Everyone is aware of winter sports, whether it’s watching them on television or actively participating out in the snow. In any case, the risks of being injured come along with any athletic activity. Sports injuries can range from mild to dire, and unfortunately in some cases, brain injuries can occur if you are an athlete in winter sports.
When one suffers from a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, it can disrupt their brain functions in several ways and change how one does things for the rest of their lives.
Around 1.6 to 3.8 million TBIs occur every year in the U.S. To bring awareness to these circumstances, the Arizona-based Johnny O’ Foundation has recognized January as National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month. With this type of injury now being recognized, January is meant to highlight and address the causes, dangers, and treatment methods of these kinds of injuries.
Moreover, approximately 21% of brain injuries among American youth stem from sports and recreational activities, with snowboarding and skiing being among the sports listed as having the highest number of these kinds of injuries. There are various symptoms that come with TBIs, such as disorientation and confusion, loss of consciousness, personality changes, loss of balance and more. If you or someone you are with is suspected of having a TBI and showing these kinds of symptoms, the best thing you can do is to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. The quicker the response to possible injury, the less the chances are of long-lasting negative effects.
Winter sports can lead to other injuries besides head trauma injuries as well. Skiing, for example, can cause damage and even dislocation to the knees, elbows, and shoulders. The amount of time commuting and walking through the snow, with low temperatures and long distances, can wear down the joints and cause short term and long-term pain.
With the frequency of these kinds of injuries occurring in these circumstances, it is important to keep that in mind when practicing them. However, this does not mean you should be scared off from partaking in winter sports. Rather, you should properly handle yourself and learn how to be more careful in order to minimize the risks of these injuries. Always remember to wear protective gear (especially a helmet) to avoid concussions, and limit overexposure to low temperatures or overexerting your body, and keep a vigilant eye out for obstacles and questionable conditions. Finally, educate yourself on TBI’s and how to detect and deal with them. Not only will this protect you as you partake in the sport, but said knowledge can help you protect the people around you as well.
TBI’s are not something to be taken lightly, which is why National Winter Sports TBI Awareness Month exists. Such a frequent phenomenon should be more well-known than it currently is, so that people can educate themselves and prevent it from happening more often. Traumatic brain injuries are very important to watch out for, so recognizing and sharing the information with others is a matter of both safety and responsibility. Once you do know about them, you can help protect yourself and those around you from suffering TBI’s.
NJ Spine and Wellness is fully equipped and ready to treat any of the symptoms brought on by winter sports injuries, including traumatic sports injuries. Our specialists are highly skilled with expertise on athletic injuries, and can provide not only pain relief and management to symptoms, but also head and brain trauma accidents as well.
Our doctors are experienced in treating those who have been involved in accidents, and will provide comprehensive treatments to help you Get Better Faster.