Avoiding Common Musculoskeletal Injuries During the Dragon Boat Race Festival

Dragon Boat Race FestivalOn June 21st and 22nd, Toronto Centre Island will host the 26th annual Tim Hortons’ Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival. This exciting event, featuring an expected 180-200 teams with over 5000 athletes participating, not only brings together the community but raises money for the SickKids Foundation. Come out and support a very worthy cause all while joining the thrilling festivities!

Over the past decade especially, dragon boat racing has become a very popular form of exercise. Whether you are a member of a team that meets and trains on a regular basis, or just head out every once and a while for a change in exercise routine, this can be a great way to get your body moving all while having a great time.

That being said, there are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to this increasingly popular sport. Although not high impact, dragon boating is very strenuous, and as a result can wreak havoc on the body if you are not careful. This is especially true when it comes to musculoskeletal injuries.

When it comes to dragon boat racing, these are the top 5 musculoskeletal injuries:

o   Low back strain – straining of the joints and lower lumbar region.

o   Shoulder – tendinitis and/or bursitis in the rotator cuff muscles.

o   Hand – forearm tendinitis from holding paddles too tightly.

o   Wrist – carpel tunnel syndrome, hand weakness or numbness.

o   Hand abrasions – a common result of hands banging on the boat.

These injuries are almost always a result of overuse, or thanks to poor conditioning or the unusual techniques required when paddling. So what can you do to prepare for the day on the water without hurting yourself?

Since this is such a fast-paced and strenuous activity, one of the most important things to do to avoid musculoskeletal injuries from dragon boat racing is strength training, especially upper body strengthening exercises. Couple this with resistance and conditioning training to get your body in peak physical condition.

What if you find yourself struggling out there on the water already? If you have already sustained an injury, do not ignore the symptoms. Visit a sports medicine clinic today to have your injury assessed and to discuss treatment or training options to get some relief.

For more about common musculoskeletal injuries due to dragon boat racing, or their treatment or prevention, please contact Athletic Edge Sports Medicine Clinic today by calling 416-800-0800.