There’s no shortage of exciting sports and recreational activities to do during the winter season, from snowboarding to ice skating. You’ve probably already marked your calendar with your vacation schedule and prepared your gear in anticipation.
However, the very thing that makes winter sports so thrilling is also what increases the risks. For example, when you’re going down a ski slope at high speeds, it can be hard to change direction or to see an obstacle from far away – thereby increasing the likelihood of a bad fall or collision.
Let’s talk about some of the key ways in which you can enjoy participating in winter sports while keeping your bones, muscles, and joints protected and injury-free.
Invest in Protective Gear
It pays to use and wear personal protective gear and equipment in order to reduce your risk of sports injuries. The most common winter sports injuries include the following:
- Sprains (pulled or torn ligament)
- Strains (pulled or torn tendon or muscle)
In addition to the standard helmet, goggles, back protectors, and knee pads, consider investing in wrist guards, shoulder pads, and elbow pads. These will help to protect your hands, elbows, and arms from high-impact injury. Of course, these also help you to layer up against the cold!
Learn How to Fall Safely
Falling is inevitable when playing most types of winter sports, but there’s a way to fall safely. When you’re skiing and sense that a fall is imminent, let go of your ski pole immediately. Otherwise, your thumb can get caught, which can tear the ulnar collateral ligament in a painful injury known as skier’s thumb. Research estimates that 200,000 ulnar collateral ligament injuries occur in the United States every year.
Also, try to land on your bottom or to twist your body to the side as much as possible. Don’t try to stay upright or fight the fall, since this will put intense pressure on your knees. Instead, protect your head and stay bent when you feel yourself falling.
Don’t Forget to Warm Up and Cool Down
As with any sport, set aside at least 5 minutes for warm-up exercises to get your body in proper condition. Warming up and cooling down will reduce your risk of injury and will improve your overall fitness.
Bone and Joint Specialist in Greater Chesapeake, Maryland
If you would like to know how you can safely enjoy winter sports, visit the experts at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder. Backed by decades of medical experience, our orthopedic team can teach you how to protect your bones and joints while you’re out on the slopes. And we’re here for you if you ever suffer a sports injury of any kind.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our outstanding orthopedic doctors, call us today at (410) 296-6232 or fill out our appointment request form online now. Our main office is located in Lutherville, and we have medical offices conveniently located throughout Maryland. Come visit us and allow us to help you conquer the slopes safely this winter.