Performance and strain
Supports during sports
From Bauerfeind Life Magazin
Canada Snowboard athletes rely on braces, supports and compression products by Bauerfeind, the team’s official equipment sponsor since 2019. Therese Leigh has been the leading physical therapist of the association for many years. She continues to help out with advice. Thanks to her expertise, she can give reasons why Bauerfeind products are so highly appreciated by snowboarders.
life: How prone to injuries are snowboarders compared to those pursuing other winter sports?
Therese Leigh: Snowboarding is a sport that subjects the athlete to repetitive compression, torsional and impact stress and strain. Significant g-forces are exerted on the body during jump rotations and on landing. The soft boots and the athlete’s lateral position on the board to the direction of movement result in even more ankle injuries than during skiing. In addition there are often signs of wear in the middle and lower back caused by the impact and torsion.
Please tell us how Canada Snowboard’s medical team equips its emergency kit.
Therese Leigh: First Aid and physio supplies such as tape, theraband and mobility aids as well as over-the-counter analgesics and cold medication, and, of course, Bauerfeind’s GenuTrain knee support. These supports are indispensable when immediate compression and relief are needed in cases of acute injuries.
How important are supports in the overall treatment plan?
Therese Leigh: During rehabilitation, we rely on supports because of their compression effect to alleviate pain as well as to provide external support to the joint. They can provide external stabilization after ligamentous tears and they generally help to restore the athletes’ confidence in the injured joint they are rehabbing. When an athlete returns to the snow, we often continue using supports to improve proprioception.
Can supports also be worn as preventive measures?
Therese Leigh: Snowboarders like loose clothing so for them the Bauerfieind compression stockings are their main choice for prevention. Clinically, I primarily use supports for osteoarthritis of the knee, chronically or acute hypermobile ankles, or tenosynovitis of the wrist. The GenuTrain, for example, is great for compression and gentle stabilization of the knee. In cases of sprains or sprains of the ankle, I really like the MalleoLoc L3 because it can be effectively adapted to the individual healing process, starting off as a heavy duty brace and then adapted to a light support.
What do compression stockings do for the Canada Snowboard athletes?
Therese Leigh: They can be used for all sorts of things – during training, competitions, regeneration, and when traveling because they support circulation, reduce swelling, and promote recovery by increasing oxygen supply in the tissue.
What would you recommend to amateur snowboarders who want to reduce their risk of injury?
Therese Leigh: Regular gym based training with suitable sport specific warm-up exercises like the “animal moves, such as bear walks and rabbit hops” , mobility exercises and strength training with a focus on snowboard relevant functional movement patterns, such as squats and lunges, as well as core basics. And of course d on’t forget to warm up before you ride and stretch afterwards.
Image: Canada Snowboard/Chris Witwicki