Winter Sports Injuries

For some people, winter is the time to bundle up by a cozy fire with a mug of hot chocolate and watch the cold weather from the inside.  Other people can’t wait for winter to arrive so they can hit the slopes or get out on the ice and have fun. 

Winter sports mean winter sports injuries.  Because most winter sports are done on slippery surfaces, injuries can be unpredictable and can be more severe than with sports on a court or dry land.  Winter sports include downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, skating, ice hockey, curling, snowshoeing, snowboarding, winter hiking, ice climbing, and the all-time kid favorite―sledding.  

Common winter sports injuries include:  


When you participate in winter sports that are on ice like skating and hockey, there is always a risk of falling and getting a concussion.  Concussions are also common in skiing, snowboarding, and sledding during a fall or collision with other participants.

Dislocated Shoulder

The same falls experienced on the ice and on the mountain can cause a shoulder dislocation.  This is when the ball joint is knocked out of its socket by a violent force when your shoulder hits the ground.  Shoulder dislocations can be extremely painful until it is popped back into place but it may also require surgery.

Spinal Injuries

Spinal misalignments can happen with any winter sports as can fractures, and serious damage to the spinal cord could result in paralysis.

Knee Injuries

Skiers are prone to knee injuries because as they absorb the impact as the skier slaloms down the hill.

Skiers’ Thumb

This is when a ligament is torn as the skier falls and tries to hold onto the ski pole that is strapped around the hand and wrist.

Broken or Sprained Ankle

Broken and sprained ankles happen all the time, and are common winter sports injuries, particularly in snowboarding.  Like with skiing, the feet are strapped to the board making it easy for the ankle to be twisted during a fall. It can happen in snowshoeing if you happen to fall.  


Injuries can’t be prevented but you can minimize the risk by taking a few simple steps.

  • Stretch your muscles thoroughly before any activity
  • Take lots of breaks as you get tired
  • Watch bad weather that could make conditions dangerous
  • Use the buddy system in case you get injured
  • Make sure you’re doing the sport correctly and using proper form
  • Wear the right safety equipment (especially helmets!) and make sure that it fits correctly

Most winter sports injuries can benefit from chiropractic treatments.  With targeted manipulations and movements, your chiropractor can relieve your pain and improve your range of motion so you can get back on the slopes.  In the meantime, sit by that fire and enjoy some hot chocolate.    

North County Pain Relief can ease the pain associated with many sports injuries you may get in winter activities.  From chiropractic adjustments to moist heat therapy to cryotherapy, North County can have you feeling better in no time.  Call us today at (314) 731-4201 to make an appointment.