Tips from our friends at 20 Mile Urgent Care and Family Medicine
It is that time of year!! Are you daydreaming of a long vertical descent at your favorite ski resort? Well, you are not alone. Skis and snowboards are prepared for a season of groomed trails, dense powder, boundless terrain, and steep acres of pure blizzard.
During this winter season, be knowledgeable and informed about injuries and illnesses related to snow sports that may hinder your opportunity to traverse the slopes.
Skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding sports that apply tremendous tension and pressure on muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons throughout the body. It is critical to know the health essentials for snow sports. Vigorous activities, such as snowboarding and skiing, require a well-conditioned body. This entails aerobic exercising, strength training, and improving flexibility. A great season without injury can be accomplished by incorporating 30-60 minute workouts three to six times a week that involve a form of aerobic exercise (e.g. running, walking, swimming, cycling, and stair-climbing), strength/anaerobic training (e.g. weight lifting and sprints), and activities for flexibility (stretching, yoga, and pilates). Prevention is mastered during the off season.
Risk is associated with all physical sports. It is important to understand that injury/illness can strike the most athletic competitor. For skiers and snowboarders, the most common injuries/illnesses are related to the intensity of the sport, environment, mechanics of the activity, athletic conditioning, and a participant’s response to a problem. A majority of snowboarding injuries tend to involve the upper extremities. The biomechanics of snowboarding involve a balance between stability and gravity. An imbalance can lead to a fractured wrist, rotator cuff tear, and/or shoulder dislocation. As for skiers, the agility and motion required of the sport renders the lower extremities more susceptible to injury. In fact, many injuries involve the knee, such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and meniscus damage.
Some common injuries/illnesses observed in both activities include: concussion, neck strain, shoulder separation, fractured clavicle, muscular strains, ligamentous sprains, lower back pain due to herniated disc, frost bite and hypothermia. To protect your body from injury, use the following guidelines:
1. Dress appropriately for winter sports
2. Wear wrist guards, a helmet, knee brace/compression and other protective gear
3. Hydrate frequently; do not skip meals
4. Always be aware of yourself and your surroundings
5. Always know and abide by resort rules and regulations
6. In the instance of a problem or injury, do not hesitate to seek help; treatment begins with RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation)
A wonderful season is approaching. In the unfortunate chance of injury or illness, please do not hesitate to visit 20 Mile Urgent Care & Family Medicine. The office accepts walk-ins and appointments for all your health needs. Contact them at 720-974-7210 or www.20mileurgentcare.com. Located on the corner of 20 Mile Road and Parker Road.