The winter season brings many things: colder temperatures, shorter days, and the potential for winter injuries. These injuries can occur when people are playing winter sports, walking on icy sidewalks, or even simply shoveling snow. In this post, we will discuss some of the most common winter injuries and how to prevent them. We will also provide treatment options for those who do get injured. Stay safe this winter by following our tips!
The most common winter injuries include dislocations, strains, fractures, and sprains. When people are engaging in winter sports such as skiing or snowboarding, they may experience a strain. Strains are caused by overstretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon. The best prevention for this type of injury is to warm up before engaging in winter activities, wear equipment that fits properly, and to take breaks when needed.
Fractures are another common winter injury. Fractures occur when there is a break in the bone due to a fall or other trauma. In order to prevent fractures, it is important to be aware of one’s surroundings and watch for ice patches on the ground. Wearing protective gear can also help reduce the risk of fractures.
Seniors are at a higher risk for winter injuries due to the changes in their center of pressure and balance, limited or reduced mobility and flexibility. These changes make activities such as walking down a snow or ice covered sidewalk or shoveling snow potentially dangerous. To reduce this risk, seniors should wear proper footwear with good ankle support and traction when walking on icy surfaces and take frequent breaks when shoveling snow.
Children and athletes are also more vulnerable to winter injuries due to their increased physical activity in winter sports or and other outdoor activities. For kids and athletes, winter injuries can generally be avoided by wearing appropriate protective gear, following applicable safety rules, and being aware of one’s surroundings.
Winter injuries are not uncommon, but can be prevented by taking certain precautions such as properly warming up before winter activities. If prevention fails, there are treatments available for winter injuries.
For strains and sprains, the MICE treatment (movement, ice, compression, elevation) is usually recommended. For fractures, a cast or splint may be used to protect and stabilize the broken bone and promote proper healing. If there is severe pain or numbness, an X-ray may be necessary.
If your feet, knees, or ankles are particularly vulnerable due to age, previous or existing injury, there are products such as knee and ankle braces that can reinforce and stabilize these areas and help prevent further injury. We can recommend a good quality brace, or fit you for a brace that is most appropriate for your injury and needs.
By following the tips outlined in this article – wearing appropriate gear, watching your surroundings, and taking necessary precautions – winter can be a safe and enjoyable season for everyone.