The Lake District plays host to a range of watersports including canoeing, sailing and diving and for those looking for more of an adrenaline rush you can also water ski and wakeboard. With a host of sites nestled in the beautiful scenery it is no wonder why thousands descend on this national park for their adrenaline rush watersports.
With the new watersports season almost upon us many will be preparing their equipment and looking forward to their time in the water, though preparation is key in packing the right gear and knowing the risks involved. Injuries are common in all sports, with the risk increased in extreme sports such as wakeboarding where injuries can put you out of action for an extended period of time. This article looks at the most common knee injuries sustained from undertaking watersports and how they can be managed using sports braces from both a preventative and post injury perspective.
What is the knee joint?
The knee joint plays a vital role in the majority of activities, from walking to the shops and climbing the stairs to more extreme sports such as wakeboarding and water skiing. The more extreme the sport the more forces are passed through the knee joint, thereby increasing the risk of injury in the event of a fall or crash.
The knee joint is made up of four bones in the femur, tibia, patella and fibula with four ligaments connecting the bones. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue which connect the bones within a joint and are responsible for the overall stabilisation of a joint. The knee has a ligament on each side, with each one supporting a different area, these are the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL). Anterior refers to the front of the knee, posterior to the back, medial to the inside and lateral to the outside.
For everything you need to know and more about the knee joint visit KNEEguru.
Knee pain can result for a variety of conditions, some more serious than others. In extreme sports such as wakeboarding then when injuries happen they can be very serious and can require surgery, intensive physiotherapy and a lengthy spell on the sidelines which is why professionals are constantly looking at new preventative measures.
The majority of sports injuries in general are self-limiting in that you should expect to see an improvement following a few days of rest before returning to light exercise once again. Self-limiting conditions are invariably caused from overuse, where you have pushed yourself too far resulting in a strain or mild bruising to an area of the body.
General knee pain can be caused through overuse and is typical in running based sports where the joint has worked hard and is in need of a rest, typically apparent when the area begins to swell and it becomes painful to continue your activity. If you are unsure as to the severity of an injury then you should seek a professional diagnosis.
The ACL is probably one of the most publicised ligaments within the knee and the one where the majority of extreme sports injuries relate, accounting for 40% of those diagnosed. This form of injury is quite common with footballers, with the likes of Theo Walcott and Michael Owen all having had lengthy spells in the treatment room following ruptures.
The recovery and course of treatment for an ACL injury is dictated by its severity and the patient, with both surgical and non-surgical solutions available. Following the initial injury it can be very painful and the joint can become inflamed, with overall stability compromised.
A rupture or a tear can be remedied with surgery by repairing the ligament and pinning it back in place. This is a major operation and following a period of recuperation requires intensive physiotherapy to regain strength in the joint before a patient can expect to get back to their sport. The NHS website has an entire section devoted to knee ligament surgery.
From a non-surgical perspective it is possible to remain ACL deficient through strengthening the quads with the increased strength in these muscles counteracting the instability caused as a result of the initial injury. The option you choose is entirely up to you and dependent on your lifestyle and the types of activities you wish to undertake.
Soft Knee Supports
A soft knee support is often manufactured from breathable material which is compressive by nature and conforms to a person’s joint. The breathable nature of the knee support ensures it can be worn during an activity and does not begin to slip or rotate once a person begins to perspire. The material used offers compression to the patient which helps to manage inflammation and minimises muscle vibration and the risk of subsequent injury.
There are braces and supports available for all areas of the body designed to manage specific conditions, therefore selecting the correct knee brace is essential to ensure you receive the maximum benefit. In general a soft knee support is designed to be worn when active, giving the patient that additional level of protection, support and confidence on their return from injury.
We offer a range of products but make sure you check the indications for use prior to making a purchase so that you select the right one for the condition you wish to manage.
Rigid Knee Supports
The CTi is a perfect example of a knee brace designed to prevent against serious knee injuries for those undertaking extreme sports. It is worn by sports stars the word over across snowboarding, motocross and wakeboarding to protect the knee joint against impact damage in the event of a fall or crash. With the risk of injury and the fear of an extended spell on the sidelines professionals and amateurs know alike the importance of selecting the right equipment so they can have fun and still walk away at the end of the day.
The CTi knee brace is manufactured from carbon fibre, which makes it lightweight and ultra-strong to take the full force of any impact and protect the knee joint behind it. Its lightweight design also ensures it does not restrict movement, allowing a patient to freely perform the tricks they want knowing they are protected.
The professionals know the importance of staying fit as they compete to be the best in their chosen field and the CTi gives them the confidence to push harder and faster as they strive for glory. It is typically used by sports people for any ACL / PCL / MCL / LCL injuries. In the event of any accident they can be assured that the CTi will offer maximum protection for their knee joint.
What should I do if I am injured?
Following any injury it is important to cease your activity and rest, apply ice to the painful area to help address any inflammation. Playing through the pain can be tempting but can also cause further damage which may result in further treatment being required and an even longer recovery period.
Rest is important in the first few days while the initial symptoms settle down, though should they fail to show signs of improvement then you should seek a professional diagnosis as further treatment may be advised.