Winter is starting to take grip and while many are planning for the festive season, others are dreaming of hitting the slopes.
Winter is a risky business, especially for those thrill seekers who embrace the hazardous mountains every season. On average, 600,000 people are injured each year as a result of skiing and snowboarding, with the over 50’s making the top of the table!
Perfect snowfall can help prevent an injury from occurring. If the ground is too soft, we see a rise in injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament, too hard and we see more impact injures. So, there are many factors you should consider before taking to the slopes.
Equipment is also a major factor when staying safe on the slopes. Make sure you have suitable, well maintained equipment before you head out. It could save your life!
The Top Five Skiing Injuries
Head and neck Injury
There are many reasons why you may sustain a head injury. Plowing into another skier or static object being the most common. A sudden blow, or stop can also cause whiplash. However, if you are wearing a suitable helmet and brace, there is less risk of significant trauma.
We see a lot of shoulder injuries due to skiing or snowboarding. Ligaments, muscles and tendons may be affected by a fall, and as a result, become weakened leaving them vulnerable to further injury.
Injuries include –
- Shoulder separation
- Shoulder dislocation
- Shoulder fracture
- Torn Rotator cuff
Many of these injuries happen during falls, and can be extremely painful.
There is no way around it, skiing is very hard on the knees. Weight bearing and awkward twists and turns can leave you with one of the most common knee injuries of this sport… An MCL sprain.
An MCL injury is a sprain or tear to the Medial Collateral Ligament.
Injuries to the Meniscus (Knee cartilage) can also play a part in your knee injury.
Patello-Femoral Syndrome (PFS) PFS is usually seen in older skiers and occurs when too much strain is put on the knee caps. Although this is not an impact injury, it can occur quickly due to poor preparation (Don’t miss leg day at the gym!).
Skier’s thumb, is painful and during a fall can be almost unpreventable (especially if you’re a wobbly newbie).
This acute injury often happens when falling with your hand in the ski pole strap, pulling at the thumb and causing a ligament tear.
Falls of this nature can also cause wrist sprains.
Back Pain and Injury
Due to the awkward, bent positioning skiers must take, back pain and stiffness is very common. This positioning can also cause further injury on impact, such as a herniated disk.
The best way to prevent injury is to be well prepared, from fitness to fashion, you need to make sure you are well equipped for the slopes.
Warm up and down, just as you would with any other sport.
In most cases skiing injuries are minor and can be treated with rest, support, and anti-inflammatory medication.
If you have sustained a skiing injury or would like more advice on a pre existing injury before travel, why not get in touch today.
Our team of professionals can also provide ultrasound guided injections for existing injuries.