There may not be snow yet, but if you love to hit the slopes, chances are you’re already getting revved up for this skiing or snowboarding season. What you do now can help keep you safer once your out on the slopes.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins estimates there are approximately 600,000 skiing and snowboarding accidents annually. A four-year study comparing the two sports found there are more injuries sustained by snowboarders. Skiers tend to damage their knees, while wrist and ankle injuries are more common among snowboarders. Interestingly, experience seems to matter less with skiers– only 18% of injured skier were a beginner, versus 49% of snowboarders.
There are plenty of ways to minimize your risk of injury pre-season. Here’s where to start:
- Stay (Or Get) Fit: If snow sports are your main active hobby, you’ll need some extra work to get into prime shape. Appropriate strengthening exercises will help you maintain balance and control. You should consult a physician before embarking on a new exercise program, especially if you’ve suffered previous injuries, to make sure your plan is a good fit given your physiology.
- Assess Your Gear: Start going through your gear now to make sure you have what you need–and don’t buy something cheap or uncomfortable in a rush. Bonus? Checking now means you can add items you need to your holiday wish list!
- Bindings: Bindings are very important for skiers and snowboarders. It’s important to be very vigilant about the fit of your bindings, especially if you get new boots. See a professional to make sure your bindings are adjusted correctly, especially if you’re a new skier or again, have new boots.
- Ski bindings that fail to release are a major cause of knee injuries among skiers. It’s vital to make sure your bindings are appropriately adjusted. Do a self test to make sure your bindings will release–here’s how.
- Snowboarders also need to be aware of their bindings, though for different reasons. Snowboard binding isn’t designed to release your feet in a crash (as your legs are bound close together, it’s less likely your legs will be injured). But properly fitted bindings are important to insuring you’ll have good control of your board.
A sports medicine professional can help make sure you are ready for a safer season in many ways. They can test you to identify issues with gait or posture that might impact your performance, and find exercise programs that capitalize on your strengths. They can also make sure you are not exacerbating old injuries or other conditions. Our team regularly works with winter sports enthusiasts to help them improve their performance. You can request an appointment, or contact us via the website chat for more info.