How to Prevent Ankle Sprains and Breaks When Snowboarding
By Dr. Rion Berg
January 31, 2017
Category: sports injuries
Tags: snowboarding  

Although Tim Daly who plays the husband of Tea Leoni, star of Madam Secretary broke his left ankle while skiing, the truth is that snowboarders are at greater risk of an ankle sprain or break than skiers. Snowboard boots are much more flexible than a ski boot and that's what makes them more hazardous.

With so much good snow in the mountains this year and the huge uptick in snowboard use, more people are out their hitting the slopes in the Northwest. That makes it more likely that the number of ankle sprains and breaks will go up, particularly for those doing fancy jumps causing more pressure on landing.

What To Do If You Sprain or Break An Ankle While Snowboarding
Sprains and breaks can be just as painful. If you're out on the slopes and you've had a painful fall don't try and muscle through it; you could cause more damage which could keep you out of commission for the rest of the season.

  • Walk down the slope or have a buddy call the ski patrol to assess how to get you the medical care you need.

  • Very likely once you get some medical aid you'll be treated with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). This will help with the initial pain and swelling.

  • Try to be seen by a Seattle podiatrist as soon as possible so you can be assessed and treated.

Preventing Ankle Sprains and Breaks While Snowboarding
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons make these recommendations to avoid ankle injury:

  • Wear stiffer boots to better protect the ankles and more firmly hold the feet in position.

  • Be careful of landings while catching air. Flat landing zones can cause increased compression-type injury to the foot and ankle.

  • Make sure boots are well fitting, in good condition and are set up properly in bindings.

  • Wear insulated socks appropriate for temperatures. Consider having a change of socks for wet conditions. If toes or feet feel cold and/or numb, take a break and warm up.

  • Warm up with gentle exercise and stretches before riding.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

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