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Don’t Let Winter Sports Injuries Freeze Your Fun

02 January 2018

Don’t Let Winter Sports Injuries Freeze Your Fun

It’s that time of year again when people start to hit the slopes and A&E Departments, GP Surgeries and Sports Injury Clinics become inundated with those of us suffering from winter sports injuries. More than one million Britons will head to the snow this ski season and around 17,000 will come back home on crutches. Changes in equipment and safety regulations have lowered the rate of injury, however accidents and falls do occur, even to professionals.

Common orthopaedic injuries include wrist fractures, shoulder dislocation, rotator cuff tears, acromioclavicular joint separation, knee ligament tears (commonly ACL), meniscal tears and fractured tibias.

 Lead GP at HCA Healthcare UK’s The Wilmslow Hospital, Dr Sally Harris, has seen numerous patients suffering from winter sports injuries. Dr Harris advises: “Always wear protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding.

“Wear layers of light, water and wind resistant clothing for warmth and protection. Layering allows you to accommodate your body’s changing temperature and choose proper footwear that provides warmth, dryness and ankle support.”

As well as having the right clothing and equipment, preparing your body with a good warm-up helps, so you should incorporate some exercises into your routine before you hit the snow, ideally after you’ve walked to the slopes to get the blood flowing.

Mr Neil Jain, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon who specialises in sports injuries for HCA The Wilmslow Hospital, suggests the following exercises to help minimise injuries:

  • Standing Forward Leg Swing - 20 repetitions each leg
  • Standing Side to Side Leg Swing - 20 repetitions each leg
  • Hip Openers -  20 repetitions each leg
  • Hip Rotation  -  10 repetitions each direction
  • Arm Rotations  -  20 repetitions each side and 10 together
  • Lunges with optional use of Poles - 20 repetitions each leg

 Mr Jain adds: “Preparation is key and people should always stick to their ability level. It’s important to visit a local indoor ski slope prior to hitting the snow as evidence shows that inexperienced skiers and snowboarders are much more likely to get injured,and if you’re a novice, avoid those black runs!

“Always be aware of others on the slopes as many injuries occur when you are standing still and another skier runs into you. Keep hydrated and your energy levels high, have a good breakfast and lunch. Finally, enjoy the après ski but try to leave it more après and not pre-ski!”

 Rapid Access to Private GPs and Specialist Consultants at HCA The Wilmslow Hospital

If you are concerned about a winter sports injury, or any other health issue, and want fast access to General Practitioners, the extended appointments at HCA The Wilmslow Hospital are flexible to suit your needs.

Dr Harris says: “As my practice is based within a hospital, I’m able to offer on-site same day access to further diagnostic tests such as scans i.e. MRI and ultrasound should a patient need them. I can also arrange an immediate referral to a specialist like an Orthopaedic Consultant if necessary.”

Mr Neil Jain concludes: “If you visit our in-house GP and have a suspected injury, you can be fast-tracked to see to an Orthopaedic Consultant like myself and have all the necessary diagnostics performed quickly in one location.”  

For more information about the Private GP Service at HCA The Wilmslow Hospital or to book an appointment, please call 0333 005 0565.



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