Skiing, Injuries, and the Risk Takers

Nov 19, 2015

When it comes to winter sporting or leisure activities, skiing may seem to offer the best scenery and time with family and friends. But alpine skiing is more than a beautiful experience. It can have many benefits to the body. A sport that seems to be effortless such as skiing, however, can cause injuries as well.

Alpine skiing refers to the sport or recreation of sliding down hills covered in snow on skis with fixed-heel bindings. It is one of the most popular sports in the Winter Olympics.

Athletes combine speed and agility while racing down slopes at speeds of around 100km/h. Alpine skiing is a great and fun way to keep fitness levels up. It can have many benefits to the body including good flexibility, strong leg muscles, and improved cardiovascular health.

Skiing Injuries

Skiing can cause a wide range of injuries. The most common among these are knee injuries, particularly injuries of the anterior cruciate ligament.

To break a fall, skiers mostly tend to put their arms out. This results in shoulder injuries such as dislocations and sprains.

Fractures also occur commonly in skiing, particularly around the shoulder and lower leg.

Head injuries also happen, which can be a serious problem.

Characteristics of a Risk Taker

A study says that risk-taking behaviour on ski slopes is associated with younger age, higher skiing ability, male sex, lower body mass index and on average higher speeds.

Some snowboarders listen to music on a personal music player. Researchers observed that listening to music reduces odds of any injury, but raises its severity.

Skiing Safely

Technical improvements likely help further reduce injury risk. Moreover, developing physical fitness for the sports, practicing responsible behaviour on ski slopes, and choosing appropriate slope will also prevent injuries in skiers.

Although head injuries account for 9-19% of all winter sport injuries as reported by ski patrols and emergency departments, using ski helmets has been shown to reduce head injury by up to 60% among children and adults.

It is definitely worth investing in the appropriate skate skiing gear. The proper attire and frequent rests in the ski lodges can help hypothermia and appropriate equipment can promote a safe and enjoyable skiing. Skiers should have their equipment checked by a qualified ski shop at least once per season, if not more often.

Before you start skiing, warm up and stretch your muscles in your legs and lower back. Make sure you only ski down slopes that match your skill level.

For new skiers, it is especially important to take ski lessons. Learning how to fall correctly and safely can reduce the risk of injury. Even experienced skiers can improve by taking a lesson.

Fear of serious injury should not prevent you from enjoying and being active on the slopes. As long as applying safety precautions can help you prevent the hazards and gain all of the health benefits of skiing.

If you need to talk to a Perth physiotherapist about your skiing injuries, call the Best Body team on 9272 7359 today!