5 Most Common Curling Injuries
What are the most common curling injuries?
- Rotator Cuff Injury
- Back Pain
- Wrist Sprain
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
- Hamstring Strain
1. Rotator Cuff Injury
The rotator cuff injury is a common injury that occurs on the ice among curling athletes. This injury is when the group of muscles that surround the shoulder and keep the arm in the shoulder socket, called the rotator cuff, is inflamed or torn. For curling athletes, sustaining a rotator cuff injury is caused by overuse of the muscles and excessive training. Curlers who sweep the ice heavily utilize their rotator cuff muscles at a faster rate than normal because of the sweeping motion. Many curlers will incorporate exercises to stretch these muscles before a workout to reduce the chance of an injury.
2. Back Pain
Back pain is another common injury that many curling athletes suffer with. It is not typically caused by a sudden and direct force, but from a constant strain put on the back by hunching over. Whether the curling athlete is the one to hurl the stone towards the target or if the curling athlete is sweeping the ice to get the stone to exactly its best position, all positions require some hunch of the back. This injury is difficult to avoid in curling, however, many curlers treat back pain with rest and ice.
3. Wrist Sprain
Spraining a wrist in curling is no surprise to the curling community. A wrist sprain is when the ligaments and tendons surrounding the wrist are overstretched and teared, causing swelling and pain for the athlete. This sport has a heavy focus on the use of the athlete's wrist; from the precise throw of the stone to the sweeping of the ice, curlers are straining their wrist constantly for this sport. As preventative measures, many curling athletes will stretch their wrists before training and some may incorporate wrist support braces to minimize the additional wrist movements.
4. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
The patellofemoral pain syndrome is incredibly common in the world of curling. This condition is an injury around the knee and the kneecap, medically referred to as the patella, where long periods of pressure against it will cause pain to arise. In curling, the curler who hurls the stone is in a lunge position, putting most of the curler's weight against the knee. This repetitive motion of the stress on the knee can cause the athlete to sustain the patellofemoral pain syndrome.
5. Hamstring Strain
A hamstring strain is another common injury in curling. A hamstring strain is an overstretch in the three muscles groups of the hamstring. This strain is common in curling because of the lunge motions that must be performed to correctly hurl the stone towards the target. The lunge position stretches the hamstring muscle, so if a curling athlete is overextending themselves or if a curling athlete lunges too low and over stretches the hamstring muscle, then either could most likely be subject to sustaining a hamstring injury.