5 Most Common Nascar Injuries
What are the most common NASCAR injuries?
- Upper Extremity Fractures
- Lower Back Strains
- Plantar Fasciitis
1. Upper Extremity Fractures
The most common injuries that athletes get in NASCAR are upper extremity fractures. A lot of drivers will fracture their shoulders and arms from smaller crashes, which happen much more frequently than large, race-ending crashes. Drivers will primarily get distal radius fractures and scaphoid fractures. Both of these bones are located in or around your wrists. The fractures that drivers get in tend to mostly be located in their arms and they range from their fingers all the way up to their shoulders. Drivers could attempt to avoid injuries like these by not locking their elbows/arms on the steering wheel.
2. Lower Back Strains
The second most common injury obtained in NASCAR is lower back strains. Drivers tend to get this type of injury from crashes, of course, but also from strenuous driving. Even in a sport where the athlete remains seated and in a car, it is important for them to stretch and stay loose. Stretching will help athletes avoid lower back strains as much as possible. Lower back strains are little tears in the muscles and ligaments in and around the lower back. Causes for drivers bodies to get lower back strains usually stem from tight hips, hamstrings, and quads. The challenge in avoiding these injuries is that people will get tight backs and hamstrings from sitting in a car for long periods of time, which is exactly what NASCAR drivers do.
Another common injury in NASCAR is tendonitis. NASCAR drivers get tendonitis in many areas of their body, depending on how the injury comes up. Tendonitis is the inflammation of tendons causing pain and stiffness in the area of the injury. Drivers gripping the steering wheel with excessive force puts a lot of strain on the tendons in their hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and necks. Drivers also tend to get tendonitis in their feet, ankles, and knees from the force they put on the gas and brake pedals in their cars. NASCAR drivers who do get tendonitis try to recover by letting the injured body part rest for a while.
4. Plantar Fasciitis
NASCAR drivers also commonly get plantar fasciitis from the force they put on their gas and brake pedals. Plantar fasciitis is a painful injury consisting of inflammation of the plantar fasciitis band which is a thick band that runs from your calf down to your foot. This injury is caused by a similar motion repeated over and over, like pushing down on a gas pedal throughout a race and a NASCAR season. Wearing correctly fitting footwear is important for drivers to stay comfortable and healthy during their long drives around the track. Plantar fasciitis takes a while to heal, as well, so drivers try to stay on top of taking care of their bodies.
Another very common injury in NASCAR are concussions. While this injury is very common across the sport, it actually doesn't happen as often as amateur fans might think. Concussions in NASCAR tend to happen only in crashes and even then, they don't happen every crash. A main reason that concussions are so common in the sports is because crew members could get them too, when cars spin out near them. Concussions and traumatic injuries have decreased over the years, as more safety protocols have been put in, but they still happen occasionally and these injuries are frightening for everyone involved. NASCAR is still working to decrease the amount of head injuries in their sport.