Preventing Ski Injuries
Are you planning for your skiing holidays? Then here’s a quick guide in how to prevent ski injuries and boost your performance on the slopes
Outdoor winter sports like skiing or snowboarding have become more and more popular over the past few years. Here at Neo G we’re all about staying safe, active and enjoying what you love, so here’s a guide to some of the common injuries that occur on the slopes and some tips in how to prevent them.
Knee injuries represent 30-40% of all skiing injuries. Some of the most common knee ski injuries include:
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear: This occurs when the body rotates but the foot remains on the ground. It can happen when landing from a jump, during a twisting fall or a quick change of direction
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tear: normally caused by an excessive force that pushes the knee inwards causing inside knee pain and swelling
- Meniscus tear: popular among athletes and slightly older skiers, this injury can happen when the skier twists their knee or suffers a big impact
- Knee dislocations: occurs after a high impact or fall and can affect either the patella or the knee joint causing swelling and pain of the knee
Whether you already suffer from a knee injury or not, wearing a knee support can help provide added stability. Our Neo G Stabilized Knee Support is extremely popular with skiers and snowboarders. It not only helps support the knee complex whilst still allowing controlled and flexible movement, it also provides added bounce and flex in the knees making it perfect for daily ski wear.
Shoulder injuries normally occur on the slopes when the skier falls or suffers a high speed impact on the joint. The most common injuries that make the muscles and tendons tear are shoulder dislocation and subluxation (partial dislocation) of the joint.
A direct trauma to the shoulder can affect the rotator cuff muscles causing pain and repetitive strains. Falls and a direct blow to the joint are also behind clavicle (collarbone) fractures that cause bruising, swelling and a deformity.
Although your ankles are protected slightly by ski boots, twisted and sprained ankles can still occur. Snowboarders are more likely to suffer from ankle sprains than skiers due to the twisting movements of the joint.
So what is a snowboarder’s ankle? It is a lateral process fracture of the talus bone that causes inflammation and pain.
There are a number of other ankle injuries that can happen when practising snow sports, such as: ankle fractures, achiles tendon injury or sprained ankles
Wrist and Thumb injuries
What is a skier’s thumb or Gamekeeper's thumb as some call it? It is a common injury among skiers that affects the ligament that supports the thumb called ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). It normally occurs when you fall while holding a ski pole.
Learning to fall correctly will help prevent you from suffering wrist or thumb injuries. Most of them happen when a skier or snowboarder falls, so try to release the pole and not place your hand down on the snow to stop the fall.
Head and spinal injuries
Head and spinal injuries are less common injuries often caused by falls, high speed or impacts when hitting the slope.
There are many reasons why wearing a helmet when skiing or snowboarding is vitally important, but the main one is that it can help reduce the severity of suffering a head injury by absorbing the shock of the impact.
How to help prevent ski injuries
Wearing a support can help prevent injury as well as rehabilitate in the unfortunate event of an injury occurring. And here at Neo G we have a large range of medical grade supports and braces that provide stability to the joints and muscles that need it most. But there are also some simply tips you can consider to help prevent injury on your next trip:
- Get your body ready before the skiing season - specific exercises can help strengthen your muscles and reduce the risk of suffering an injury
- Warm up and stretch each day before hitting the slopes
- Improve your technique with an instructor/lessons
- Use serviced equipment to help ensure equipment failure does not lead to a fall
- Rest when you feel tired – fatigue is a common cause of falls and injuries
- Hydrate whilst you are skiing – it helps keep you energised and focused
- Don´t ignore signs and warnings of where it’s safe to ski (and remember, don’t eat yellow snow!)
After a long day skiing, our reusable/dual function Neo G Hot and Cold Therapy products can help with muscle and joint pain, swelling, inflammation or stiffness. Look out for Neo G compatible supports for a complete injury solution!
Don’t let injuries stop you doing what you love. Stay active with Neo G.
*Whilst a good support or brace can help protect or prevent injuries on the slopes its still a good idea to discuss with your doctor or physiotherapist before utilizing one to make sure it meets your requirements