Avoiding Winter Sport Injuries this Season

Utah has some of the greatest snow on earth, and we get our share of winter
sports injuries to go along with that snow. As winter sports enthusiasts
anxiously prepare to participate in a variety of activities this winter, there are
some fundamental elements to consider in order to prevent injuries.

Dr. Andrew Cooper, with Utah Sports Med, shares some ideas on how to
avoid injuries.

General winter sports injuries:

· Sprained knees and torn ligaments

· Fractured wrists/fingers (mostly from snowboarding)

· Shoulder dislocation (resulting from falls)

· Skier’s thumb

Your winter sports experience will be more enjoyable if you prepare your
body beforehand. Some areas to work on before engaging in winter activities
include increasing muscle strength, improving explosive power, enhancing
flexibility and increasing endurance.

Pre-season steps to preventing injury:

· Increase muscle strength

· Improve explosive power

· Enhance flexibility

· Increase endurance

How to avoid winter sport injuries:

· Start conditioning and strengthening your body now. Core and lower
body exercises are especially relevant.

· Do not attempt to jump down a hill unless you are certain of your landing
location. When you do jump, keep your knees bent as you land to reduce the
impact on your joints.

· In case of a fall (when skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing) keep your
knees flexed and attempt to fall forward and uphill.

· If your body is fatigued by the afternoon, go easy on yourself and
decrease the rigor of your runs.

For more information, you can contact Dr. Cooper or find other resources
through their website,


Sports Med Utah
1050 E. South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
866-431-WELL (9355)

Dr. Andrew Cooper is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and head team
physician for the Real Salt Lake League Soccer (MLS) team and Westminster
College. Dr. Cooper is also the medical director of the Sports Medicine Center
of Utah and the Solitude Ski Patrol & Clinic. He continues to pursue research
in sports medicine and arthroscopic techniques.

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