Rowing is one of the sports that offer full-body exercise while strengthening muscles, bones, joints, and providing benefits to the overall health of the body. But this doesn't mean that rowers are not prone to getting injuries. Like other sports, rowing is also accompanied by several orthopedic injuries and one of the reasons is the overuse of some body parts.
Our goal to create this article is to discuss some common orthopedic injuries rowers are prone to.
Orthopedic injuries are common in athletes and the reason is the high-impact activities they are exposed to while playing. Studies have found that most orthopedic injuries occurring in athletes can be fixed non-operatively. Only some serious cases might require surgical intervention and the use of trauma implants like Hand Plating System, External Fixator, and Orthopedic Plates depending upon the location and seriousness of the injury.
Common Orthopedic Injuries in Rowers
Pain in the Lumbar Back
Lumbar back pain is the common orthopedic condition that is seen in rowers. Stress fracture or muscle strain could be the common causes of this condition and in serious cases, lumbar disc disease is the reason. Exercises that strengthen the back support and increase lumbar resilience could reduce the chances of such conditions.
Another common condition that is noticed in rowers is shoulder impingement and the reason for this is repetitive overhead rowing motions performed by rowers. Irritation, inflammation, and pain in the shoulder are the common symptoms of this condition. One of the most common reasons why shoulder impingement occurs is overuse. Exercises aiming at strengthening the rotator cuff, scapula, and core could prevent shoulder impingement.
Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome
Iliotibial band or IT band is a connective tissue band that goes from the pelvis to the tibia while running across the knee. It helps in stabilizing the knee but, when excessive knee bending occurs, the IT band rubs against the outside of the knee causing irritating friction. This causes localized pain and inflammation. The chances of IT band friction syndrome increases when rowing is paired with high-impact activities especially running. Thus, this should be avoided to reduce the chances of this condition. Strength training, flexibility exercises, and targeted stretches could also be helpful in reducing the risk of IT band friction syndrome.
Rib Stress Fracture
This is another frequently noticed injury in rowers and the reason for this is repetitive load lifting of strokes. In this type of fracture, areas of the bones in the ribs that became weak due to high-impact use get affected and during the diagnosis, microscopic cracks in the bones could be seen. One of the best ways to avoid stress fracture of ribs is by avoiding excessive training. While on the other hand, if chest pain is experienced, it is advised to take rest from rowing for some time.
Extensor Tenosynovitis of Wrist
This is the condition in which the protective sheath of the tendon in the wrist gets inflamed and rowers are prone to this condition due to repetitive and intensive motions putting stress. In case of painful symptoms, the icing on the inflamed areas is suggested. Besides this, it is noticed that keeping hands warm during activity could prevent tenosynovitis of the wrist.
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