Winter Sports – Injury Prevention by Kailyn Stavenhagen
Whether you enjoy skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or one of the other many recreational winter sports, sustaining an injury while playing quickly kills all the fun. Like with any sport, professional or recreational, prevention and preparation is vital to reduce the risk of an injury occurring. Winter sports rely on ice, snow, and hills to determine the speed of activity. The unpredictable increased speed of these conditions is what contributes to the cause of many winter sport injuries.
Last year almost a quarter of a million people were treated for injuries related to playing winter sports. That’s the number of individuals that were seen at either an ER, urgent care facility, an orthopedic surgeon’s office, or at a primary care provider’s office, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The most common injuries include sprains and strains, broken bones (fractures), and dislocations.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of sustaining an injury while participating in recreational sports this winter. Here are some tips to aide your injury prevention this season:
Take frequent breaks to hydrate, refuel and recover. Muscle fatigue after several hours of activity can increase the risk of injury. In fact, the majority of injuries occur at the end of day.
Warm up thoroughly before. Cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are extra vulnerable to injury.
Wear several layers, the first layer should keep moisture away from the skin, such as thermal underwear. The top layer should be wind and water proof. Layering allows you to accommodate your body’s constantly changing temperature as well.
Makes sure your gear and equipment are fitted correctly. Using gear that isn’t fitted properly may hinder your ability to effectively respond in time to avoid injury.
Keep in mind these are just a FEW tips to help you decrease the risk of suffering from a winter sports-related injury. When in doubt, seek the guidance of a professional instructor to ensure that you have the proper technique and protective gear to participate. Also, remember to stay mindful of local weather conditions and warnings, as these are contributing factors to the possibility of an injury happening.
Go ahead, get out and get moving this snowy season, enjoy yourself and have fun, but most importantly, stay safe!
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.