The excitement of hitting the trails or the slopes can quickly give way to an unpleasant reality: a debilitating injury. While many who have skied or snowboarded in the past have suffered an injury, an estimated 20 to 25 percent of skiers and snowboarders will suffer a significant injury each season.
While injuries are common in any sport, skiing and snowboarding are two that can be especially dangerous. Between the risk of falling and the chance of hitting an unexpected patch of ice, there are plenty of ways to injure yourself on the slopes. Following these tips can help you to enjoy the sport without suffering any long-term health problems.
Though many people feel mountains are a safe place to be, the truth is they’re dangerous. While skiing or snowboarding, you’re exposed to many risks, from avalanches to broken bones. Despite these risks, millions of people visit mountains every year to enjoy skiing and snowboarding. But, more often than not, the thrill of the activity is short-lived as people end up injured. These injuries are often serious and can put you out of action for weeks. So, what can you do to prevent them? Here are the most common skiing and snowboarding injuries and how to avoid them.
There are many common ski and snowboard injuries that will leave you on the sidelines instead of on the slopes this winter. While some accidents cannot be avoided, there are steps you can take to prevent injury. Below is information on the most common skiing and snowmobiling injuries and how to prevent them. Skiing and snowboarding are among the most popular winter sports in the United States, but cause tens of thousands of injuries each year. Both skiing and snowboarding can cause sports injuries, but the types of injuries are slightly different. Skiers are more likely to suffer knee injuries from twisting movements during a fall, while snowboarders are more likely to suffer upper body injuries during a prolonged fall. There are also many injuries that are common to both types of winter sports enthusiasts. Knee injuries Skiers are more likely to suffer knee injuries because the sport involves more turns and twists. A popping sound while driving is an indication of this damage.
- Injuries to the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (ACL/ PCL): These are injuries to the ligaments that stabilize the knee, which often occur when the foot is turned abruptly. ACL injuries are often treated conservatively, but surgery and reconstruction may be required in the event of a complete rupture1.
- Meniscus tear: The meniscus is the cartilage in the knee that allows the fluid to move. A tear can occur with sudden twisting movements. Treatment is usually conservative, but larger tears may require surgery2.
Head, neck and shoulder injuries Most of these injuries occur from falls, which are often unavoidable in sports such as skiing and snowboarding.
- Concussion: A fall while skiing or snowboarding can lead to a head injury. Although a concussion is a minor head injury, any impact to the head should be closely monitored. The best way to prevent concussions is to wear a helmet.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck, often called a sprain or dislocation of the neck. A sudden stop can cause this hyperextension injury, which should be evaluated by a physician to determine an appropriate treatment plan.3
- Fracture of the clavicle: A clavicle fracture can occur as a result of a fall. The treatment usually consists of wearing a bandage to prevent movement of the arm and shoulder and to give the bone a chance to heal.
- Rotator cuff tear: This shoulder injury, where the tendon tears, can occur as a result of repetitive strain or a fall.
- Split shoulder: This injury can occur if you fall on your outstretched arm or directly on your shoulder. It is usually treated conservatively with rest, ice and bandages6.
- Dislocated shoulder: This injury involves a different part of the joint than the separation and requires repositioning. Depending on the severity of the injury, conservative treatment or surgery may be required.
Hand injuries Even though they are light, your hands are at risk if you fall while skiing or snowboarding.
- A skier’s thumb: This is an acute ligament injury that often occurs when someone falls with their hand in the loop of a ski pole. The thumb can become stuck and detached from the hand. The ligaments can then tear, making grasping difficult. Treatment often consists of a cast or splint, but surgery may also be required8.
- Sprained wrist: A fall can lead to a sprain, which is usually treated conservatively with rest, ice, compresses, laying high, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.9
- Broken fingers: This can also happen if you fall. Treatment usually consists of a splint, but may also require repositioning or surgery. Without proper treatment, the affected toe can remain stiff and painful.
Back injuries Skiing and snowboarding involve a lot of turning and maneuvering on slippery surfaces, increasing the risk of back injuries.
- Pain in the lower back: Vigorous movement is one of the causes of back pain, and you can injure yourself by overexerting yourself, falling, or standing up awkwardly after a fall.
- Hernias: A fall can be the cause of this injury, which results in a ruptured intervertebral disc in the spine and a leakage of jelly-like fluid. This can lead to nerve irritation and back pain. This injury is often treated conservatively, but surgery may be recommended.
- Freezing and hypothermia: This risk exists when you are outside in the cold, because your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Be sure to wear appropriate equipment to protect exposed skin and provide adequate warmth. Don’t sacrifice your fingers, toes or nose.
- Delayed muscle soreness: Every time you exert yourself or start a new activity, you may experience muscle soreness after a day or two.
Preventing ski and snowboard injuries The best way to treat an injury is to prevent it in the first place. Although accidents cannot always be avoided, skiers and snowboarders can take precautions to reduce the risk of sports injuries.
- Warm-up The best way to avoid injuries when skiing or snowboarding is to have a good training programme, starting before you hit the slopes. Also, be sure to stretch and warm up before descending an incline, as cold muscles are more likely to be injured.
- Take lessons if it’s your first time beginners need instruction from a qualified instructor who can show you how to fall safely and reduce the risk of injury. A ski instructor can also teach you how to stop safely, how to get up safely if you fall on your skis, and proper fall technique to prevent many of the injuries listed above.
- Wear protective equipment Using proper equipment and clothing will protect you from injury and the elements. Always wear a helmet to protect your head and use knee braces to protect yourself from common knee injuries. Also, don’t hesitate to go to a rental store and ask an employee to check that you’ve chosen the right equipment for your abilities and that it fits properly, as these checks will also help you avoid falls and get up more easily if you fall.
- Hydration and good nutrition Even if it’s not your usual physical activity, skiing and snowboarding is still an intense activity, and it’s especially important to stay hydrated when you’re at high altitude. Drinking enough water and eating a balanced breakfast or snack before skiing will help you not feel weak or sick during skiing.
- Don’t ski alone Always take a friend or family member with you on the slopes, as many ski injuries can become debilitating and require medical attention.
- Don’t overestimate your abilities It can be tempting to join your friends on more difficult runs, but if you’re new to skiing, take your time and stick to easier runs with skiers of the same level. This ensures both your safety and that of the people around you. Also avoid reckless behavior, such as. For example, climbing trees or climbing to the top of a slope instead of using a chairlift.
- Do not ski or snowboard when under the influence of alcohol If you are not feeling well, are overtired or have had too much to drink, it is better to postpone the effort, as this increases the risk of a fall or injury.
Use your judgment to assess injuries. While some of the above injuries can be treated with rest, ice, and NSAIDs, you should not hesitate to seek medical attention if you are concerned about the potential severity of an injury you or your skating partner has sustained. Read the full and original article at verywellfit.comWinter is here, and many of us are gearing up for the first ski trip of the season. If you’re a skier or snowboarder, the thrill of speed and fresh powder is enough to get you out the door no matter how cold it is. But all that fun can mean you come back with more than just a sunburn. Terrifying statistics show that these winter sports are among the most dangerous in the world, but thankfully, all is not lost.. Read more about snowboarding injuries vs skiing and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can ski injuries be prevented?
One of the most common injuries sustained by novice skiers and boarders is that of hitting a tree or falling over in a way that damages the ligaments in the knee. Luckily, there is a lot that can be done to avoid this type of injury. Most common skiing and snowboarding injuries are caused by: Skiing or snowboarding without the proper protective gear – for example, a helmet. Skiers and snowboarders who go down the slopes without a helmet are not only endangering their lives, but are also increasing their risk of head injuries.
How can skiing and snowboarding reduce injury?
Skiing and snowboarding are great winter sports, but they can also be dangerous. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the risk of injury, which can result from falling, colliding with other skiers or snowboarders, or hitting your head on a hard surface. To help prevent these injuries, start by wearing the right equipment. If you’re planning to downhill ski, choose a helmet, goggles, elbow and knee pads, and sturdy boots. Also, try to build up your endurance with short, easy runs first. (We’ve also included some links to related blogs to help you learn more about staying safe on the slopes.) There are few things more exciting than strapping on a pair of skis or a snowboard and zipping down a mountain. But for many, skiing, snowboarding, and their less-popular cousin, snow tubing, can be a source of fear and injury.
What is the most common injury in snowboarding?
While snowboarding is a fun and exciting sport, it does come with a certain amount of risk. Snowboarders hurt themselves all the time, and although most of these injuries are minor, some can be serious. The most common injury reported is a torn ligament, which has a range of severity from a mild sprain to a full tear of the ligament. (But don’t worry — you can actually prevent most injuries from happening.) While snowboarding, it’s important to keep your body protected against common injuries. In fact, the most common injuries that snowboarders face are a result of over-exertion, a lack of proper technique, and improper equipment. If you are an experienced snowboarder, or are just getting started, you’ll want to be prepared for the most common injuries you’ll face on the slopes.
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