Snow sports are increasingly popular. They are fun but are very physically demanding. When injuries do occur they can be significant. Improvements in equipment has improved safety – boots, bindings and helmet use etc.
Boarders have greatly improved protection through developments in clothing and joint supports, such as wrist and back braces.
Injury rates are relatively low at 2 per 1000 / day – but injuries can be very significant.
Risk of injury is increased with
Being under 16 years old
Having less than 5 days experience that season
First and last day's experience
Females’ knee injury rate is twice that of males
Poor general fitness / core stability
Poor Technical ability / Reduced Skill Level
Poor Control / Technique
Speed / Jumping / Use of terrain Parks
Good weather - increased speeds,
(overcast / poor light reduces speed + risk)
Lower run difficulty
(Increased piste difficulty = reduced risk of injury with greater experience and skill)
Helmet use reduced head injury
Sport – Ski or Boarding
Lower limb injuries common amongst skiers:
Upper limb injuries frequently in boarders.
Studies show a decline in snow sports injury rates by about 55% to its current level.
Lower leg injuries have reduced the most over the years but have recently levelled off.
Ski and Snowboarding Injury
The incidence of severe knee sprains (ACL primarily) has stabilised over recent decades. Lower leg fractures are less common. Shoulder injury occurs most often due to falls (90%) or to collision (3% with people, 1% with obstacles). Around 1 in 6 of all injuries was to the head.
These improvements are in equipment (bindings and stiffer ski boots), slope grooming and carving skis
Snowboarding has grown rapidly. Snowboarding initially carried a higher risk of injury.
Experience appears to be an important factor; 49% of injured snowboarders were beginners compared to 18% of skiers. Children + adults fall more often than youths do; beginners 6 times as often as experienced boarders. Runs in pipes and terrain parks resulted in falls in 30% and 20% of the runs respectively. Falls were mostly onto the hands for beginners and onto the back/bottom for experienced boarders.
In 2009 the risk of injury from snowboarding was less than that of alpine skiing.
If you have an injury let us assess and treat it at Ennis Physiotherapy Clinic. Simply contact us to make an appointment