Winter is a wonderful time of the year. There are so many winter activities that bring enjoyment, but they can also increase your chances of a shoulder injury. Here are some causes of wintertime shoulder accidents, as well as ways to protect yourself from a shoulder injury this winter season.

Winter Sports

A fresh snowfall leads many to strap on skis or snowboards and hit the slopes. But winter sporting activities also lead to accidents and injury for even those with the most experience. In fact, skiing is responsible for over 100,000 injuries every year. Snowboarding, sledding, tubing and ice-skating account for around 180,000 other reported injuries.

Dangerous Conditions

Freezing temperatures can lead to icy sidewalks, driveways and roads, which can increase your chances of sustaining a shoulder injury during a slip and fall. Auto accidents also increase during icy conditions, increasing the possibility of a shoulder injury as well.

Winter Home Maintenance

Snow can be peaceful to view as it falls, but when it piles up on your sidewalks and driveway, it can become a safety hazard. Many shoulder injuries are caused by shoveling or plowing the snow from paved surfaces. These activities place extra stress on the rotator cuff and the surrounding muscles, and can often lead to rotator cuff tears. This type of injury can also result from the movement of scraping ice and snow from your car, due to the strain caused by reaching over the hood and windshield.

How to Avoid Winter-Related Shoulder Injury

In order to avoid a shoulder injury this winter, here are a few tips. First, if you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall, invest in a snowblower. Make sure the scraper you use for your car is long enough to reach without straining. Heated ice scrapers can make the job easier and reduce your risk for injury. Always wear proper equipment when participating in winter sports, and wear shoes that have the extra grip to combat icy conditions. Be careful when driving, and avoid going out if conditions are too dangerous.

Winter can be fun, but it can also be dangerous. If you experience a shoulder injury, Dr. Steven Struhl has the experience you need to get you back to normal. Call our offices today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on Behalf of Steven Struhl MD