Village Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Shellharbour

Snowy injuries

After last weeks chilly weekend, this weeks cold blast and plenty of snow being dumped all over the state it was only appropriate to write a blog on snow injuries.

We have lots of fun going to the snow, whether it is going tobogganing or building snowmen with the kids, to tackling the slopes on a snowboard or skis, it is important to make sure we do everything we can to reduce our risk of injury. Sometimes the mechanism of injury is unfortunate due to someone crashing into you, or a bump in the snow you didn’t see.

Did you know:

  • The most common injured body part skiing usually involves the knee. Anterior Cruciate Ligaments, Medial Collateral Ligaments and Medial Meniscus can often be torn due to the twisting forces placed on the knee to change direction.
  • The most common injured body part snowboarding usually involves the upper limb. Both legs are strapped into the same board and pointing in the same direction. As a result, the knees do not experience the same twisting forces. Therefore, when you lose balance the arms are put in a position to take the brunt of the impact leading to injuries such as wrist fractures and shoulder dislocations.
Maddie with her ruptured ACL
Lets not end the season like this

Common injuries at the snow include:

  • wrist/scaphoid fractures
  • knee ligament injuries (including anterior cruciate ligament tears)
  • shoulder dislocations
  • thumb/elbow ligament ruptures
  • concussion and neck injuries
  • bumps and bruises to the arms and legs

Our top tips

There are definitely some tips we can follow though to prepare and reduce our risk of injury and make the most of our weekend away:

  • Consider your physical activity throughout the year. Are you being a couch potato or sitting at a desk 60 hours a week, not exercising, and then expecting to be able to have sufficient leg strength and stability to tackle the moguls or rails? Undertake a preseason conditioning program to improve strength, flexibility and endurance.
  • Warm up. Do some stretches before hitting the slopes. Spend 5-10 minutes doing some walking, squats, jumps and hops to get the heart rate up and to get the muscles and joints ready for the workload they are about to undergo.
  • Grab a lesson!
  • Know your skill level- Your mates may be egging you on to try the advanced runs with steeper terrain and drops, yet you know you’re a beginner. Don’t bite off more than you can chew!
  • Consider the conditions. Only ski/snowboard in good conditions.
  • Learn how to fall- try to avoid falling on an outstretched hand in order to reduce the risk of wrist fractures and shoulder dislocations. Instead tuck your arms in and land on your side.
  • Know your limit- Identify when you are tired and call it quits for the day.
  • Consider having rest days in between ski days to re-energize.

Most of all get out there and enjoy the white fluffy goodness, stay in control and within your skill level. Make the end of the season amazing!

Written by Matt