People get injured in all sorts of ways, and now that summer is here, we expect to see an uptick in patients who get injured on the water. Wakeboarding and water skiing can be a lot of fun, but the water isn’t very soft, especially when you’re cruising across it at high speeds. Below, we discuss three common injuries we treat that occur on the water.
Ankle and Foot Injuries
Because your ankles are strapped to your skis and board, it’s no surprise that they are more prone to injury. In fact, according to the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, approximately 20 percent of all waterski injuries involve ankle sprains and strains. It’s tough to prevent these injuries in the moment, but you can preform ankle strength and conditioning exercises in the gym to help build stability in your ankles.
Head and Neck Injuries
The head and neck region are also common areas that get injured during a water skiing or wakeboarding accident. Since wakeboarders have a difference stance than skiers, they are more prone to a head and neck injury if they “catch an edge” and tumble into the water. In fact, about 25 percent of all wakeboarding injuries involve the head and neck region, and about 11 percent of wakeboarding injuries result in a concussion. That said, waterskiers also suffer their fair share of head and neck injuries. About 10 percent of all waterski injuries involve a head or neck laceration.
Even if you’re equipped with a life jacket, it’s pretty easy to suffer a shoulder injury during a waterski accident. If you know you’re about to take a tumble, your body naturally attempts to protect its more vital parts. One such technique involves putting your arm out to brace your fall. When your arm is the first thing to hit the water, it can get jarred out of place. Many skiers partially or fully dislocate their shoulder after a skiing accident, or they strain the muscles in their neck and shoulders.
PT of Costa Rican National Soccer Team for 2007 World Cup in Victoria, CAN. Clinical Instructor for University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy Affiliations