Lots of people are thrilled when winter arrives, and they can finally enjoy skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice skating, ice hockey, and all the other cold weather sports. It’s fun until there is an accident. The most common injuries range from fractures, breaks, sprains, strains, and dislocations. Let’s learn more about the most common winter sports injuries and how to prevent them.
Some Current Statistics
101,000 people suffered from winter sports injuries in 2019 and over one million in the past decade from 2010 to 2019.
Skiing and snowboarding combined for 534,000 or 52% of the total injuries in the last decade.
Ice skating injuries have risen 130% in the past decade to 144,000.
Most injuries are to the head with 234,000 followed by shoulder injuries with 155,000.
10 to 29 year olds accounted for 64% of total injuries.
Ice hockey injuries rose 200% during the last decade.
Preventing Winter Sports Injuries
In order to lower these stats, winter sports enthusiasts should follow the following precautions:
- Inclement weather conditions increase the possibility of an injury, so keep an eye out for the weather. It can change quite quickly in the winter.
- Never perform winter sports by yourself for the same reason. Always have at least one partner, and stay close enough to be able to give aid if needed.
- Always warm up before starting a winter sport. Perform these exercises longer than you normally would and concentrate on the muscles you will be using.
- Wear several layers of light weight and water resistant clothing to keep you warm and dry.
- Be certain you have the appropriate gear. This includes helmets, goggles, gloves, and shoes with ankle support. Be sure your gear fits properly and is in good condition.
- When you feel tired, it is time to stop for the day. Many injuries occur at the end of the day when you and your muscles are tired.
- Drink plenty of water.
- It doesn’t hurt to take a lesson or two from a professional instructor, especially if the sport is new to you or if it’s been a while and your form has suffered.
- Know how to and where to get medical attention if you or a partner becomes injured.
- Take breaks when participating in winter sports to prevent overexertion.
If you do sustain a winter sports injury, contact OrthoNY for an evaluation and treatment at one of our locations throughout the Capital Region. Call (518) 489-2663, or request an appointment online, to schedule an appointment.