Injury prevention tips for the skier and snowboarder.
With the temperatures dropping and the snow starting to fall on the mountains, its the perfect time to discuss ways you can stay injury free when on the slopes this winter!
- Not only is it important to ensure you are strong leading into the snow season, but It is important to ensure you have good limb control with strong research advocating for neuromuscular training to prevent against ACL injury (Meyer, Yamato & Saragiotto, 2007).
- More on pre-season strength and conditioning in our next post
- See below for some injury prevention tips to keep you safe on the slopes this winter!
- Can reduce injury risk by as much as 50%
- An appropriate warm up should take 5-10 minutes.
- Depending on your level of ski or snowboard ability.
- It is important to assess weather conditions each day and consider you ski or snowboard ability.
- Weather can change rapidly. If it is a poor visibility day then ensure you stay in an area with easily identifiable objects such as in the trees or lower on the mountain.
- Don’t be fooled by the cold air, skiing and snowboarding are demanding physical activities and the cold dry air of the mountains can cause rapid dehydration. Ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Helmets: studies show that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of brain injury by 60% (Sulheim et al. 2006). Make sure your helmet is a good fit, one which has minimal movement when turning your head left to right.
- Ski Bindings: Poor release of bindings has been attributed to knee injury and with such injuries accounting for 20-32% of all ski induced injuries. Knowing your ski ability and ensuring you have an appropriate DIN setting is crucial with evidence showing this can reduce lower limb injuries by 22% and 39% in men and women respectively (Bouter & Knipschild, 1991) .
- Ski Poles: The most common upper limb injury is skiers is to the thumb and is affectionatly know as “skiers thumb”. In this injury, the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb is stressed and damaged. Evidence now supports the action of discarding ski poles when falling and choosing a grip style that is low profile and does not have a wrist strap (Koehle, Lloyd-Smith & Taunton. 2002)
Correct Falling Technique
- Knowing how to fall “correctly” may reduce the risk of sustaining an ACL injury by as much as 62% (Ettlinger, Johnson & Shealy. 1995).
- When falling one should aim to
- Keep the knees slightly bent in a fall
- Avoid getting up while sliding
- When your down “stay down!”
- Try to avoid landing on an outstretched arm
- Do not jump unless you know where to land and if you do, land on both feet and keep your knees slightly bent.
Holly Lipson is an avid skier and can often be seen skiing off piste. Holly also works with the Australian Para Alpine team and is a network provider for the Olympic Winter Institute Australia. She is also a volunteer Ski Patroler at Falls Creek in the winter. Book an appointment today to get yourself snow-ready. Call on 52772151
Bouter, L. & Knipschild, P. (1991). Behavioural risk factors for skiing injury: problem analysis as a basis for effective health education. In: Johnson RJ, Mote CD, eds. Skiing trauma and safety: eighth international symposium, ASTM STP 1104. Philadelphia: American Society for Testing
Ettlinger, CF., Johnson, RJ & Shealy, JE. (1995). A method to help reduce the risk of serious knee sprains incurred in alpine skiing. American journal of sports medicine. 23(5), p. 531-537
Koehle, M., Lloyd-Smith, R. & Taunton, J. (2002). Alpine ski injuries and their prevention. Sports Medicine. 32(12), p. 785-793
Meyer, S. E., Yamato, T. P., & Saragiotto, B. T. (2017). Knee injury and ACL tear prevention programmes (PEDro synthesis). British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51(15), 1161. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-097232
Sulheim S, Holme I, Ekeland A, et al. (2006). Helmet use and risk of head injuries in Alpine skiers and snowboarders. JAMA. 295: p. 919 –24.