During the cold months of winter, the fun provided by snow can also carry some physical risks. As every orthopedic surgeon knows, joint injuries spike in times of heavy snowfall. So before you head outdoors to engage in any chores, games, or activities in the snow, it’s important to know about the injury risks that are common during this time of year.
Snow and Ice Injuries
In 2010, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission conducted a study that found winter sports responsible for 440,000 injuries. Snowboarding accounted for the most injuries (148,000), followed by snow skiing (144,000), sledding/tobogganing (91,000), and ice skating (58,500). The majority of these injuries involved dislocations, fractures, sprains, and strains—the types of injuries that generally require immediate attention from an orthopedic surgeon.
How to Prevent Snow-Sport Injuries
For starters, you should never engage in winter sports without the company of a friend or companion. You should also be physically warmed up and dressed in the necessary gear for the winter sport in question. Before you begin, inspect your equipment to ensure reliable performance throughout the course of your game. As the game nears its end, refrain from overexertion; a lot of the injuries that orthopedic doctors treat are those caused from excessive strain in the final run of a game.
Other Wintertime Injury Risks
When sidewalks, driveways, stairwells, and front door patios are paved with ice and snow, people are more vulnerable to slip-and-fall injuries. Wounds to the head are common during winter falls, as are wrist and hip fractures. Therefore, it’s wise to avoid the outdoors on icy days unless you really have to go out for something. When you do go out, wear footwear with rubber traction and take slower, shorter steps wherever you walk.
At Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine in Forest Hills, we offer orthopedic therapy for people with winter-related injuries from around the NYC area. To find out more about what we offer, or to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, call us at (718) 690-9520.
Are you a basketball player, swimmer, or baseball pitcher? Then you know firsthand how important shoulder health is to performing at the top of your game. In fact, shoulder health is of considerable importance in most sports, which is why taking care of your shoulders should be part of every practice and competition. To make sure that you avoid painful and incapacitating shoulder injuries , keep in mind these essential safety tips:
Your muscles and joints are more flexible and better able to withstand stress when they are properly warmed up. If you often begin your practice or game without gradually increasing the strain put upon shoulders, you may be increasing your risk of sustaining a shoulder injury. So before you try to perform at your highest intensity, warm up your shoulder joints. Exercises that gently stretch the muscles of the shoulder, as well as activities that increase blood flow to the area, can help to lessen the chance of a strain or sprain.
Heed Warning Signs
Many athletes live by a motto of playing through the pain. However, pain is an important warning sign from the body. When discomfort presents in the shoulder region, the body is alerting you that there is a problem. So instead of ignoring shoulder pain, seek help for it as soon as possible. An orthopedist can determine the nature of your discomfort and offer treatment for your ailment before it evolves into a bigger problem.
Allow Your Shoulder to Rest
Rigorous exercise can leave your shoulders weary and sore. Though the body can eventually recover from these side effects, trying to return to your activities before the body has a chance to properly rest can lead to substantial injuries. If you must continue to practice, try other forms of exercise that will not strain your shoulders . Only once the inflammation in your shoulders subsides should you return to your normal activities.
If you are suffering from chronic shoulder pain or stiffness, talk to the experts at Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine. Our team of orthopedic doctors can quickly and capably help you get back to total health as soon as possible. Call (718) 690-9520 to make an appointment with an orthopedist at our NYC office.