Common Winter Injuries & How to Prevent Them

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, almost 200,000 people sought medical attention for winter injuries in 2018. These were injuries like sprains, strains, fractures, and back and neck injuries, caused by sports like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, and tobogganing. Sports aren’t the only cause of winter injuries, though. Frostbite and hypothermia also lead to many active people seeking medical attention. Fortunately, many of these injuries can be prevented by taking simple precautions, which we’ll discuss below.

Sports Injuries

Winter weather like snow and rain can make outdoor surfaces slippery, increasing the risk of injury. This can lead to injuries like sprains, strains, fractures, and back and neck pain. These injuries can also be caused by overuse or overexertion when participating in winter sports.

It’s important to wear protective gear that’s appropriate for the sport you’re participating in to help prevent these injuries. Correct footwear, goggles, helmets, gloves, and padding will all go a long way in helping reduce your chances of sustaining an injury.

If the sport isn’t one you regularly practice, like snowboarding or skiing while on a trip, it’s recommended that you take lessons from an experienced instructor. Learning proper technique and form will prevent injuries like strains and sprains. Even just knowing a safe way to fall when participating in these sports will help keep you safe.

In addition to this, there are some tips that will not only help you prevent winter injuries but at any time of the year.

  • Stay in shape even during your preferred sport’s off-season.
  • Always remember to warm up your muscles and stretch before participating in a workout or sport.


Hypothermia is another risk when participating in outdoor activities during winter. It’s a condition that occurs when a person’s body temperature falls below 95°F. If you or someone you’re outdoors with is shivering, losing dexterity, has a high pulse, breathing rapidly, or struggling with impaired thinking, they may be experiencing hypothermia. If someone is showing signs of hypothermia, call 911, take them out of the cold, and remove wet clothing.

Hypothermia can be prevented by wearing clothing that is appropriate for whatever activity you’ll be participating in. Light, loose clothing that is resistant to water and wind will help provide warmth and protection when outdoors. Layers will also help by allowing you to remove and add clothes as your temperature fluctuates. Proper footwear will also keep your feet warm and dry.


Frostbite is also a very serious condition that can set in during outdoor activities. This is a condition that can lead to permanent damage due to the fact that skin, nerve, and tissue freeze at the site of injury. Extremities like the hands, feet, ears, and nose are most at risk of frostbite.

Signs of frostbite include numbness, clumsiness, and cold skin. After prolonged exposure to the cold, skin in the affected area may even become discolored or turn black.

Appropriate gear like gloves and warm socks can help provide protection from the cold if you must spend long periods of time outdoors. 

Seek emergency care if you or someone you are with are showing signs of frostbite.

Get Care for Common Winter Injuries in Glen Mills

If you sustain one of many common winter injuries caused by overuse or overexertion during a sport, get the care you need to get back to optimal performance at the Center for Sports Medicine in Glen Mills, PA. Our team is proud to be experts in the most advanced orthobiologic and minimally invasive treatments for our patients. 

We understand that our patients’ top priority is to successfully recover from their conditions while getting back to their lives or their sports as quickly as possible. We’re proud to provide the most advanced options that allow our patients to restore their mobility without a lengthy recovery period.

If you’d like to learn more about our services or contact us to schedule a consultation, please call our office in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, at (610) 459-4200 or fill out our form. We welcome your inquiry and we look forward to helping you get back to the game of life!

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