Are you looking forward to some quality time on the slopes? Don’t let an injury bring your fun to a painful end. Nothing brings fun and excitement to your winter vacation more than engaging in winter sports. Increasingly, people are making skiing and snowboarding their choice of wintertime activities. Unfortunately, as these cold weather activities grow more popular, the injuries associated with them are also growing in number. If you plan to join the thousands of enthusiasts engaging in snowboarding or skiing this winter, make sure you’re prepared to participate in the safest way possible.

What Causes Winter Sports Injuries?

Fractures of the leg and arms are well-known ski injuries. Most of us know at least one person who has broken their leg during a skiing accident. Although the possibility of breaking a leg from a wipeout is still a possibility, you are even more likely to get injured while snowboarding. That may be due to the surging popularity snowboarding has seen over the past decade and the number of people trying it for the first time. You can never eliminate your risk of getting injured completely, but you can take steps to reduce your risk of turning your winter vacation into a trip to the emergency room.

A little bit of prevention can help reduce your risk of getting injured without ruining your fun. Start by making sure you have the right equipment, that it fits correctly, and you know how to use it. Always wear a helmet to protect your head even if you plan to start out slow.

Use caution when the snow conditions change. If the weather conditions aren’t optimal, don’t take any unnecessary chances. More severe weather conditions make it even more challenging to get down the slope. Using poor judgment can result in a serious injury that lasts long after your trip ends.

Prepare Physically In The Months Before Your Vacation

Skiing and snowboarding are both sports that require some level of athleticism. Get your muscles conditioned well in advance of your vacation. Take breaks and get plenty of rest. Many accidents happen due to fatigue from staying on the slopes too long without a break. Getting tired can result in carelessness and poor judgment.

Warm up and cool down, just as you would before and after any type of sports activity. Stay hydrated, even though the temperatures are low. The combination of all that activity and wearing thermal clothing will cause you to perspire and lose water.

Listen to your body and treat your activities like the serious sports they are. Just being in a different area, especially if it has a higher altitude than you are used to, can make it difficult for you to adjust. If you feel tired or over-challenged, walk away and save the rest of the fun for another day.

What Kinds of Injuries Are Common With Snowboarding And Skiing?

Although these sports are similar, they produce different types of injuries. Skiing injuries often occur to the lower extremity, especially the knees. Although skiers wear bindings to protect the knee joints, the rotational motion they make often results in trauma.

Snowboarding injuries are more likely to occur to the upper extremity. These injuries occur when the snowboarder falls on their hands, allowing the upper body to absorb the force of the impact.

Your injuries from either sport might include strains, sprains, or fractures to any area of your body. If you have a minor injury, treatment might include the use of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, using a brace, and rest. More severe injuries, such as fractures, head injuries, or spinal injuries, might require extensive treatment including surgery. Taking the appropriate precautions can help you avoid a winter vacation injury that takes months of recovery.

If you have an injury to your hip, knee, shoulder, foot, ankle, or elbow, contact Capital Ortho to schedule an appointment right away. Our leading orthopaedic specialists use the latest advances in treatment and technology.  Get an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment whether it’s rest and pain treatment, or surgical intervention.