“Hold my coffee.” Don’t let these be your famous last words before getting injured. Winter sports are amazing to watch; skiers and snowboarders traveling at high velocities and defying gravity when launching off jumps the size of houses. Figure skaters effortlessly glide, edge, and spin. All activities have risks, but the variables involved in winter sports can be out of our control, unfamiliar, and have higher stakes than what we are used to. This blog will cover tips, strategies, and more to keep you on the slopes and rink and out of the emergency room this winter.
Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, a wrist and hand condition that causes tingling, numbness, and pain from nerve compression in the wrist and fingers. Still, there is also has a lesser-known condition, ulnar tunnel syndrome, which can have similar symptoms. Ulnar tunnel syndrome is when the ulnar nerve is compressed as it enters the wrist between two bones of the wrist. Compression of the ulnar nerve can also occur at the elbow and cause the same symptoms. Most people have probably experienced the not-so-funny occurrence of when the “funny bone” is bumped. In reality, this is when the ulnar nerve is quickly compressed on the humerus bone, and if you’ve had this happen, you may experience shooting pain, tingling, and numbness.
As a physical therapist and hand therapist, one of the biggest concerns I hear from my patients is that they are worried they are going to fall and hurt themselves. It is not uncommon for a therapist to be treating injuries that resulted from a fall. The upper extremity (shoulder through the fingers) is a common place for injuries to occur following a fall as many will use their hands to brace their fall in order to protect their face or head. This type of fall is called a F.O.O.S.H or a fall on an outstretched hand. This blog will briefly look into common injuries of the upper extremity with a fall and will talk about ways to prevent these injuries.
Tumbling athletes, including gymnasts and cheerleaders, place unique demands on their upper body. When tumbling, the athlete places not only their entire body weight through the hands but can have up to 16 times their body weight in force going across the wrist.1 Due to these extreme conditions, pain in the wrist can occur.
The past eight months in my new role as a father-to-be has challenged my organizational, physical and power tool skills in order to prepare our home for the new baby’s arrival. During the week, I work 40+ hours as a hand/occupational therapist treating and rehabilitating patients’ upper extremity conditions. On the weekends, endless home improvement projects have left my hands, wrists, and elbows feeling more sore, inflamed and tighter than ever before. My own recent upper extremity symptoms have led me to practice everything that I preach in the clinic.
Male gymnasts encounter different stresses on their joints compared to their female counterparts due to differences in the events they compete. In men’s gymnastics, there are multiple events that place stress across the joints of the arm including the rings, high bar, parallel bars and pommel horse.
Gymnastics is a unique sport in that the athletes spend a large amount of time on their hands. Handstands, tumbling and bars all require the athlete to place their full body weight through the arms and onto the hands. A unique injury to gymnastics is Gymnast Wrist.
Spring is arriving and with that many people are heading outdoors to get started on their gardens. Although gardening is a great activity to spend some time outdoors, it also requires the use of the hands and wrists, which means these joints are at risk for injury.