Winter Sports Injuries

Thousands of patients are treated for winter sports injuries each year. Sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, ice skating, sledding, and snowmobiling cause common injuries of concussions, fractures, wrist sprains, broken legs, and damaged ACLs/MCLs.

 

PREVENTING INJURIES

 

The risk of injuries can be reduced if participants properly prepare for their winter sport by taking the following precautions:

  • Keep in good physical shape throughout the year, not only during the winter
  • Supervise young children who are still learning the sport
  • Discover the current conditions of the snow, ice, or wind, and pay attention to any expected changes, such as upcoming storms
  • Dress appropriately for the sport and weather – typically, layering water-resistant and sweat-resistant clothing is ideal to accommodate your body’s changing temperature
  • Wear appropriate gear, including helmets, goggles, wrist guards, and padding, and ensure that it is all in working order
  • For sledding, use a sled with a steering mechanism
  • Protect any exposed skin from the sun and wind with sunscreen, even on cloudy days
  • Do not participate in the sport alone, and learn the symptoms of concussion in order to help others who may be injured during participation in the sport
  • Be aware of and follow all the rules of the sport
  • Take lessons from a qualified instructor in the sport if you are unsure how to participate safely
  • Ensure that you know how to fall properly without injury
  • Ensure that you are well-rested and alert before beginning the sport
  • Stay hydrated before, during, and after participating in the sport, and avoid alcohol consumption
  • Stretch and warm up your muscles prior to participating in the sport
  • Check your equipment before beginning the sport – for skiing and snowboarding, mechanics in the lodge can check that bindings are in working order
  • When beginning sports such as skiing and snowboarding, start with an easier slope before the more difficult ones
  • Pay attention to your surroundings, the terrain, and other participants
  • Remain on open and marked trails
  • While participating, ensure that you remain in control and do not excessively speed
  • If you feel that you are unable to proceed on a slope, take off your equipment and side-step down the slope
  • Stop participating immediately if you are in pain, exhausted, or excessively cold

 

If you are injured during any winter sport, please stop in to Anderson Medical Center for an office visit. No appointment is necessary! 

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