Most people think that car racing drivers are merely sitting inside their cars when trying to reach that checkered flag, not taking into account that it’s actually one of the world’s most extreme and taxing sports. If you dream to become a racing car driver or are already one, remember that you’ll expose yourself to injuries, especially with the adrenalin rush and the physical nature. To help you out, here are the common injuries you can sustain when racing cars – as it’s vital to get informed and know what these risks are as you pursue your career in the thrilling world of car racing.
Tendonitis happens when the connective tissues from between the bones and muscles get inflamed often due to repetitive actions. It commonly affects car racing drivers, given that they grip and handle the steering wheel with extreme force. Thus, placing recurring strain in the tendons located in the hands, elbows, neck, and shoulders. Tendons on the knees, feet, and ankles are vulnerable as well with the force they exert on the brake and gas pedals. Tendonitis can be extremely painful and causes stiffness. Drivers usually recover by resting the affected area and avoiding any activity for a few weeks.
Apart from tendonitis, drivers are also prone to plantar fasciitis. It occurs when the thick tissue band stretching from the calf to the foot gets swollen due again to the repetitive force applied in similar motion, such as when pushing down the brake and gas pedals. Wearing shoes with good support during the whole stretch of the race is a great way to avoid such injury.
Lower Back Pain
Another common injury that affects racing car drivers is lower back and sacroiliac joint pain. Sitting in the racing seat for a few hours, the immense G-forces and the strenuous driving are surefire recipes for lower back strain. Small tears in the ligaments and muscles cause pain, usually starting from hips to quads. As such, it’s important to do proper stretching and stay loose in and out of the race track to prevent such injuries.
Other Chronic Pains and Conditions
Drivers usually suffer from other chronic pains. Neck pain is pretty common, given that the head is jolted constantly throughout the race. Thus, causing the neck muscles to work double-time just to keep it stable. Knee pains when bending or flexing, pains in the collarbone, scapula, humerus, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and muscular weakness and tightness also often cause problems to drivers.
Fractures, Concussions, and Traumas
Crashes, whether large or small, are part of the racing. While safety protocols are being employed to attenuate the crashing forces, occasional crashes can still happen. A driver may still suffer from injuries, such as concussions, broken necks, broken backs, fractures, head injuries, and traumas in other parts of the body, should one get involved in an unfortunate crash.
As the sport and competition continue to grow, sports enthusiasts and organizations are also striving hard to ensure the minimization of injuries and accidents on the race track. Yet, part of the driver’s job is to follow the safety measures and maintain a high level of physical and mental conditioning to reach the finish line healthily and safely.