Winter Sports Injuries and Safety Tips

Although we don’t receive any snow here down in sunny South Florida, winter sports are still popular for many teens and adults during the winter months. The most common winter sports include skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and sledding. Do you travel to the mountains to partake in any of these sports? If you do, leave us a comment down below!

If you’ve ever tried or practiced any of these winter sports, you know that it can be brutal to your body. Bumps, bruises, and falls are very common for all participants, but especially for beginners. More serious injuries include fractures, concussions, sprains, and strains.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), more than 220,000 people were treated at hospitals, doctors’ offices, and emergency rooms for injuries related to winter sports in 2017 (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission). This figure includes:

  • 69,000 injuries from snow skiing
  • 54,000 injuries from snowboarding
  • 52,000 injuries from ice skating
  • 5,000 injuries from sledding and tobogganing

The AAOS recommends these safety tips to help prevent injury during your favorite winter activities:

  • Never participate alone in a winter sport.
  • Keep in shape and condition muscles before participating in winter activities.
  • Warm up thoroughly before playing or participating. Cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding.
  • Check that equipment is working properly prior to use.
  • Wear several layers of light, loose and water- and wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection. Layering allows you to accommodate your body’s constantly changing temperature. Wear proper footwear that provides warmth and dryness, as well as ample ankle support.
  • Know and abide by all rules of the sport in which you are participating.
  • Take a lesson (or several) from a qualified instructor, especially in sports like skiing and snowboarding. Learning how to fall correctly and safely can reduce the risk of injury.
  • Pay attention to warnings about upcoming storms and severe drops in temperature.
  • Seek shelter and medical attention immediately if you, or anyone with you, is experiencing hypothermia or frostbite. Make sure everyone is aware of proper procedures for getting help, if injuries occur.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activities.
  • Avoid participating in sports when you are in pain or exhausted.

If you’re feeling a little worse for wear after your winter vacation to the mountains, we can help! We feel that it is extremely important to address pain immediately if you’re not recovering.

Are you planning a winter vacation where you’ll be participating in these winter spots? Make an appointment for a physical therapy visit to learn how to strengthen and condition your muscles for the types of movements you’ll have to become familiar with.

Call Northwest Broward Orthopedic Associates at 954-979-3255 to make an appointment!

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