Winter Sports Injuries – Are You Prepared?

For many athletes and weekend exercise warriors, winter is a time to continue their cardiovascular health. Many partake in winter sports such as snow sledding or skiing, snowboarding, rough-and-tumble ice hockey or casual ice skating. Yes, winter provides a fast track for fun, but exposes the body to injuries, especially to foot and ankle injuries.

Some of the common winter and snow sports injuries related to the foot and ankle include:

Frostbite The symptoms of frostbite include skin-color changes, from blue to whitish, feeling of burning or numbness.

Blisters Friction in winter sports footwear often cause blisters.

Neuromas Enlarged benign growths of nerves between the toes are caused by friction in tight footwear and can result in pain, burning, tingling, or numbness. Neuromas require professional treatment, including an evaluation of skates and boots, from a podiatricphysician.

Sprains and strains The stress of skiing and skating can result in sprains and strains of the foot and ankle. They can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). If pain persists, seek medical attention from a podiatric physician.

Subungal Hematoma Pressure in the toe box of a ski or skate can cause bleeding under the toenail known as a subungal hematoma. Such a condition should be treated by a podiatric physician to prevent the loss of a toenail.

Podiatric physicians recommend properly fitted shoes or boots to prevent winter and snow injuries. With planning, adequate preparation and proper equipment, most injuries common to winter and snow sports can be prevented.

Maintain an adequate fitness level all year round. This is the best way to avoid many sports-related injuries in winter.

Never participate in winter sports alone. Use a buddy system.

Warm up thoroughly before activity. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are vulnerable to injury. Make sure to cool down thoroughly afterwards as well.

Wear several layers of light, loose and water-and-wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection.

Wear proper footwear that provides warmth and dryness, as well as ample ankle support.

Wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves, and padding.

Wear a blend sock that wicks sweat away from the skin. Consult your podiatric physician for recommendations.

Drink plenty of water before, during and after sport.

If your feet get wet, move to a warm/dry environment. The skin tissues of wet, cold feet are in danger of freezing (frostbite).

If you have any questions on proper winter sports footwear or anything else foot or ankle related, please contact us so that we can answer them for you.

Category: Sports Injuries

Tags: Blisters, Footwear, Frostbite, Neuromas, Sports Injuries, Sprains, Strains, Subungal Hematoma