Diving (Care of the Young Athlete)

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</p> <p id="peo_document280.en.s001p001">Competitive springboard and platform divers<br /> start training and competing at an early age. Many Olympic and world champions<br /> are 18 years of age and younger.</p> <p id="peo_document280.en.p057">Diving is considered a collision sport because of<br /> the impact with the water on entry. A diver entering the water from the 10-meter<br /> platform is traveling almost 40 miles per hour. These forces are enough to break<br /> bones and dislocate joints. Divers are also at risk of injuries from hitting the<br /> board or platform as well as overuse injuries similar to gymnasts from frequent<br /> jumping, back arching, trunk flexion, and back twisting. Injuries can also occur<br /> from training on “dry land.” This type of training usually<br /> includes weight lifting and the use of spotting belts, trampolines, and<br /> springboards.</p> <p id="peo_document280.en.p058">While injuries do occur in competitive diving,<br /> unsuper­vised or recreational diving is associated with a far greater<br /> risk of serious injury or even death. The following is information from the<br /> American Academy of Pediatrics about how to prevent diving injuries. Also<br /> included is an overview of common diving injuries.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document280.en.s002" class="disp-level1"> <h3>Injury prevention and safety tips</h3> <ul id="peo_document280.en.s002l001" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s002p001"> <strong>Rules.</strong> Swimmers should<br /> follow <italic>pool rules</italic> at all times, including</p> <ul id="peo_document280.en.s002l002" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s002p002"> <strong>Never swim alone.</strong><br /> The pool should be supervised.</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s002p003"> <strong>Don’t run on pool<br /> decks and wet areas.</strong> Abrasions and contusions<br /> (bruises) commonly occur from careless falls.</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s002p004"> <strong>Don’t dive in<br /> shallow water or any water where the depth is not<br /> known.</strong> Swimmers should know how deep the pool is and<br /> avoid diving into shallow pools less than 3 feet deep. This will<br /> help prevent serious head and neck injuries.</p> </li> </ul> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s002p005"> <strong>Equipment.</strong> Safety gear<br /> includes</p> <ul id="peo_document280.en.s002l003" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s002p006"> <strong>Swim caps</strong> </p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s002p007"> <strong>Sun protection</strong><br /> (sunscreen, lip balm with sunblock) when outdoors</p> </li> </ul> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s002p008"> <strong>Emergency plan.</strong> Teams<br /> should develop and practice an emergency plan so that team members know<br /> their roles in emergency situations in or out of the water. The plan<br /> would include first aid and emergency contact information. All members<br /> of the team should receive a written copy each season. Parents also<br /> should be familiar with the plan and review it with their children.</p> </li> </ul></div> <div id="peo_document280.en.s003" class="disp-level1"> <h3>Common injuries</h3> <div id="peo_document280.en.s004" class="disp-level2"> <h3>Shoulder injuries</h3> <p id="peo_document280.en.s003p001">Shoulder injuries typically occur during<br /> water entry when arms extended overhead get forced back. Athletes usually<br /> feel the shoulder pop out of joint when their shoulders are dislocated. Most<br /> of the time the shoulder goes back into the joint on its own; this is called<br /> a <italic>subluxation</italic> (partial dislocation). If the athlete<br /> requires help to get it back in, it is called a<br /> <italic>dislocation.</italic> Risk of dislocation recurrence is high for<br /> youth participating in these sports. Shoulder strengthening exercises,<br /> braces and, in some cases, surgery may be recommended to prevent<br /> recurrence.</p> <p id="peo_document280.en.s003p002">Chronic shoulder pain is usually due to a<br /> pinching of the rotator cuff (the tendons around the top of the shoulder).<br /> This is more common in athletes with weak shoulder blade muscles. Symptoms<br /> include a dull pain or achiness over the front or side of the shoulder that<br /> worsens when the arm is overhead. Treatment involves exercises to strengthen<br /> the shoulder blade muscles and the rotator cuff.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document280.en.s005" class="disp-level2"> <h3>Neck injuries</h3> <p id="peo_document280.en.s005p001">Repetitive extension of the neck on water<br /> entry can cause an irritation of the neck joints. This results in muscle<br /> spasms and stiffness when rotating the neck or looking up. Athletes with<br /> tingling or burning down the arm may have a cervical disc herniation or<br /> “stinger” and should see a doctor. Stingers are stretch<br /> injuries to the nerves in the neck and spine. Because the force of impact is<br /> greater with 10-meter platform diving, there are more complaints of neck<br /> problems with tower divers.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document280.en.s006" class="disp-level2"> <h3>Elbow injuries</h3> <p id="peo_document280.en.s006p001">Elbow pain can occur when an<br /> athlete’s elbow hyperextends on entry into the water. The ulnar nerve<br /> (“funny bone”) can be stretched and cause pain, numbness, or<br /> burning down the arm into the fingers. If the ligament of the elbow is<br /> stretched, it can cause pain, weakness, and instability of the elbow.<br /> Athletes with pain on the outside of the elbow may have a condition called<br /> <italic>osteochondritis dissecans.</italic> This condition can cause an<br /> inability to straighten the elbow and locking, catching, or swelling of the<br /> elbow. X-rays may be needed to confirm diagnosis.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document280.en.s007" class="disp-level2"> <h3>Wrist/hand injuries</h3> <p id="peo_document280.en.s007p001">When divers enter the water, they grasp<br /> their hands one on top of the other with the palm facing toward the water.<br /> As they try to “punch” a hole in the water, the wrist gets<br /> bent backward. Doing this repetitively causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and<br /> irritation of the wrist joint. This can be treated with rest, ice, and<br /> nonsteroidal anti­inflammatory drugs. Taping or bracing the wrist can<br /> also prevent further injury.</p> <p id="peo_document280.en.s007p002">When divers reach for the water and attempt<br /> to grasp their hands for entry, they occasionally hyperextend the thumb.<br /> This causes a sprain to the base of the thumb. Symptoms include pain,<br /> swelling, instability, and weakness of the thumb. This can be treated, and<br /> may be prevented, by taping the thumb while diving. Occasionally, a custom<br /> thumb splint or even surgery is necessary to stabilize the thumb.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document280.en.s008" class="disp-level2"> <h3>Low back pain</h3> <p id="peo_document280.en.s008p001"> <italic>Spondylolysis,</italic> stress<br /> fractures of the bones in the lower spine, is due to overuse from arching or<br /> extending of the back. Symptoms include low back pain that feels worse with<br /> back extension activities. Back or reverse dives are often more painful.<br /> Treatment of spondylolysis includes rest from diving, physical therapy to<br /> improve flexibility and low back and core (trunk) strength, and possibly a<br /> back brace. Athletes with low back pain for longer than 2 weeks should see a<br /> doctor. X-rays are usually normal so other tests are often needed to<br /> diagnose spondylolysis. Successful treatment requires early recognition of<br /> the problem and timely treatment.</p> <p id="peo_document280.en.s008p002"> <italic>Disc injury</italic> may cause low<br /> back pain that occurs with flexion—including pike and tuck dives. The<br /> pain is usually worse on one side, extends into the buttock, and<br /> occasionally down the leg. Disc-related pain can also occur with sitting,<br /> lifting, jumping, and twisting. Successful treatment requires early<br /> recognition of the problem and timely treatment.</p> </p></div> <div id="peo_document280.en.s009" class="disp-level2"> <h3>Knee injuries</h3> <p id="peo_document280.en.s009p001">There are thousands of jumps in practice for<br /> each dive seen in competition. Jumping causes pressure on the kneecap and<br /> can result in pain in the front of the knee. Patellar tendonitis (also<br /> called jumper’s knee) causes pain just below the kneecap. Treatment<br /> requires identifying and addressing the causes of the pain.</p> <p id="peo_document280.en.s009p002">The number of dives performed; dry land<br /> training; poor flexibility; strength imbalances; and malalignment of the<br /> hips, knees, and feet can also contribute to knee pain. Because corrective<br /> shoes, orthotics, and knee braces aren’t practical while diving,<br /> physical therapy, patellar taping, and training modifications are the<br /> mainstays of therapy.</p> </p></div> </p></div> <div id="peo_document280.en.s010" class="disp-level1"> <h3>Other medical issues</h3> <p id="peo_document280.en.s010p001">Divers are at risk for a variety of medical<br /> concerns as well, including</p> <ul id="peo_document280.en.s010l001" list-type="bullet"> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s010p002">Swimmer’s ear and sinusitis from<br /> too much water in the ear</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s010p003">Ruptured eardrums from impact in the<br /> water and acute pressure changes</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s010p004">Cuts, scrapes, bruises, fractures, and<br /> head or facial injuries from hitting the board, platform, or pool<br /> deck</p> </li> <li> <p id="peo_document280.en.s010p005">Sunburn or rashes from the sun</p> </li> </ul></div> <div id="peo_document280.en.s011" class="disp-level1"> <h3>Remember</h3> <p id="peo_document280.en.s011p001">Diving injuries can be prevented when safety<br /> guidelines are followed.</p> </p></div> <div id="pedweblogo"><a href="http://www.pediatricweb.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://www.pediatricweb.com/images/poweredbyPW.gif" alt="Powered by Pediatric Web" border="0" /></a> <br /><a style="font-size: 9px;color: #000000;" href="http://www.pediatricweb.com/disclaimer.asp" target="_blank">disclaimer</a><br /><span style="font-size:0.8em;">Denver Data Feed</span></div> </div> </article> </main> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-3"> <div class="sidebar" role="complementary"> </div> </div> </div> </div> <footer class="footer" role="contentinfo"> <div class="footer-top"> <div class="container"> <div class="row"> <div class="col-xs-12 col-md-2"><div class="widget widget_black_studio_tinymce"><h6 class="footer-top__headings">LOCATIONS</h6><div class="textwidget"><p style="color: #ffffff;"><a href="https://pediatricpartnersmd.net/bel-air-north-park/" style="color: #ffffff;"><strong>Bel Air - 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