Common Winter Injuries and How to Avoid Them

December 17, 2021 6:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Millions of Americans are looking forward to skiing, snowboarding, sledding, skating, playing ice hockey and participating in a variety of other outdoor activities this winter. While all of these winter games are fun, they can lead to some nasty injuries.

Keep reading to learn a few of the most common ones and to get some tips for injury prevention:

  • Dislocated shoulder: Shoulders are more mobile than other joints, which also means they’re less stable. Landing on your shoulder after falling on a patch of ice can easily dislocate it and lead to an enormous amount of pain. See a doctor if you feel like you’ve dislocated your shoulder because waiting too long for treatment can result in a totally immobile shoulder.
  • Dislocated or broken elbow: Overuse of our elbows while participating in winter sports can lead to soreness the next day, but if you land wrong after taking a nasty spill, you can dislocate or break your elbow. Call it quits for the day, and go see a doctor if extending or bending your arm is painful.
  • Skier’s thumb: A torn thumb ligament is known as skier’s thumb and is the second-most common injury suffered by skiers. This injury usually happens when a skier falls and bends their hand backward to grip their pole. In some cases, skiers can break their wrist, too.
  • Knee injuries: Our knees absorb a tremendous amount of shock and go through a ton of strain while skiing and skating, which increases the chance of injury. Torn ligaments, fractured kneecaps and dislocated knees are just a few of these common winter injuries.
  • Ankle sprains and fractures: Trips, falls or walking on uneven surfaces can cause painful ankle injuries. Additionally, fractured ankle bones are so common among snowboarders that it’s known as snowboarder’s ankle. Mild sprains can be treated with an ice pack, while a fractured bone will need to be in a cast for a few weeks.

Injury prevention tips

The good news is that preventing these injuries is relatively easy if you keep these things in mind before and during your winter activities:

  • Inspect your gear: The first thing you’ll want to do before heading out to participate in a winter activity is check your equipment for any signs of damage. Any structural damage can lead to serious injuries.
  • Stretch and warm up: Muscles get tight as temperatures drop, which increases the risk of injury. Do some stretches, and warm-up exercises before you head out to prep your muscles for upcoming strain.
  • Take breaks: There’s no reason to push yourself harder than you have to. The more tired you get, the higher the chance of accidents. Take breaks every now and then to cool off and rest up.

We can help with your recovery

If you’re suffering from any winter injuries, schedule a physical therapy appointment at Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy. Our treatment options alleviate pain from a variety of injuries and help get you back on track.

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