Senin, 04 Mei 2015

Tips for Safer Skiing

You've packed away the holiday decorations and rung in the new year, but winter's far from over. For anyone in the Treasure Valley area who likes skiing, skating and snowmobiling, that's good news; it's your season to shine. After months of being off your skis, though, getting back to the slopes can mean an increased risk of injury. Winter sports injuries keep hospital emergency rooms hopping this time of year, but with a few safety tips, you can stay safer on the snow.

Know Your Limits
Those double black diamond runs look exciting, but if you're currently learning on the green-circle slopes, you're still far away from being ready for those challenging courses. Novice and intermediate skiers are generally eager to move past the simple and often crowded slopes and onto the pristine snow of the more difficult courses, but there's a reason the tougher runs aren't packed: Not everyone's equipped to handle them. Being realistic in your self-assessment can help you avoid a broken hand, broken leg or worse.

Warm Up Well
You may be in the cold, but if you plan to ski or snowboard, warm up before you exercise. Stretching and preparing before you set foot on the slopes will help you absorb impacts more readily. Avoiding a knee injury by warming up can prevent future MCL or ACL repair procedures, so focus on using your legs and hips as shock absorbers, especially if you're on the moguls or in the half-pipe. A sports medicine specialist can recommend a good pre-ski workout regimen, but many of the same stretches you'd do to warm up for a run work for winter sports too.

Where to Go If You're Injured
If you do take a spill and wind up with a fracture or sprain, the hospital isn't your only option - or even your best one. Emergency rooms are designed to assess patients' illnesses or injuries and get them to a specialist who can help them. For patients who come in with a broken hand or foot, diagnosis and treatment are straightforward, but seeing an orthopedic surgeon who can set you on the road to recovery quickly isn't. You may have to wait some time to get x-rays or MRIs done, and you'll wait longer to get treatment. Fractures and sprains are painful but not life-threatening, and the ER staff must treat more serious conditions first.

Increasingly, clinics are offering urgent care for broken bones that eliminates the wait at emergency rooms. Staffed with orthopedic doctors, urgent care centers such as Direct Orthopedic Care (DOC) of Boise connect you with a specialist from the beginning. Wait times are measured in minutes instead of hours, and when you have a broken bone, that's vital. An urgent care facility only needs state-of-the-art equipment for fractures and other orthopedic injuries, not for a wide range of illnesses and conditions, so your medical bill will be smaller.

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