With winter in full swing, local ski resorts, as well as those up north and out west, are getting busier than in months past. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 144,000 snow-skiing related injuries treated in hospitals, doctor's offices, and emergency rooms in 2010. At 148,000 injuries associated with snowboarding were even greater.
At CPRS, your health and safety is important to us, so here are a few tips to help prevent injuries while skipping and snowboarding this season.
First, ensure that you start with a proper warm-up, including key stretches for the hamstring, quadriceps, and calf.
Hamstring Stretch- Stand tall with your left foot a few inches in front of your right foot. Bend your left foot so that your toes are facing the sky. Bend your right knee slightly. Lean forward from your hips and rest both palms on top of your right thigh for balance and support. Keep your shoulders relaxed and do not round your lower back. You should feel a mild stretch gradually spread through the back of your leg. Repeat the stretch with your right leg forward.
Quadriceps stretch- Grab your right foot and pull your leg backward until you feel a gentle stretch on the front of your leg. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch to the opposite leg. Repeat 2-3 times.
Calf Stretch (standing)- Begin this calf stretch with your hands against a wall and your right leg in front of you. Keep your heel down. Gently move your knee forward over your toes until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf or Achilles Tendon. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 2-3 times, then switch to the opposite leg.
After you properly warm up, here are a few more general rules of thumb to ensure complete health and safety on the slopes.
1. Be educated: Take a lesson if you are a beginner skier or snowboarder.
2. Make sure you have the right equipment and clothing and that it's working properly. Only about 48% of U.S. skiers and snowboarders routinely wear helmets. In terrain parks, wrist guards and elbow and kneepads are also recommended. The use of protective equipment has been associated with a 43% decrease in the rate of head, neck, and face injuries.
3. Always stay in control.
4. Stop in a place that's safe for both you and others.
5. Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
6. Observe signs and warnings and keep off closed trails.
7. Know how to use the lifts safely.
Stay warm and have fun this winter season enjoying the great outdoors!
If you do experience pain or an injury that continues throughout the day or weekend, you are welcome to utilize CPRS' FREE screenings. You can be assessed by a licensed physical therapist and given a recommendation based on the findings such as: follow up with your physician, try a home exercise program, or start physical therapy. Appointments are made within 24-48 hours of phone call. Some exclusions apply. Call to schedule today!
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