The popularity of action sports has never been higher, and with skateboarding, surfing, and rock climbing joining BMX racing (established in 2008) in the 2020 Olympic Games, mainstream interest is hitting a fever pitch. When this happens, more and more people get involved at the enthusiast and competitive level. From there both companies (clothing, accessories, food and beverage) and governing bodies step in with funding to promote the skills of action sports athletes representing brands and the country alike. Correspondingly, demand for physiotherapy grows. Why? Because physiotherapy and action sports go together like surfboards and waves, skateboards and ramps, rock climbers and…rocks. You get the idea, but let’s explore the tie-in further.
3 Reasons Why Action Sport Athletes Need Regular Physical Therapy
1. You Will, Without Question, Get Injured
While the dramatically increasing popularity of action sports is having a positive impact on physical activity levels across the country, it is invariably increasing the number of injuries. There is no getting around this cause and effect relationship.
As an action sports athlete, you can wait until an inevitable (or yet another) injury occurs before seeing a physiotherapist, or you can establish that relationship starting today. The latter is much more preferred because you will get on file with a therapist. In doing so they will already have a background on your physical makeup and have a clear history of past injuries so that they can better assess the potentially underlying causation of a new injury. All of this will reduce the time lag between injury assessment and your rehabilitation. Plus, the dialogue and comfort level that comes from with working with the professional will already be there, given that you’ve already had sessions with them before, which further helps your road to recovery. Then there is the fact that regular (read: preemptive) physical therapy may certainly help prevent injuries in the first place. Keep reading.
2. Why Not Do All You Can to Prevent Injury in the First Place?
Again, as an action sports athlete you’re going to get injured. But that doesn’t mean you have to simply accept this fact and chalk it up to the cost of your passion and/or career. You can greatly reduce the number and severity of future injuries when working with a physiotherapist today. They will be able to identify underlying physical issues (i.e. a problem with your gait, vestibular system, etc.) that can directly lead to an acute injury and/or eventual chronic pain. In addition, they can prepare you with a regime of warm-ups and cool-downs to conduct before and after a freestyle/practice session or event, and can outfit you with wearable support equipment (custom orthotics, knee bracing, k-tape, etc.) which will also reduce the risk of injury.
3. Natural Performance Enhancement
Injury rehabilitation and prevention aside, you also want to improve your performance out there on the ocean, ramp, road, cliff, or track. This is especially true if you’re a competitive action sports athlete. It’s a cutthroat world that will have other competitors, the judging panel, and sponsors leaving you in the dust if you don’t stay relevant or outright reinvent new moves and tricks. Looking to boost bigger airs on the ramp or bury the rail deeper and recover on the set wave of the day? Then you need to make physiotherapy a part of your training. A physiotherapist will help you tap into a level of speed, power, flow, balance, and flexibility that you didn’t know you had. They essentially help you optimize your body so that you can perform unlike ever before. All else equal, the difference between you and your greatest rival standing atop the podium at the next big event – is physiotherapy.
Here are some articles on how physiotherapy can have a direct and positive impact on performance for the most popular action sports:
- Benefits of physiotherapy for surfing
- Benefits of physiotherapy for skateboarding
- Benefits of physiotherapy for snowboarding
- Benefits of physiotherapy for bike riding (BMX included)
Whether you or your child is involved in action sports at an enthusiast or competitive level we encourage you to begin physiotherapy right away to prevent injury and improve performance. If you live in the Greater Vancouver area (action sports capital of Canada), call our Burnaby clinic today to schedule a consultation.