Top Five Motocross Injuries
Motocross was developed from motorcycle competitions in the early 1900s in the UK. Motocross is riding a specially designed motorcycle, called a motocross bike, on a closed course, consisting of a variety of terrain; uphill’s, downhill’s, corners, jumps, etc. If you are racing, it is over a set amount of time or laps, with the winner crossing the line first.
Almost all motocross riders will have been injured at some point in their career. Commonly when performing freestyle and tricks, however, participation of any kind in motocross comes with an element of risk.
What are the most common injuries?
1. Broken collar bones – a relatively common injury for most sports, this is because it is natural instinct to put out your hands to break your fall. This is probably why broken collar bones are so common in motocross. When falling from their bike, the natural reaction of the rider will be to attempt to break their fall. Due to the speed at which they are falling / hitting the ground their arms experience a large impact force, which can cause injury to the collarbone.
Most heal with just a sling within 4-8 weeks, in more complex cases surgery may be required. Unfortunately the only real way to avoid this type of injury is to not fall off the bike (which I am sure is never anyone’s intention) and avoid collisions on corners (often easier said than done).
2. Dislocated Shoulder – the shoulder is a complex structure. If a rider manages to avoid breaking their collarbone during a bad fall, dislocation of the shoulder is quite likely. Recovery times will largely be dependent on the severity of the dislocation. Rehabilitation exercises can only begin when the rider is no longer experiencing any pain, the time frame for this can range from 2 weeks to 3-4 months. How to avoid it? Unfortunately as with most motocross injuries unless you can avoid falling off there is not much you can do to avoid injury. For anyone who has previously dislocated a shoulder taping, or wearing a shoulder support would be highly recommended.
3. Broken Wrist – there is a common theme with these injuries and putting your arms out to save yourself in the event of a fall. The wrist has a complex structure, and any injury, even minor ones are very painful. Breaks can be quite complex if the bone breaks into several pieces. A bad sprain or break could mean substantial period of rest to heal. Surgery may be required to realign the bones, with or without surgery the injured arm will be placed in a cast for between 6 and 8 weeks. Typically once the cast is removed, physiotherapy will be required to regain mobility and range of movement in the joint. Splinting the wrist can prevent this kind of injury.
4. Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament – the ACL is responsible for connecting the thigh and shinbone. In motocross, landing a jump awkwardly may cause damage to this ligament. Walking the course before you ride it and creating a race in your head will help, as you will have mentally prepared for what the course entails and how best to avoid falling. To prevent knee injury in the event of a fall, wearing a brace can offer additional support, the Donjoy Armor is particularly popular for motocross.
5. Ankles – just like shoulders and wrists, ankles are complex joints, and as such are prone to injury during falls. Falling awkwardly from the bike, or even colliding with another rider can result in a break or a fracture. A broken ankle may need re-aligning, or surgery in order to heal effectively. The ankle will then be placed in a cast for between 6 and 12 weeks, followed by regular physiotherapy to regain strength and movement. Wearing the correct protective clothing is always advised to support ankles. Reinforcing delicate ankles with a brace can give additional protection.