Mountain biking is a popular recreational and competitive sport, appealing to a wide age group . Christchurch has an excellent array of tracks for all age groups and abilities including the flat and fast tracks of Bottle Lake forest and McLean’s Island, to the single track network and downhill runs in the Port Hills. In late 2016, a purpose built adventure park opened in the Port Hills and has proven to be very popular.
As the sport gains popularity, an increasing number of mountain bikers are sustaining injuries to their hands, wrists and forearms and presenting to hand therapy clinics for rehabilitation following their injury. In data collected by ACC, there were 1,299 new mountain bike injury claims lodged in Canterbury alone, in 2016. The number of new claims has risen, on average, by 10% each year for the past three years. It is anticipated that this will continue to increase over the coming years. In accidents involving a mountain bike the hand and wrist are often injured, either in an attempt to break the fall by stretching out the hand, or in an attempt to protect the face or head.
Correct diagnosis of injury (e.g. is it a finger sprain or is it a fracture?) and commencing appropriate treatment can greatly speed the rehab process. At the Merivale Hand Clinic our staff specialise in the assessment and treatment of upper limb injuries. Our therapists are able to lodge a new ACC claim, refer for x-ray imaging, provide splints and compressive supports as well as provide graduated exercise programmes to restore full function. In addition to this, local surgeons run clinics in conjunction with the Merivale Hand Clinic allowing stream lined referral for those who require a surgical opinion.
We hope that you have fun on the mountain bike trails, but should you injure yourself we are here if you need us!
The Team @ the Merivale Hand Clinic.