Playing winter sports and participating in outdoor activities during the winter months is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise during the cold winter months. Winter brings a whole new set of sports and outdoor activities. However, they are also a great way to become injured.
Common winter sports injuries include sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures.
There are some very common orthopaedic injuries associated with winter sports.
Shoulder injuries are some of the most frequent orthopaedic difficulties that occur when bodies make contact with hard surfaces, such as ice or cold hardened ground.
Shoulders have the greatest range of motion of all of the bodies joints. Dislocation of the shoulder occurs when the humeral head (ball), rolls out of the glenoid (socket). Sometimes the muscles of the shoulder will pull it back in, but in some cases, the shoulder joint is damaged enough that the dislocation will recur.
Acromioclavicular (AC joint) dislocation, is a shoulder injury where the ligaments that stabilise the joint at the end of the collarbone become torn, or sprained. A lump deformity is noted on the top contour of the shoulder in more serious sprains. This type of injury occurs most often due to a direct fall onto the shoulder.
Another result of winter sport mishaps is torn rotator cuffs. The rotator cuff is comprised of the muscles and tendons that surround the top of the humerus (upper arm bone), and hold it in the shoulder joint. A tear may result suddenly from a single traumatic event, but is more likely to develop gradually because of repetitive overhead activities.
The clavicle (collarbone), is the most common site of shoulder fractures. A fall on the arm or shoulder, with force transmitting upward to the bone, is what causes this injury.
There are many things people can do to help prevent injury during their favourite winter activities:
- Keep in shape and condition muscles before participating in winter activities.
- Warm up thoroughly before playing or participating. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are vulnerable to injury. Our bodies need to be warmed up to help minimise injury and optimise performance.
- Stretch before your activity. A basic stretching routine should cover all of the major muscle groups as well as the specific muscles for the activity. Investigate the best stretches for your particular sport and add them to your basic stretching routine. Warming up and stretching are two separate steps to take before you engage in physical activity.
- Wear appropriate protective gear.
- Check that equipment is working properly prior to use.
- Wear several layers of light clothing for warmth and protection. Layering allows you to accommodate your body’s constantly changing temperature.
- Wear proper footwear that provides ample ankle support.
- Take a lesson from a qualified instructor or learn the skills you need to play the sport or performed the activity correctly.
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after activities.
- Avoid participating in sports when you are in pain or exhausted.
- Seek medical attention immediately if you are injured.
Orthopaedic surgeons have the expertise to diagnose and treat sporting injuries as their specialty training is in the musculoskeletal system. Bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons and cartilage.
For a specialist review of a new or old injury, or any other musculoskeletal problem please give one of our friendly staff a call on 08 7325 4800 or visit our website for an online appointment, or more details on orthopaedics and our services at www.aots.net.au
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