The snow season is in full swing in Utah! Despite low snow numbers, several ski resorts are up and running and the winter olympics are officially underway! If you are inspired to try out some fun winter sports because of the olympics, we want to remind you to implement the right safety precautions to prevent serious winter sports injuries. Approximately 3.8 million people suffer winter sports injuries yearly. Some of the common sports causing injuries include:
- ice skating
Injuries can often be prevented with the right safety tips. Adding a helmet to your winter sport activity can help to prevent concussions, which are one of the largest injuries related to sports injuries. In fact, concussions are the leading cause of death and disability among skiiers and snowboarders.
A shoulder injury commonly occurs when you hit a hard surface. Shoulder injuries are common because the shoulder joint is more mobile from other joints, making it easy to slip out of place. When a shoulder becomes dislocated, it can lead to injuries of the nearby ligaments and muscles. Skiers and snowboarders commonly experience shoulder injuries, and can deal with lasting pain if not treated effectively.
Knees absorb the majority of shock to the body when performing winter sports. There are so many different ways to get hurt as the knees work hard during the course of sports. Stains and pain occur from overuse and years of use. Falling or bending of the knee can increase the risk of torn ligaments, torn meniscus, knee dislocation, and a fractured kneecap.
Ankle sprains and fractures impact more then 25,000 Americans daily. Snowboarders often see a fracture of the Talus bone, which is the heel bone on the outside of the ankle. While mild sprains and strains can be treated with ice packs, inflammation and swelling can often lead to serious long-term issues. Dry needling is one of several effective treatments used to increase range of motion, decrease pain, and improve mobility.
How to Prevent Winter Injuries
Injuries are common with winter sports, but they can be prevented with the right preparation and planing. There are several sports injury prevention tips to follow if you want to stay on the slopes:
- Wear a helmet
- Do not go alone
- Stretch prior to participating in sports
- Use the right form when performing winter sports
- Scout the terrain prior to skiing or snowboarding
- Understand your limits
If you have been injured due to participating in winter sports, call Layton Physical Therapy and sports medicine to discuss treatments and schedule a consultation.