The Weather Outside is Frightful and so are Winter Sports Injuries!

Winter Sports Insurance Isn’t an Option- It’s a NecessityIt’s another North Florida winter.  Our beautiful climate as well as a great selection of indoor facilities allows us to participate in almost any sport, any time of the year.  But wintertime brings with it the need for speed, the quest for some snow, and a general desire to be “cool” in more ways than one.  The risk of injury is heightened as the temperature lowers.  Winter sports injuries are either cumulative due to overuse or acute due to trauma.  Cumulative injuries develop over time as a result of stress on muscles, joints, and soft tissues.  Acute injuries are the result of impact or sudden force.

The last time it snowed in North Florida enough to get out and play in it was during The Great Blizzard of ’89.  But that doesn’t stop the thousands of residents who pack up and take off for the North Carolina or Colorado slopes.  And since most of them are amateurs or recreational sports enthusiasts, they are subject to a number of injuries.  Let’s take a look at skiing/snowboarding and sledding/tobogganing…

  • Skiing and Snowboarding
    Dangerous terrain, lift accidents, falls, collisions, and personal factors cause traumatic skiing/snowboarding injuries.  Some possible skiing/snowboarding injuries include anterior cruciate or collateral(ACL) ligament injuries;   shoulder dislocations or fractures; shoulder separations; lower extremity fractures; spinal injuries; closed head injuries; and wrist, hand, or thumb injuries.

    Prevention is the key to reducing or eliminating skiing/snowboarding injuries.  Through instruction before getting on the slopes, beginners learn safe skiing/snowboarding techniques, the importance of good warm-ups and cool-downs, and the importance of properly fitted equipment.  Instructors are able to determine the correct ability levels of the skiers/snowboarders and will match them to the correct terrain.

  • Sledding and Tobogganing
    Most injuries while sledding occur as a result of hitting fixed objects or colliding with other sledders.  Some possible sledding/tobogganing injuries include sprains, strains, cuts, and fractures.  The most dangerous injuries occur to the head and neck.

    Sledding/Tobogganing injuries can be reduced or eliminated by following a few guidelines.  The sledding/tobogganing area should be free of obstructions.  The path should not cross water, streets, or drop-offs.  Since headfirst sledding/tobogganing is extremely dangerous, riders should always face forward.  Children should always wear helmets and have adult supervision.

For skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and tobogganing, common sense precautions of dressing appropriately, using protective gear and equipment that is in good working order, staying hydrated, being aware of changes in weather and other conditions, and adhering to rules, signs, and warnings are vital not only for you but for the safety of others.  Participants in these sports need to be in good physical condition, stay alert, and stop when they are tired or in pain.

If you or a family member has suffered an injury while participating in a winter sport, please schedule an appointment at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Beaches.  One of our highly-skilled physicians will be happy to evaluate the injury and prescribe the best course of action to get you back in the game.  Contact us today at 904-241-1204 or online at www.joibeaches.com.

 

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