Common Winter Sports Injuries

As the temperature begins to drop, people are drawn to the great outdoors for skiing, sledding, and other winter activities. Along with these fun snow sports come a multitude of injuries that can easily be prevented with the right safety tips.

Most Common Winter Sports Injuries

Although injuries can happen during any season, the following injuries are the most common when participating in winter sports:


Whether you’re making your way down a mountain, practicing your ice skating routine, or sledding for fun—it’s possible to take a hard tumble and hit your head. It is important to be able to recognize the signs of a brain injury or concussion. Symptoms of a concussion may include but are not limited to:

  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and sounds
  • Feeling slow or foggy
  • Confusion
  • Clumsy movements

If any of these signs and symptoms are present and continue to worsen days after an accident, you should head to an emergency room right away.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are a result of various forms of trauma—it is no surprise that participating in winter sports can put you at risk of these types of injuries. Although they sound similar, they have different causes and symptoms.


A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn as a result of trauma. Symptoms of a sprain may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected limb
  • Limited range of motion around joint
  • A “popping” feeling/sound during the injury


A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn as a result of trauma. Symptoms of a sprain may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Bruising
  • Muscle spasms


When we fall, naturally, we stretch out our arms or try to fall a certain way to cushion the blow. Falling is very common in winter activities. While this may save you from a head injury, it can often result in bone fractures. These signs and symptoms may suggest that you have a broken bone:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Visual deformity—the body part may look “flat” or “out of place”
  • Bone breaking through the skin

Preventing Winter Sports Injuries

Although winter sports injuries are very common, they are also preventable. Be sure to follow these tips to stay safe during your snow and ice activities:

  • Warm-up and stretch before exercise: During colder weather conditions, your muscles and ligaments tighten. Warming up and stretching helps your body loosen up and get your blood flowing, effectively preventing sprains and strains.

  • Use proper protective gear: Most winter sporting injuries can be prevented altogether if you’re wearing the appropriate gear. Be sure to wear the proper helmet, padding, and shoes for your winter activities.

  • Use proper technique: Many injuries for sports like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating happen with beginners. Before making your way out on the ice or down the slopes, make sure you have learned the proper form and technique. Practicing with an experienced instructor can save you from ending up in a cast.

Orthopedic Services in Vincennes, IN

Our team of orthopedic specialists at Good Samaritan provides a comprehensive range of personalized care to patients of all ages. To learn more about our orthopedic services, call us today at 812-882-5220.