Skydiving on Vancouver Island for my 30th

Libby tells us about how to wait patiently for skydiving, by doing an internet search for everything that can go wrong…

I turned 30 this week and to celebrate had planned to throw myself out of a plane at 10000 feet. Sadly on Saturday morning it was too overcast and my skydiving celebration was delayed. I had banked on the adrenaline rush.

So instead I thought I’d prep my self and explore a little about what skydiving might actually do to my body.

After some reading (and ignoring the more serious recorded events) I discovered that neck pain can be pretty common in skydivers. When your body is subjected to deceleration g-force of up to 3.5 as the parachute opens, that’s maybe not such a big surprise. Although neck pain was common the number one issue appeared to be in the landing… or the lack of/miscalculated landing.1

In one study feet and ankles received 58 out of the 311 recorded injuries including fractures, strains, sprains and contusions…and the calf area alone sustained 50 out of the 311.2 3

This is roughly where I stopped digging too much into the injuries and tried to find the benefits. At this point I was quickly searching and Dr Google kindly informed me of stress relief, challenging yourself and creating confidence. And let’s face it, this will probably be the only time in my life I’ll ever fly (or purposefully fall).

I have to admit that even after reading all the potential risks I’m still really excited about this dive – whenever it will be (come on Victoria sunshine). If all else fails I’ll have the Arbutus team to patch me back together again – thanks in advance, team!

  1. Musculoskeletal pain and related risks in skydivers: a population-based survey. Nilsson J 1 , Fridén C, Burén V, Westman A, Lindholm P, Ang BO. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2013 Oct;84(10):1034-40.
  2. The epidemiology of skydiving injuries: World freefall convention, 2000–2001 Thomas H. Barrows, MD * ,  Trevor J. Mills, MD, MPH †,  , Scott D. Kassing, MD ‡ The Journal of Emergency Medicine Volume 28, Issue 1, January 2005, Pages 63–68
  3. http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicine/sportsmed/cusm_events/2014-Extreme- Sports-MedicineCongress/Documents/Presentations/Injuries%20in%20Skydiving.pdf

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Posted by Libby Meakin

Libby graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. She has a hands on approach to treatment and believes in getting to the root of every problem to help avoid future injuries.

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