5 Most Common Diving Injuries
What are the 5 most common diving injuries?
- Shoulder Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Elbow Injuries
- Wrist/Hand Injuries
- Knee Injuries
1. Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries are very common when diving. They usually occur when the diver enters the water and their arms are extended overhead. If the shoulder is dislocated, the athletes will typically feel the shoulder pop out of the joint. If this happens and is a partial dislocation, the shoulder will go back into the joint by itself. But if it's a dislocation, the athlete will require medical attention to help get it back in its place. Some ways to prevent shoulder injuries is to partake in shoulder strengthening exercises, braces, and sometimes surgery.
2. Neck Injuries
Diving can cause neck injuries due to the repetitive extension of the neck when the athletes enter the water. This can irritate the neck joints which then can lead to stiffness when moving or rotating the neck and spasms. If divers suffer from any burning or tingling down their arms, they may have a cervical disc herniation and should consult medical advice. Usually tower divers complain more about neck problems due to the greater force of impact with the 10-meter platform diving. Some ways to help treat neck injuries include using good posture daily and seeking any professional help if the neck injury does not heal on its own.
3. Elbow Injuries
When athletes' elbows hyperextend when entering the water, elbow pain may occur. The ulnar nerve, or the "funny bone," may be stretched and cause potential numbness, pain, or burning down the arm and through the fingers. Additionally, if the ligament of the elbow gets stretched, it can cause weakness, instability, and pain on the elbow. If divers are suffering from pain on the outside of the elbow, they may be suffering from osteochondritis dissecans. To help treat this injury, individuals may have to undergo physical therapy treatment. Some treatment options include resting, icing the area, physical therapy, and braces.
4. Wrist/Hand Injuries
When divers enter the water, they sometimes try to "punch" a hole in the water, which leads to their wrists getting bent backward. This usually happens when the palms face the water. Doing this motion repetitively can cause swelling, pain, irritation, and stiffness of the wrist joint. Divers also suffer from hyperextending the thumb when they enter the water. Some ways to treat wrist and hand injuries include icing the area, taking anti-inflammatory drugs, and resting. Bracing or taping the wrist can also help the injury and prevent any future injuries. Surgery or thumb splint can help stabilize the thumb.
5. Knee Injuries
Knee injuries are common in diving as the jumping motion can cause pressure on the athlete's kneecap which results in pain. "Jumper's knee," also known as patellar tendonitis, causes pain below the kneecap. In order to help treat this, the cause of pain must be identified. Other factors in knee pain include strength imbalances, poor flexibility, and malalignment of the knees, hips, and feet. Some ways to treat knee pain include patellar taping, physical therapy, and training modifications.