Surfing is an adventurous sport and while it’s generally considered safe, injuries can occur due to a variety of reasons, including not working with certified surf instructors. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most common surf injuries and highlight ways to prevent them.
Let’s get started:
Bruises are a common occurrence reported by both new and experienced surfers. Also known as a contusion, a bruise is a break in the blood vessel that doesn’t result in visible bleeding. It may, however, be a sign of muscle damage. Though not always common, bruises may cause internal bleeding.
Bruises usually fade away in about 10 days but some may stay longer. They are known to change color with time starting from red and turning blue before disappearing. The best way to avoid a bruise is to be very careful; however, you can’t eliminate the risk as bruises may occur due to falls or very strong waves hitting your body. Your best option is to treat bruises with the help of drugs and cold-heat contrasts.
Sprains, Dislocations, and Fractures
Almost all bone related injuries are serious and need immediate attention. Sprains are painful and usually go away on their own, whereas dislocations usually are temporary and heal perfectly but can take a while. On the other hand, fractures can be fatal and result in permanent damage.
These injuries usually occur due to impact – when you hit the ground, water, or any object. It is important to rush to a doctor if you notice signs of bone injuries. The best way to reduce the risk of these injuries is to wear safety equipment, choose the right surfboard, avoid entering the sea when the waves are dangerous, and work with a certified surf instructor.
Surfer’s Ear and Swimmer’s Ear
Since surfers have to spend a great amount of time underwater, a lot of them end up with surfer’s ear and swimmer’s ear.
UCI Health defines surfer’s ear as a condition “where the bone of the ear canal develops multiple bony growths called exostoses.” On the other hand, swimmer’s ear is an ear infection that impacts different parts of the ear. Surfer’s ear is not very common and it can take a while to develop. The bony growth is typically not harmful but the lumps it causes can lead to issues. Similarly, swimmer’s ear is easy to treat and usually isn’t a serious condition. The best way to avoid these problems is to keep ears dry and avoid putting objects in the ear canal.
These are some of the most common injuries and health issues surfers face. Your best bet is to choose certified surf instructors, follow surfing etiquette, and be prepared before surfing. Warm up, wear the right outfit and gear, and avoid surfing if you’re sick or tired. However, despite this, you may still face some injuries so make sure to know what to do if you ever end up with a surf injury.