What Are The Most Common Ski Injuries?
We all know that skiing is a dangerous sport. But what are the most common injuries and how could we avoid them?
Ski injuries can happen to even the most experienced skier. Here we list the 5 most common injuries that can befall you on the slopes and the ways in which you could try to avoid them.
A lot of skiers hurt themselves most when they fall over. The areas that get hit the most here are the knees but also the shoulders and even thumbs.Knees often get hurt due to all the twisting and turning you do when skiing.Knee ligaments can get torn. When you fall skiing you also can get concussion which can, worse case scenario, cause brain injury. Sudden stops can cause whiplash. As for the shoulders common injuries include fractures, torn rotator cuffs, shoulder separation and shoulder dislocation. We also mentioned the thumb which often raises a smile but skiers thumb can be really painful. This happens when you fall and your thumb gets caught in your pole strap.The result is a ligament tear which in some cases requires surgery. Falls can also result in wrist sprains and finger fractures.
Some injuries can also occur when you try to get up from a fall. Low back pain is an example of this.
Avoiding Falling Injuries
It would be impossible to never fall when skiing but there are a few things you can do to try and reduce the risk. Always ski within the limits of your ability.If you are not capable of skiing a red then wait until you are ready. Also check out the conditions. Icy slopes can be hard to get your edges to hold so consider going to an easier piste or if you are caught out by ice try to avoid turning until you can locate some powder.
You also need to listen to your body. If you are tired then take a break and never drink whilst on the slopes or take drugs. These could give you a false sense of confidence. Take frequent rests, keep drinking water and eat high energy snacks. If you feel really tired then stop and call it a day.
It also goes without saying that you should always wear a helmet, this will at least protect your head if you fall. Finally, always warm up before you hit the slopes. this will ensure that your muscles are warm so that if you do have a fall it may not be as serious.
Collisions with other skiers are another major cause of ski injury.
There are a number of rules set down by the International Ski Federation that if all skiers followed may reduce the number of collisions on slopes. Firstly the skier in front of you has right of way.because they cannot see you. You need to ensure you leave enough space between yourself and them. But being in front also has its rules. You should never just stop because the person behind you may not be able to stop and then you have a pile up. If you do want to stop then ski to the side of the slope. When you then plan to start skiing again always look up to see who is coming down and only move off again when there is space to do so. A last piece of good advice is to ski as if you are driving. Always be aware of others around you and assume that they are out of control so you always need to be aware and alert.
A lot of ski accidents don't necessarily happen due to the lift itself but the action of getting on and off a ski lift. In fact 90% of ski lift accidents happen in this way.
Avoiding Chair Lift Accidents
When you are getting onto a chair lift always remember as a skier to take both pole straps off, this give you a free hand. If you are on your own sit down on the middle of the chair and with your free hand bring the bar down safely. Only raise the bar when the sign says to do so and as the ground approaches stand up and then glide away. Before you start skiing again do check that your helmet is done up along with bindings and any pockets.
The Wrong Gear
Having the wrong equipment can also lead to injuries. Do make sure for example that you don't borrow some ones skis. If you don't have any go to a proper hire shop where they will look at your height and weight and ability.They will also ensure that your bindings are correct so that should you fall your skis are released.
Getting The Right Gear
We've already mentioned the skis themselves but ski boots are all important. If you are a keen skier this is the one piece of kit that you may want to buy. If you do need to rent make sure you wear the right socks and that the boots are fitted properly;y. A common complaint is that the boots are too tight, you get painful toes and then don't have as much control on your turns.
Always get poles that are the right size and that you always wear a helmet.Ski goggles are also crucial so that your eyes are protected and that you maintain excellent vision should the snow start to fall.
Frostbite And Hypothermia
This can occur if you are out for long periods in intense cold without the proper protection. Extremities like the nose, toes and fingers can be most affected.This can happen if for example you are stuck on a chair lift in extreme temperatures.
Don't stay out for long is conditions that are cold and always wear the right gear to suit the lower temperatures. This can include balaclavas, mittens(warmer than gloves) and thick thermal socks.Also ensure you are wearing base layers, ski pants and of course a good ski jacket.