Diving injuries you should be on the look out for

Before diving, get trained by a professional

Before diving, get trained by a professional.

Photo credit: fotosearch

What you need to know:

  • Divers should always consult a doctor before diving if they have any medical conditions such as asthma, heart conditions, or diabetes.
  • Follow safety tips to avoid injury.
  • Proper training is necessary before going into the water at any time.


Injuries are common in diving and range from minor to severe. Scuba diving can be life-threatening, and it is important to be aware of the risks before participating.

Divers can be injured by equipment failure, contact with underwater objects, or animals. In addition, diving can strain the body, and divers may suffer from conditions such as decompression sickness, barotrauma, dehydration, and nitrogen narcosis.

While most injuries can be treated with rest and observation, some may require serious medical attention. Therefore, divers should always consult a doctor if they experience pain or discomfort after a dive.

Divers' Injuries

The high impact of water on the body during a dive can cause injuries. That collision can feel like a strong push. But depending on the depth, speed, and position of the diver when they hit the water, it can cause serious problems such as:

  • Bruising
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Fractured bones

Divers are likely to suffer from

Knee injuries

Divers may suffer from knee injuries due to the impact of hitting the water. The knees are particularly vulnerable to damage when diving. Knee injuries can range from mild to severe and may require rest, observation, or serious medical attention.

Shoulder injuries

The shoulder is another common site of injury in diving. These injuries, such as dislocation, are due to the impact of the water on the body during entry. The shoulder is also vulnerable to other injuries such as strains and sprains.

Neck injuries

Neck injuries are relatively rare in diving but can occur if the neck is extended at an awkward angle during the dive or if the diver hits their head on the water surface. Neck injury symptoms include pain, stiffness, and loss of movement.

Back injuries

Back injuries are also relatively rare in diving but can occur from overuse, impact, or poor body positioning during the dive. Back injuries can range from mild to severe and may require rest, observation, or medical attention. Symptoms of back injuries include pain, stiffness, and loss of movement.

Wrist or hand injuries

The posture used when diving, subjects wrists and hands to repetitive motion and bending. This results in injuries such as strains, sprains, and fractures. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition caused by repetitive wrist and hand motion.

Drowning

Drowning can occur when a diver panics and forgets to breathe or when they are unable to reach the surface due to equipment failure or entanglement. Drowning can also happen when a diver suffers from an uncontrolled descent or is knocked unconscious by a collision with an object or the seafloor.

To avoid drowning, divers should always use a dive buddy system and carefully monitor the air supply. They should also be aware of their surroundings.

Diving safety tips

  • Get trained by a professional
  • Use quality dive gear
  • Check the weather and water conditions before diving
  • Use a dive buddy system
  • Do not move too fast, especially when ascending
  • Do not hold your breath when ascending
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Do not drink alcohol before diving
  • Do not dive if you are feeling sick or have an injury
  • Ensure you do not panic while diving. This can lead to problems, including entanglement, loss of air, or even drowning.

First aid

If a diver has a bruise, apply ice to the area.

If a diver has a small cut, rinse the wound, and cover it with a sterile bandage.

If one was drowning, provide CPR and get emergency medical.

If a diver has a more severe injury, such as a broken bone, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

If a diver suffers from decompression sickness, they should seek medical attention immediately. Decompression sickness can be life-threatening and requires treatment in a recompression chamber.

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