In 2015, more than 140,000 people received medical treatment for skiing and snowboard-related injuries…and according to a recent article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, that number is only rising.
Mountain sports have become increasingly popular in the past several years, meaning there are more people carving it up out there on the slopes. Advanced technologies in ‘snow-making’ are also lengthening ski seasons well into late spring.
More people, plus more months that ski runs are open, equals more injuries–with snowboarders being three times more likely to suffer an injury than skiers.
While some injuries on the slopes are truly unavoidable, many can be prevented.
One of the greatest causes of injury is excessive speed leading to a serious collision either with another skier/boarder or a tree.
The most common injuries are to the spine, shoulder, and head as well as the lower extremities like feet and ankles. Head injuries can be very serious and lead to concussions, so it’s extremely important to wear a well-fitting helmet at all times.
Other ways to ensure your safety on the slopes this Spring Break include:
- Check that all your equipment works properly, fits well, and that you know how to use it.
- Make sure that ski or snowboard edges are all well maintained – meaning flat and sharp – as a nick on the surface could caused a dangerous catch on a catch on a patch of ice resulting in a fall.
- Always ski or snowboard with a partner.
- Heed all weather warnings put forth by your resort, local weather outlets, and the National Weather Service.
- Follow all signs and directions as posted on the mountain, and never enter areas marked as out-of bounds.
- Nourish yourself and hydrate sufficiently before heading out for a run so that your body has enough fuel for the next several hours.
- Never ski or snowboard under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you have concerns about past sports injuries, or other orthopedic conditions, prior to heading to the slopes this spring, please contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists.
(Adapted from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons-AAOS)