If you’re someone who dreams of fresh powder and the first run of the season you might be eager to get out and go this winter. Before you do, we want to help you make sure you’re protecting your knees in the best way possible! We’ve pulled snowboarding injury statistics to give you an overview of the risks of snowboarding and tips for preventing injury.
So, how common are snowboarding injuries?
Is Snowboarding Bad For Your Knees: How Common Are Snowboarding Knee Injuries?
Studies show that lower-extremity injuries (of thighs, knees, legs, ankles, and feet) are the most common type of injury in snowboarding and are mostly due to human-error, such as feeling overconfident in a jump or traveling faster than your should down the mountain. Following wrist injuries, knee injuries are the most common bodily injury in snowboarding. Over 70% of injuries sustained are from the lead leg in snowboarding, and so protecting your leading leg’s knee is most critical!
The Most Common Knee Injuries From Snowboarding
The most common knee injuries when snowboarding are torn ligaments, especially the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL). These injuries can occur when you land a jump incorrectly, when you try to stand in a fall, or from improper “twisting” while you’re on your ride. They can also be caused by continuous added strain and weight of the board.
How To Protect Your Knees While Snowboarding
Like in any other sport, injuries can occur without proper training, care, and prevention. We’re going to share a few suggestions on how to prevent knee injuries while snowboarding.
Seek Professional Instruction (aka, Take a Class!)
Taking a class to learn proper techniques can be extremely helpful when learning a new sport. Not only will this help you learn basic skills and advance your current skillset, but it will also prevent you from having injuries. Your local ski resort, outdoor recreation stores, or REI can offer classes to help you learn the basics of snowboarding.
Add Supplemental Training
Supplemental training is a great idea for any sport. It allows you to build strength and mobility within the body tailored to a specific sport. Similar to seeking professional instruction, cross-training can be provided by local gyms or snowboard instructors. REI and Burton both offer free training guides online that focus on building strength in the hips, quads, hamstrings, calves, ankles, and other parts of the lower-body. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription.
Consider A Knee Brace to Protect Ligaments
If you’ve suffered from a past knee injury, knee instability, or if you were recommended a knee brace from a medical professional it’s worth considering wearing a knee brace during snowboarding. This would be especially helpful if you need extra support for your lead leg’s knee (as we mentioned before, this is the most commonly injured knee when snowboarding).
What About Quick-Release Binding and Boot Type?
When considering injury differences between the hybrid snowboard boot and the most popular softshell boot, statistics don’t show much difference in an attempt to directly protect the knees. “We agree with the conclusions of others that non release bindings and soft boots have contributed to the higher incidence of ankle injuries,”‘6-8 but we remain cautious in recommending hard-shelled boots with or without releasable bindings because they may simply shift the incidence of lower extremity injuries from the ankles to the knees, as has been observed in the evolution of alpine skiing.” So while softshell boots may increase the risk of ankle injuries in snowboarding, there is no scientific proof that any variation of boot or binding would increase the protection of the knee.
If you have received a knee injury while snowboarding, it’s extremely important to seek out proper medical attention. With a diagnosis, surgery and physical therapy can help you to heal and recover.
Contact us today to see how we can help you with knee injury recovery.