Winter Sports Injury Prevention
Many athletes spend all year waiting for winter to roll around, as this season signifies the start of their sports season. This season allows for an exciting mix of both indoor and outdoor sports, however, the potential for injury is always present in any activity. No one wants to see their entire season wiped away because they can’t be cleared to compete, which is why United Rehab Physical Therapy is here to help. Our main priority is to keep our athletes healthy, and can share tips on avoiding sports injuries this winter!
Stay In Shape Year-Round
To be able to compete at the highest levels, an athlete’s body always needs to be in peak condition. Trying to push your body to the limits when it simply is not ready to do so is when injuries can occur. This is why coming up with and sticking to an off-season training regimen is essential to avoiding injuries. It will also increase your overall athletic performance. A great way to stay in shape throughout the year is to participate in recreational sports during the off-season!
Monitor Your Water Intake
The drop in temperature that comes during the winter undoubtedly affects the potential for injury when participating in sports. Competing in cold weather can have you feeling less thirsty after exerting yourself than you normally would. Even though this may be the case, you’ll still need to replenish the fluids you’ve lost. A failure to do so can lead to an array of injuries taking place. When your body is dehydrated, the risk of suffering from muscle cramps and spasms greatly increases. Muscles will need to be nursed back to full strength after an injury before you return to your sport, as the risk of the injury reoccurring or becoming worse is high otherwise. Dehydration can also lead to fits of nausea, dizziness, and in extreme cases, fainting. Making sure you monitor your liquid intake will prevent this from happening.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
Even the most advanced skiers and snowboarders are subject to devastating injuries as they head down the powder. The slopes can be a dangerous place, which is why you should always be aware of your surroundings. Seeing an obstacle ahead of time will allow you to create a course of action you’ll be able to safely accomplish, as opposed to needing to make a last-minute evasive maneuver which in itself may cause injury. By keeping your eyes open, you’ll be able to steer clear of the following on the mountain, preventing injuries from occurring:
Patches of ice.
Rocks partially covered by snow.
This should be done during any season but will be particularly beneficial during the winter. Due to the cold weather, your muscles and joints will be tighter than usual. Trying to compete when your muscles aren’t limber is the perfect way to sustain an injury. Taking part in a quick warm-up will increase the blood to and flexibility of your muscles. To make sure you get the most out of your warm-up, our team recommends the following exercises:
Jogging - 1 minute.
High Knees/Butt Kicks - 30 seconds each.
Body-weight Squats - 10 sets.
Forward Lunges - 5 on each side.
Schedule An Appointment For Physical Therapy
Injuries happen. No matter how prepared or cautious you are, this is just a fact of life. If you’ve sustained an injury, make sure you schedule an appointment for physical therapy with our team. We’ll come up with a comprehensive, individualized plan for rehabilitation to help you recover from the injury as soon as possible. An appointment with us could make all the difference between a lost season or making a return to your sport stronger than ever!
At United Rehab Physical Therapy, we never want to see an athlete miss out on what they love due to injury. That is why we are committed to providing the best care possible when one occurs. If you’d been unfortunate enough to sustain an injury, even after utilizing the methods of prevention we’ve listed above, make sure to contact us right away. We’ll evaluate the severity of your injury, and work tirelessly to get you cleared for a triumphant return.