Common Injuries for Skiers

Skiing is a popular activity amongst all age groups, but it also accounts for more than 140,000 injuries each year. The most common injuries occur in the knees, shoulders, legs and head.

Damage to the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) is the most common ski-related injury. These occur when the lower leg twists outwards, putting extra pressure on this particular ligament. MCL injuries tend to occur more in beginner skiers. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries are far more serious and occur when a traumatic force is applied to the knee while twisting, causing hyperextension.

The proper equipment, practice and precaution can help prevent injuries. New skiers should take lessons (which are especially important in learning how to fall correctly), and all participants should choose slopes based on their experience level.

Preparation is key to preventing ski-related injuries. Make sure you keep in good physical condition, and do not overexert yourself at the end of the day. Use your best judgment to know when you are too tired and should stop.

Other tips include warming up beforehand (about 3 to 5 minutes of light cardio) and staying hydrated. Understand the safety rules – both those of your particular ski resort and general safety guidelines of skiing (stopping, merging, and yielding to other skiers).

Check the bindings of your ski before hitting the slopes, and wear appropriate protective gear including ski helmets. Stay on marked trails – even then, pay attention to possible icy patches

Reference: Sports Medicine Information, “Skiing Injuries”.

Reference: California Pacific Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, “Skiing Injuries”.