Skiing is an outdoor sport practiced with involved factors such as speed, hard material and our self-body. Despite the fact that the skiing injuries have declined significantly in recent years, there are still black dots for the skier, body areas in which it is more common to suffer damage in an accident. The physical preparation, age, sex, level of skiing, the tiredness or the type of snow are factors that have an influence at the time of suffering an injury. We are going to discover the most frequent.
It is estimated that there are approximately 200 million skiers in the world, of which 28% practice snowboarding and 72% skiing. During the ski season, each day, 4 to 10 injuries happens per thousand athletes, mainly in children under 19 years. According to the Spanish Society of Traumatology of Sport (SETRADE), in Spain there are around 3.2 injuries a day for every 1000 skiers. The main cause is usually the speed excess. In addition, more than half of the injuries occurs during the first week of learning.
We are going to try to classify and quantify the main injuries that occur usually practicing skiing:
- Lower extremity lesions (40%-60%): the main casualty here is generally the knee (fractures, breakage of collateral ligaments, rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), broken meniscus). These are painful lesions and that often lead to a slow recovery.
- Upper limb lesions (15%-25%): shoulder is the main affected and the most frequent are dislocations. Break the stabilising elements of the joint and bone slips out of its site. It is painful and it must be freeze immediately.
- Thumb lesions, known as “skier´s thumb” (10%-20%): it happens when the skier falls on the hand closed around the cane, so the strap or fist itself produce a deviation of the thumb and forced breaks its ligaments. In the lesions with complete breakdown the treatment is surgical because if it does not cure, movements of understanding between thumb and the rest of the fingers may not perform daily day-to-day actions as lifting a weight or take a bottle.
- Head and neck injuries (10%-20%): the most frequent are the head and neck contusions, as well as head injuries, muscle-tendinous injuries and cartilaginous lesions. There are also possible cases of hypothermia due to a loss of heat from the body that it is not retrieved by the external cold and low temperatures.
- Spinal column lesions: the incidence of serious injuries of the vertebral column is very low, 0.01 per thousand skiers and day. Usually happens in falls after breaks and their casuistry is 4 times lower than in snowboarders.
As risk factors are the age and sex. By age, the most important and risky lesions happens among adolescents and young people. Among men, tend to have more serious injuries at head and neck, while among women the highest injury is ACL. No less important is the experience, where it is very curious, have more injuries the most inexperienced, but more serious the most experts skiers. There is a very direct relationship also, with the physical preparation, with less preparation more injuries. We do not forget the equipment state, the older or worse, more risk of injury, for example by bindings that will not release. Add to these factors the snow state, there are more injuries in the afternoon on average.
SKIBACK recommend a good physical preparation before the season and get in shape, warm up before you start skiing, bring good team and protections and very important especially for young people, a good rest, that makes the body is in an optimal state, decreasing the risk of injuries.
The only thing left is to wish you Merry Christmas and remind you of the great offers that we have in our shop with the best gift for all age’s skiers.