Over this past week I had the great pleasure and honor of flying out to Long Beach, California as the lead sport & skateboarding physical therapist for the Summer Dew Tour. This is an event where the worlds’ best skateboarders travel to compete all week long. There are two type of skateboarding they offer.
Street or park skating is what you commonly see on TV or when you go visit a big city. The Dew Tour puts many different obstacles such as stairs, handrails, and other misc equipment into a course format. The skaters then use their creativity and skills to complete their best run.
Here is a quick video of me on the street part at the Dew Tour:
A “bowl” is a type of skateboarding that involves skating in a bowl. It looks like an empty concrete swimming pool. This type of skating is different in that high speeds can be achieved in addition to getting bigger air. Thus, more traumatic injuries can occur.
Here is a quick video of bowl skating at Dew Tour:
Why I Like Working With Skateboarders
I really do enjoy working with extreme sport athletes, especially skateboarders. I suppose it’s because I use to be a skateboarder myself (middle school years) and I can relate to them.
The second reason why I enjoy working with them is because they don’t get medical care they need in most cases. For instance, the majority of these athletes don’t even have health insurance. They need their sponsors to provide their meals, clothing, and salary. In fact, most skateboarders, even the elite ones, aren’t typically rolling in the dough like most other sports. For this reason, they usually don’t have the means to get physical therapy, massage, etc.
Last but not least, I also enjoy working with these athletes because they’re very appreciative of our services. Sine they don’t get the care they need the majority of the time, they’re very thankful for all that the medical team does for them.
Skateboarders can be exposed to some extreme injuries such as broken bones, concussions, and muscle sprains/strains. However, the most common injuries that we see is sprained ankles, lower back pain, and patellar tendinitis.
This injury is quite common in skateboarders because they have to land on different terrains or from extreme heights. This puts a lot of stress on the ankle joint. What doesn’t help their situation is the type of shoes they wear. Skateboarding shoes have minimal support and don’t cover the ankle.
Lower Back Pain:
The second most common injury is lower back pain. This happens quite frequently due to weakness in the core and the extreme amounts of forces their back is exposed to on a daily basis. For instance, these athletes have to jump off of 3 to 10’ boxes or stairs. This puts extreme amounts of force through the spine. The end results is usually back pain due to all the compression the spine is exposed to.
Last but not least, patellar tendon injuries are also prevalent in skateboarding. This happens due to the quadricep muscles having to overwork or they become tight from all the jumping and landing. Since these athletes need to jump off of high objects and terrain, the quadricep muscles need to help to decelerate their bodies so they don’t fall down as hard or at all. The end result is usually increased tension and irritation to the tendon that these muscles attach to. This is the patellar tendon.
Not only did I have an amazing time treating and getting out to California for the week, but I also got to enjoy some time with my mom, dad, and sister.
Concluding Remarks On Summer Dew Tour 2018
Overall, this was a very fun and great experience. It was great to get out of town for a few days, travel to a different part of the US, and an honor to work with professional athletes. Not only were all these things important and fun, but spending some time with my mom, dad, and sister was great too!
Have you ever been to Long Beach? If so, what was your favorite spot?
About the Author: Dr. Scott Gray
Dr. Scott Gray is an internationally recognized and expert physical therapist specializing in sport, athletic, and back and neck injuries. He is the inventor of a revolutionary form of treatment called the GRAY METHOD. This type of treatment unlike others, addresses the CAUSE rather than just your SYMPTOMS with a full body approach. For more information on how to ease or overcome your injury, go to www.backinmotionsspt.com.