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Winter Sports Injuries & Concussions

Steve Wagner

For treatment of sports-related injuries, over 3.7 million people visit the emergency room every year, and another 3.5 million people receive outpatient care.

One of the most common injuries seen in sports is the concussion. Concussions are much more dangerous and deadly than originally thought, and for years they have been passed off as minor injuries. Recent studies have shown them to be severe traumatic brain injuries that can impact the central nervous system and cause long-term damage to the brain. If not properly cared for and treated.

According to the Sports Concussion Institute, there are between 1.6 million and 3.8 million concussions suffered each year, and 5-10% of all athletes will experience a concussion during any given sports season. The majority of sports-related concussions occur in full-contact sports (like football and hockey), so wearing your protective gear is a must.

If you feel you have any of the symptoms of a concussion, get checked out by a physician before returning to play. In the case of traumatic brain injuries, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Acute injuries are far too common, as well. Things like fractures, sprains, and dislocations are often the result of frequent activity in recreational athletes. One of the quickest ways athletes can injure themselves is by being inactive throughout the winter, and then jumping back into their favorite sports once spring comes. Without maintaining muscle mass, and keeping the body limber through steady activity, muscles can become stiff and the body is more prone to injury.

This winter, here are a few things to remember in order to participate in your favorite winter sports and avoid injury, and also be ready to jump back in when spring rolls around:

  • Stay limber: Daily stretching, utilizing exercises like yoga, and regular movement are all ways to keep your muscles in shape for strenuous activity.
  • Stretching after a workout: If you have just finished an intense workout or gotten off the field from your favorite game, remember to stretch when the game is over, too! The best way to keep your muscles limber and strong is by stretching them when they are already warm.
  • Get involved: If you’re not involved in a winter sport, but hope to become active again in the spring, find an indoor league you can join through the winter, or learn how to play a cold-weather sport. Staying active in the cold months is important if you want to stay on top of your game in the warm months!
  • Protective gear: Nobody ever thinks they will be the person to get injured, but it happens to over 7 million athletes each year. Wear the proper protective gear, and avoid sustaining a harmful injury that will damage your long-term playing ability.
  • Wear braces (or the proper “repair” gear): If you’ve suffered injuries before, it is important to protect those areas of your body even more than the non-injured parts. If you’ve fractured your wrist before, wear a wrist brace to protect the weaker bones. If you’ve sprained your knee, wear a wrap around it to help it from sustaining injury again.
  • Stop when you feel the need: Sports injuries often happen from athletes pushing themselves too hard and not stopping when their body tells them to. If you are feeling pain or if you have sustained a minor injury, do not continue to play. Step out of the game and allow your body to receive the rest you need.

If you or a loved one have suffered a sports-related injury due to the fault of a reckless player or a coach, you may be eligible to receive compensation to assist you in your recovery. Please give the Indiana personal injury lawyers of Wagner Reese a call today to find out more information and schedule your free consultation!

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