BOULDER, Colo. — Extreme sports have accounted for more than 4 million injuries in the past 11 years, with approximately 11% of those being head and neck injuries, according to a speaker here.
Among the head and neck injuries caused by extreme sports, 80% of them were injuries to the head or brain, Alan Weintraub, MD, said during his presentation at the International Extreme Sports Medicine Annual Congress.
Skateboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, with approximately 14 million athletes participating in the sport currently, according to Weintraub. Snowboarding, motocross and skiing are all also increasing in popularity, each putting participants at risk for traumatic brain injury.
“It stands to reason, when you think about the mechanism of injury, why skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing and motocross really are so prevalent for these types of injuries — it’s because it relates to injury of the brain itself,” Weintraub said. “It’s not the acceleration and deceleration forces relative to the brain sitting inside this close-vaulted skull; it’s the angular and rotational forces that make it so difficult to study and find ways to protect this ‘biological computer.’”
Reference: Weintraub A. Traumatic Brain Injuries. Presented at: International Extreme Sports Medicine Annual Congress; June 13-14, 2014; Boulder, Colo.
Disclosure: Weintraub has no relevant financial disclosures.