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Stay Safe as You Enjoy Winter Sports

With the Winter Olympics now over, the host city of Sochi, Russia can be proud of countering the terrorist threats, and the logistical and infrastructural hurdles for putting one of the memorable shows in Olympic history. Held from the 7th to the 23rd of February, each of the 98 events belonging to 15 disciplines was packed with excitement and emotional highs and lows.

The Olympic Spirit

One of the big advantages of major events such as the Winter Olympics is that they inspire people to become more physical and take up some of these sports themselves. It popularizes these sports and instills the joy of activity in fans who try these sports for themselves – perhaps this could inspire a whole new generation of winter sport athletes. The Jamaican bobsled team which has qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics is an example of the power of inspiration.

Things Could Go Wrong…

But with the Winter Olympics fever comes the reminder of the potential risks of injury from winter sports. The 2010 Winter Olympics involved 287 injuries, with the highest proportion from snowboarding. While most of these injuries were related to the knee, snowboarders and skiers also incurred injuries to the head, while some involved the spine too.

Michael Schumacher’s horrific skiing accident is a stark reminder of what could go wrong. Schumacher’s recent fall on the slopes of the ski resort in Grenoble on the French Alps resulted in multiple brain injuries causing the doctors to put the German on an induced coma.

Injuries from Skiing and Snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding typically cause injuries such as dislocation and fracture of the shoulder, fracture of the lower extremity, injuries to the spine and hand, closed head injuries, shoulder separations, etc. Much of these injuries are caused by skiing or snowboarding without adequate rest because of which the body gets tired and loses its alertness which results in falls. Dehydration is a related cause. Skiing off-trail, where rocks and other natural hazards could be present, could increase the risk of accidents and violent injury. Using faulty equipment could also cause injuries.

Treatment Options

While bracing, rest and administration of NSAIDs are the usual treatment options, more serious injuries may also require surgical intervention and physical therapy sessions. These treatments would be available at a professional healthcare center.

Stay safe; follow instruction manuals and rules of ski resorts. Stay safe so you can have nothing but fun-filled memories of the winter of 2014.

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