Sports Medicine Bay Area Doctor Describes Prevalent Winter Activity Injuries
Popular winter sports, such as hockey, skiing, and snowboarding, help people stay active and healthy during a time of year when it can be difficult to get outside. However, like all sports, they can also be dangerous. Here are the three most common winter injuries sports medicine professionals see and tips for how to avoid them:
- Knee and ankle injuries. Tearing a ligament, fracturing a bone, and twisting your knee or ankle can hobble winter sports enthusiasts who routinely put pressure on their legs. A lapse in coordination can create a painful injury that requires arthroscopic surgery or other orthopedic services from a knee injury specialist. Using supportive foot gear can help prevent such injuries, as can effective practice and proper nutrition, hydration, and strength training.
- Hand and wrist injuries. Most winter sports require dexterity in the hands and wrists and an ability to move quickly on ice and snow. Having good balance and preventing even simple slips or falls can help you avoid fractured wrists or bruised arms. If you fall frequently, identify your bad habits and patterns, and work with a coach to retrain them.
- Neck and spine injuries. Falls from extreme heights or collisions at high speeds often result in neck and spine injuries, which can be very dangerous and sometimes fatal. Learn to fall correctly while protecting your neck and spine to avoid serious injury, and never play a sport while intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics or medications.