Winter sports offer exhilarating experiences, but they come with unique risks that can increase the chance of a sports injury. It is important to take additional precautions when practicing any winter activity, whether snowboarding, skiing, or jogging in cold weather with snow and ice.
These prevention tips from the Orthopedic Associates of Long Island (OALI) can help you stay safe while having fun all winter.
ACL and MCL Tears
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) stabilizes the knee and is connected to the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). During winter activities, any sudden stop in motion can result in an ACL strain or tear.
Another common knee injury is an MCL tear or sprain. The MCL, or medial collateral ligament, runs along the inner side of your knee and provides stability to the joint while helping hold bones together.
To prevent ACL and MCL injuries, be mindful of your skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, or jogging technique. If you are a beginner, consider working with a qualified instructor who can teach you proper technique and help strengthen your muscles to prevent injury on the slopes.
Falling onto an outstretched arm or landing on your shoulder could result in a dislocated joint, rotator cuff injury, or a superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP) tear.
Other common winter shoulder injuries include bursitis, which is inflammation of the joint cushioning, and adhesive capsulitis, or a frozen shoulder. This stems from a minor injury that is not treated properly or performing sports without warming up the shoulders.
For this reason, warm-up exercises that thoroughly loosen and lubricate the shoulder joint are essential. You should also only perform activities that suit your skill level, and avoid running on paths that could contain icy patches.
Schedule an Appointment With Orthopedic Experts
Please contact the medical team at OALI if you experience any winter sports injuries. With eight convenient locations in New York and hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., we aim to make orthopedic care accessible and convenient.
You can reach us at 631-689-6698, or request an appointment online.