Top Tips For Avoiding Ski Injuries
We’re right in the middle of the ski season and still basking in the afterglow of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Many of you will be getting ready for a ski trip over the Easter holiday. Here are Dr Coyne’s top tips to help you avoid injury and maximise your time on the slopes:
Wear a helmet
Almost 20% of winter sports injuries are head injuries. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury by a whopping 60%!
Don’t be tempted to borrow equipment
Borrowing equipment from a friend has been shown to massively increase your risk of injury
Check your gear
Check your equipment regularly, particularly your bindings. Everyday, self test your bindings to ensure you can readily release your toe and your heel.
Most ski injuries are knee injuries, and women have twice the risk of knee injury than men. Bindings have a higher rate of failure to release amongst women who suffer knee injuries. If you are a women who tends to ski more defensively, you may benefit from having bindings at a 15% lower setting.
Get in Shape
A major contributor to ski injuries is fatigue. Ensuring a good level of both muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness will help reduce the likelihood of muscular fatigue that predisposes to injury and will also likely make the whole experience more fun.
One for Snowboarders
Wrist guards, as used by inline skaters, have been found to reduce the likelihood of upper limb injury in snowboarders by up to 50%.
Obey the rules
Always remember to follow the F.I.S code on piste safety.
Skiing is actually very safe, for someone who skis 20 days per season, statistics show that they are likely to experience and injury once every 25-50 years! So have a great trip and have fun.
Dr J Hugh Coyne
Private GP Parsons Green