysis and loss of function in all four limbs.
Snowboarding injuries can be prevented by first working on your balance, flexibility and conditioning for the sport and even learning to fall safely. Someone who is a good skiier will not necessarily be a good snowboarder. Also, be careful to wear the appropriate safety equipment to protect yourself while snowboarding.