Summer and fall are the typical seasons for sports, but that doesn’t mean athletes aren’t at risk for injury throughout the winter. In fact, there are a surprising number of common winter injuries we see at our office due to the unique challenges of popular winter sports.
Winter sports can be just as stressful on your body as summer sports, if not more, so you should make sure you’re taking care of your body, watching for warning signs and taking rests as needed. If you do end up injured, make sure to visit a sports medicine-trained orthopedic surgeon in Las Vegas, NV to receive treatment and get back at it.
Most common winter sports injuries
Some injuries are more common in winter than others. If you’re working hard at your sport, watch out for these typical winter sports problems:
- Dislocated shoulder: The shoulder is a relatively unstable joint that is easily popped out of place with enough force. In winter, athletes who participate in sports like ice skating, skiing and hockey are at risk of dislocating their shoulders, as well as pulling or spraining the ligaments and muscles around the shoulder.
- Ankle sprains: Awkward twists, falls and movements on ice and snow can lead to quick ankle sprains and other pains. While swelling may occur immediately and can be treated by ice, more severe pain and immobility should be examined by an orthopedic surgeon in Las Vegas, NV.
- Painful elbow: While “tennis elbow” isn’t much of a concern in winter, elbows can still become injured through collisions with hard surfaces like ice, as well as overuse from motions in skiing or training methods. If your elbow is stiff, swollen or painful, you may have fractured or dislocated it.
- Knee injuries: Knee injuries are some of the most common sports injuries year-round, and winter is no exception. Arthritis, torn ligaments, dislocations and many more problems can occur as a result of a bad fall or twist or mere overuse of the knees.
How to prevent winter sports injuries
Preventing winter sports injuries is simple if you’re being responsible:
- Stretch, then stretch some more: Active warmups, stretching and mobility exercises are a necessary part of any sport, but particularly those that are conducted on slippery surfaces like ice. If you trip and pull something without your muscles being warm and stretched, you’re far more likely to be injured than if you take the time to activate your body.
- Use the right gear: Protective gear is a must-have, especially when skiing and snowboarding. Protect your ankles with supportive boots or skates, your head with a solid helmet and the rest of your body with padding and compression gear.
- Listen to your body: One of the most common causes of injuries is athletes pushing their bodies too far when they are already fatigued and sore. If you’re feeling beat, don’t go for another run down the slope or make a few more laps on your skates. Give your body time to rest, heal and recuperate before getting back into the activity.
If you’re a winter athlete and suffer from a sports-related injury, contact the office of Bernard Ong, M.D., a premier orthopedic surgeon in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Ong specializes in sports medicine and can provide orthopedic surgery, arthroscopy, meniscus surgery, ACL surgery, knee replacement and more. Call today to make an appointment.
Categorized in: Orthopedic Surgeon
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