For those who don’t mind the cold, winter sports can be thrilling fun. The wind on your face, the ice beneath your skates, scoring the winning goal, or the joy of sledding with your children make the icy months a bit warmer. But like all sports, many of these fun winter activities can lead to injuries if you’re not careful.
Common Winter Sports Injuries
A common pastime for many in the winter, ice skating can be a lot of fun. It’s a family-friendly activity that can be enjoyed by the young as well as the old, but it is not free from danger. The most common injuries reported are ankle sprains and fractures, as well as hand and wrist injuries, most often from falling. Head injuries including concussions and lacerations from contact with sharp skate blades are also commonly seen.
For those who live near the mountains, skiing can be a way of life in the winter. For others, it’s a fun winter-time vacation activity worth planning a whole trip around. No matter your level of enthusiasm, accidents on the slopes can happen. And they can often lead to injuries. In fact, skiing is the only sport on this list to have an injury actually named for it: Skier’s thumb is a type of ligament tear that often occurs when the thumb bends backward during a fall and is sadly very common. Sprains and fractures are common. In a bad fall, cranial injuries and dislocated shoulders can also be a problem. Sadly, spinal injuries while skiing have also been reported, though these are far more rare.
Snowboarding is similar to skiing, but studies have found significant differences. Snowboarders are more likely to suffer wrist and ankle injuries, and less likely to hurt their knees and thumbs. Beginner snowboarders are most likely to injure their wrists, while intermediate level boarders more commonly hurt their ankles and experts need to be careful of injury to their shoulders and clavicle (likely because of the more advanced maneuvers they are more likely to attempt).
Motorsports are fun any time of the year, and if you are one of the 2 million North Americans who enjoy snowmobiling, you may be surprised to know that this sport is to blame for around 14,000 injuries each year. Any sort of injury can happen, particularly when a crash pins participants beneath the vehicle, which typically weighs in excess of 600 lbs. Common causes for snowmobile accidents include excessive speed, inattentive operation, and alcohol consumption. When driving a snowmobile, remember to use the same level of caution as you would with a car or other heavy vehicle.
Winter Team Sports
When we think of winter team sports, ice hockey may be the first to cross your mind. But in some areas, broomball, curling, and even snow rugby can be popular ways to enjoy the cold weather with friends. Since hockey, broomball, and rugby tend to be played as full contact sports, concussions and sprains are all too common for players. For curling enthusiasts, be on the lookout for lower back strain, as well as pain in the outside elbow or knees.
Medical Treatment on the Go
In years past, you may have made your way to the emergency room for winter sports injuries, but fortunately, there is a better option. Rather than sitting in a waiting room, surrounded by people suffering from contagious diseases like the flu, have treatment come to you with DispatchHealth. Download the DispatchHealth app today on your iPhone or Android device and you’ll be ready when injury strikes. With a few taps on your phone or a quick call, they’ll have emergency care providers headed your way in no time. They can handle nearly anything your local ER can, but since they’re mobile, they’ll meet you wherever is most convenient — at the ice rink or back at home. They’ll bring all the equipment and expertise needed to treat sprains, strains, lacerations, and other injuries. Best of all, they accept most insurance. On average, most patients pay anywhere from $5 - $50 after insurance. So the next time you need medical treatment for a winter sports injury, skip the waiting room and call in the experts from DispatchHealth!