Winter is the perfect time to go on that ski trip that you’ve been dreaming about, tucked away in the mountains for a week, zipping fast down the slopes for hours on end.
As with any seasonal sport and activity, opportunities for injuries increase. While there are several common winter injuries that you need to be cautious about, it’s also helpful to be informed on what the best ways are to prevent getting hurt without having to give up the fun.
Did you know?
There are approximately 114,000 skiing injuries per year. That’s a lot. Snowboarding takes a close second, seeing around 79,000 emergency room visits a year. With these sports come fractures, concussions and sprains.
Ways to Prevent an Injury
When participating in a winter sport, it’s helpful to know what you’re doing. If you’re headed on a ski trip for the first time, it would be wise to attend ski school for the day, before you hit the slopes on your own. Whether you’re skating, snowboarding or skiing, it’s important to take it easy the first time you participate in an activity, as well as get to know the terrain.
Make sure that you’re wearing the proper gear/equipment. To avoid concussions and brain injuries, wear a helmet. This will also help to keep you warm when you’re in the freezing weather. Wear braces, pads and appropriate clothing as well. Wearing braces is a good idea if you’ve had joints that have been previously injured, as they can help to provide the extra support and stability that you need to avoid fractures and sprains.
When it comes to renting your equipment, it’s a good idea to inspect it well before using it. Not sure what you’re checking for? Take your equipment to an expert and have them look at it for you.
This doesn’t just apply to skiing. Running and walking outside during the winter and many other activities can be dangerous if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Wearing appropriate clothing to keep your body and muscles warm, stretching and being mindful of your surroundings (including ground conditions) are all keys to remaining injury-free.
Most importantly, always listen to your body. Injuries are likely to occur at the end of the day when you’re tired. Take breaks throughout the day, and take it easy.
This article was adapted from Rothman Institute. Read the full article here.
If you have any questions about winter injuries and ways to prevent them, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet or speak with a physician.