Winter Injuries: How to Avoid Them & How to Recover with Physical Therapy

Winter is upon us and so are the most common injuries of the season. 

As the months turn colder and weather becomes more severe the chances of a winter-related injury increase. This might include injury from daily activity, like slipping on ice or strain from clearing snow off of cars or from pathways, or it might be from winter sports and other activities. 

On average there are over 100,000 injuries a year from skiing alone with snowboarding adding another 80,000. Those lovely ice skating rinks popping up all over New York City, gracing Bryant Park and Central Park with their presence, they account for upwards of almost 50,000 winter injuries. 

These injuries might include broken bones, ACL or MCL tears along with other strains and pulls that will need attention from your physical therapist. Remember to look into therapy before surgery because it might just be all you need to get back to sport. 

Not interested in suffering from a winter-related sports injury or weather-related slips and falls?  The unsung benefits of physical therapy are extensive. Utilizing physical therapy for injury prevention is always a good idea. Here are some tips to keep you in tip-top shape. 

  1. Stay in shape for your favorite winter sport all year long. 
    • You might only love shredding down the mountain, but you still have to keep in shape throughout the year to make your chances of not being one of the 100,000 to get injured at bay. Try workouts that have similar dynamic movements and pivoting motions- maybe try a recreational soccer team or trail running- keep the muscles around your joints strong all year long so they'll be ready for your winter activities. 
  2. Stretch before clearing snow. 
    • It might sound silly, but it's a good idea to stretch before all strenuous activity even if it's a task that seems more like an errand or a chore. Take the few seconds to keep your neck and upper back relaxed and limber before setting into clear snow and ice off of cars and away from walkways. 
  3. Watch your step and wear slip-resistant shoes.  
    • Being aware is really half the battle. Keep an eye on the ground and your surroundings but lend yourself a hand by being extra prepared with good footwear. 

Even with the best preparation, you might still find yourself with a strain or a break due to winter-related events. If that is the case then there is no need to worry, we'll be here with our team of physical therapists in both New York City and Westchester to get you back on your feet.