In winter, people from different walks of life look forward to enjoying the ski season. These include a number of people who are beginners and may lack knowledge about changing terrain and wearing the right footwear. This can lead to mild to severe ski injuries. According to a nine-year study by the National Institutes of Health, the overall injury rate was 2.6 injuries per 1,000 skier days and is likely to grow more. The study also states that 35% of all injuries were knee-related, and 37% were lower extremity injuries.
This makes it an ideal situation for doctors to treat ski injuries through shockwave therapy, which is a non-invasive and non-anesthetic alternative. Discussed below are 3 common ski injuries that can be treated using shockwave therapy.
1. Patellar Tendinopathy (Jumper’s Knee)
Skiing involves repetitive stress on the knees and toes, which can lead to worse conditions, such as patellar tendinopathy. This condition mostly occurs in athletics and can also happen to skiers. Usually, patellar tendinopathy brings pain, inflammation, and, in worst cases, degeneration of the tendon. If untreated, they can hinder skiers from skiing for some time, which may interfere with their activities. The pain is felt below the kneecap with stiffness, tenderness, and swelling.
Shockwave therapy is a proven, non-invasive treatment option for treating jumper’s knee. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine in 2020 examined the immediate effect of just one session of shockwave therapy on a jumper’s knee. The study included thirty-four athletes and was divided into two groups. One group received shockwave therapy, while the other received a sham treatment. The results concluded a 30% reduction in tissue stiffness and pain in the shockwave group compared to the sham group. Researchers concluded that even one session of shockwave therapy can greatly improve symptoms of jumper’s knee.
2. Shin Splints
Shin splints or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is a pain that occurs in a large bone in the front of the lower leg. Many skiers who are beginners can often face problems due to inadequate training and improper boot fit, which can lead to shin splints. Shin splints cause problems when they come in contact with hard surfaces and lead to increased pain during the activity.
Wearing proper footwear and anti-inflammatory medications are some solutions that many doctors offer. But now, with shockwaves, the application of low-energy shockwaves to the shins can help treat the condition within a short period of time. A study published in the International Journal of Surgery in 2017 assessed the benefits of shockwave therapy for MTSS. Researchers concluded that just one shockwave treatment in conjunction with an exercise program could rapidly accelerate recovery for MTSS.
3. Plantar Fasciitis
Skiers spend a lot of time on their feet, which can lead to conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Stress and improper foot position are some factors that can cause pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. The plantar fascia supports the bottom of the foot, and when it becomes irritated or inflamed, it can lead to discomfort even with a few steps after prolonged inactivity. Shockwave therapy is an effective, long-term treatment for plantar fasciitis.
A study published in the National Journal of Medicine in 2020 analyzed shockwave therapy’s effectiveness on plantar fasciitis. The research found that patients suffering from plantar fasciitis who were given shockwave therapy as a treatment showed major improvement.
Shockwave Canada is Canada’s official distributor of the Storz MASTERPULS devices. For more information related, visit www.shockwavecanada.com.