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Common Ski Injuries – And How To Avoid Them


Skiing becomes safer every season. Accident statistics prove this: Every year, fewer and fewer winter sports enthusiasts get injured. This means more protection from the equipment and better prepared and considerate skiers. However, as with any sport, there is of course a certain risk of injury when skiing. We take a look at the six most common ski injuries, their causes and how best to avoid them.

Better protective equipment, better treatment, better prepared skiers and safer slopes – these are the main reasons why injuries in winter sports are at an all-time low. However, as with any sport, falls and injuries are always a risk when skiing. While this risk cannot be completely eliminated, most accidents can be avoided by good and conscientious preparation, foresight and equipment.

The most common injury spots when skiing

It is the knees that suffer most from skiing. Women as well as men injured themselves the most. However, the differences are great. In the 2016/2017 winter season, a good 44 percent of all women suffered a ski injury at the knee, while the figure for male skiers was only 23 percent. This makes knee injuries the most common average injury during skiing.

After knee injuries, shoulder injuries are particularly frequent among men (24.5 percent). A good 20 percent of all skiers injure themselves in this area, followed by head injuries (eleven percent).

The torso is also a place where many winter sports enthusiasts get injured. More than nine percent suffer injuries in this area. This makes it the fourth most common area of injury in skiing.

Hips and thighs are the fifth most common injury when skiing, and lower legs are sixth on the injury scale.

Self overestimation: Many injuries could be avoided

As can be seen from these particularly frequent injuries, falls are the main cause of injuries while skiing. 84 percent of all injuries during skiing are self-inflicted and occur after falls. Only six percent of ski accidents occur after a collision with other skiers.

On the one hand, this means that the slopes themselves are safe and modern ski equipment prevents many more serious accidents. On the other hand, it also shows that falls are usually the fault of the skier and can therefore be avoided.

For example, more than half of all skiers are injured in the first two days of their skiing holiday. In addition to the unusual height, the special weather conditions also lead to more frequent falls during this time. In addition, the body is often not adjusted to the forthcoming effort due to a lack of appropriate physical preparation for winter sports and the lack of driving routine is also noticeable in falls.

This can be avoided by taking it easy on the slopes in the first few days. This means that you should take enough breaks, ski easier slopes at the beginning and finish your day in the early afternoon. This way the body can get used to the altitude as well as to the athletic demands without being injured due to carelessness or lack of training.

Those who notice after the first descents that they feel insecure on the skis can also take a ski course. This way you can refresh and deepen your own knowledge and then be more confident on the slopes.

In general, overestimating one’s own self and the resulting riskier skiing style is another reason for injuries while skiing. In addition, both the wide carving skis and the well-prepared pistes convey a strong feeling of safety that can lead skiers to risky behaviour.

Again, caution is better than injury and the end of the ski holiday. If you slowly increase the speed and difficulty of the slopes, you will not only have just as much fun downhill, but also a much lower risk of injury.

Ignorance is one of the most frequent causes of falls and collisions when skiing, even after the first few days of your skiing holiday. Of course, it is not always possible to avoid a collision, but if you go out on the piste well-rested and rested, are physically fit and therefore more alert, you can avoid many such accidents.

The warming up before the first descent is not to be underestimated in order to get the circulation going and to warm up the muscles. This reduces the risk of injury on the piste.

During the ride you should always take breaks and drink enough – preferably water and no alcohol. Also not too hearty snacks ensure that you can regain your strength and drive more concentrated. This also results in much fewer falls and injuries.

This equipment helps against injuries

In addition to foresighted and attentive skiing, the equipment can also help enormously to minimize the risk of injury when skiing.

Young male skiers in particular rely on back protectors for winter sports. These can at least cushion falls in the back and torso area, even if the protectors do not mean that one can or should therefore ski faster and riskier.

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Wrist protectors also offer good protection against falls. But the ski helmet offers the demonstrably best protection in terms of equipment – for most people it already belongs to standard equipment. A helmet protects against severe head injuries in the event of a fall and should therefore be important to every winter sports enthusiast.

Even if skiing accidents can never be completely avoided, many of the top injuries after falls can be prevented by careful skiing, caution and good protective equipment.