How to avoid common ski injuries

Skiing can be considered an extreme sport, which comes with a high risk of injuries. If you’re heading off to the slopes this winter, it’s important to understand the physical demands skiing places on your body, as well as how to reduce your risk of injury. 

In this post, we describe common ski injuries and how to avoid them. Our physiotherapists are experts in dealing with sports injury in Twickenham so if you return home with a skiing injury, help is at hand. 

Please bear in mind that although the information and tips in this blog are helpful when recovering from common ski injuries, for specific advice and guidance, please contact a physiotherapist for a professional assessment.

Common ski injuries

Shoulder injuries 

If you’re about to wipe out when skiing down a hill, your body’s natural reaction will be to break your fall by putting your arms out in front of you. However, doing this causes the impact of the fall to travel up your arm and into your shoulder. That’s why bone fractures, sprained shoulders, and dislocation rank high among the list of common ski injuries. 

Knee injuries

Falling while skiing often results in a twisting motion that causes trauma to your knee. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament) are part of the knee that are most commonly damaged when skiing. These ligaments, which connect your thigh bone to your shin bone, provide stability to your knee joint. Ligaments are by no means the only structures in and around the knee that can be damaged.

Wrist and thumb injuries 

As with shoulder injuries, putting your arms out to break your fall can put your wrists and thumbs at risk of injury. Many people also land on their hands while still holding onto their ski poles. This can cause the ligament on the inside of the thumb to stretch, resulting in a tear, sprain, or dislocated thumb. 

How to avoid ski injuries  

Before skiing 

Engaging in strength-building exercises before skiing can minimise your risk of injury. Choose exercises that work on your quadriceps, hamstrings and hip abductors. It’s also important to warm up before hitting the slopes and ensure that your bindings are fixed correctly. 

While skiing

Make sure you stick within the range of your skiing ability, wear proper protective equipment and always observe warning signs. Also, avoid consuming alcohol while skiing as this can delay your reaction speed. Finally, resist the temptation to do ‘one last run’ if you’re tired. 

After skiing

It’s important to give your body time to warm down by exercising and stretching. If you’re injured, seek immediate help. 

Sports injury treatment 

Our sports injury treatments can help you safely recover from simple or complex sports injuries. Not only can we provide a likely diagnosis, we can provide detailed training advice to aid your recovery. 

Get in touch

If you’ve recently injured yourself skiing and need some support during your recovery period, our physiotherapists can help. Please do not hesitate to give us a call on 020 8898 1231.