Ascension Michigan sports medicine surgeon shares five tips to prevent winter sports injuries

Sports medicine surgeon Chad Lasceski, MD, at Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, shares winter sport injury prevention tips.

Dr. Chad Lasceski hits the slopes

Growing up in Warren, Michigan, sports medicine surgeon Dr. Chad Lasceski is familiar with the winter activities Michiganders enjoy. Since he was five years old, Dr. Lasceski has played hockey, including his time at the University of Michigan hockey club. Even today, he actively participates in a hockey game or hits the slopes for some skiing when he's not caring for patients.

Dr. Lasceski has experienced his own sports injuries and knows how important it is to have a doctor who listens. "As an athlete myself, I've dislocated and separated both shoulders in the past," he said. 

At Ascension Michigan, Dr. Lasceski and sports medicine care teams create personalized care plans to help you safely recover from injury, help you prevent injuries, support your fitness goals and improve your wellness. When surgery is part of a patient’s care plan, Dr. Chad Lasceski uses the latest surgical technology, including minimally invasive surgery when possible. 

Dr. Lasceski sees a range of patients, from teens to seniors, with sports-related injuries. "I've seen acute injuries on the field or in arenas to arthritis caused by winter sports. I also see muscle strains, ligament sprains, shoulder dislocations and fractures," he said.

You don’t have to be a competitive athlete to enjoy winter sports and activities, but you do need to know how to best protect yourself from injury. Here are Dr. Lasceski’s five tips to help prevent winter sports and activity-related injuries this season.

Chad Lasceski, MD Ascension Michigan Sports Medicine Surgeon

Chad Lasceski, MD Ascension Michigan Sports Medicine Surgeon

Know your skill level

It's OK to be a beginner in the winter sports or activities you decide to do. If you are a beginner skier, going on a double black diamond ski slope because some of your more advanced friends or family are doing it would not be the best option for you.Take your time with advancing to the next level. Don't push yourself if your body isn't trained for it. 

Prepare your body before being active outside or participating in a winter sport 

Warm up and stretch your body before starting your sport or activity. Warm-up exercises and stretches help loosen your muscles and joints to get them ready to be used — missing out on the opportunity to get warmed up means that you risk injuring yourself. Talk to your doctor for ideas on home exercises you can do.

Understand the equipment you need

Correct use of winter sports equipment will help protect you from preventable or severe contact injuries. Make sure you have appropriately-sized equipment, like a helmet for hockey or skiing, for concussion prevention. Hip, knee, elbow or shoulder joint injuries are common in many sports, so protect your joints properly for each sport or activity. If you are skiing, check your skis before each run to help ensure the bindings are right.

Keep your body warm

With all outdoor winter activities, it is important to prepare your body for cold temperatures. If you are skiing or snowboarding, wear layers of clothing that will keep your body warm and mobile. You are at a higher risk of muscle strain or ligament injury when temperatures are colder and you haven’t properly warmed-up muscles and joints. 

Bring a friend

Winter activities are always better with a friend. Don't get on the ski slopes alone. Having someone with you doing any sport or outdoor activity is also a great way to stay safe. If an injury or emergency does occur, there is someone there who can get help or call 911.

When you choose Ascension Michigan for sports medicine and orthopedic care, you are connected to highly experienced specialists and surgeons ready to work with you and deliver the care you need, from minimally invasive surgeries that can mean shorter recovery time, to physical therapy

Learn more about sports injury care at Ascension Michigan by visiting