Passport? Check. Warm, lightweight clothing? Check. Ski goggles? Check. But, is there something else you should be including in your winter holiday planning?
If you’re heading off on a winter sports break, making safety and the avoidance of accidents part of your holiday planning could help to keep you and your family safe on the slopes and prevent you creating holiday memories you’d rather forget.
What causes winter sports injuries?
A survey from Direct Line, published this month, shone the spotlight on ski slope accidents. It found that more than 1,000 British holidaymakers are injured each day on skiing holidays after drinking alcohol. According to the study, skiers are 43% more likely to be involved in a crash after drinking. It is clear that alcohol and winter sports don’t mix and you need to ensure that drinking alcohol is restricted to times when you are not actively participating in sports.
Aside from avoiding alcohol, which can slow your reaction times and make you more likely to take risks, what else can you do to stay safe on the piste?
Statistics show that injuries most often occur when people are tired or if they push themselves beyond their capabilities. Faulty equipment, using equipment incorrectly or ignoring warning signs are also a cause of accidents.
Preparation can help you stay safe
As part of your holiday preparations, it is a great idea to include some fitness training that can build up muscle strength and increase your flexibility. Six weeks before you leave is an ideal timescale but any kind of fitness training can be beneficial.
Each day before you head off onto the ski slopes, make sure you warm up thoroughly, as cold weather can make you more prone to soft tissue injury (ligaments, muscles and joints). As well as starting the day properly, it is important not to overdo it and to stop when your body is telling you it is tired. Muscles that are tired don’t protect the joints so well, making injuries more likely.
Protective equipment is essential for participating in winter sports. If you don’t have your own, you can normally hire it in your resort. You should wear a helmet while skiing and boots that fit properly. Up to 90% of ankle fractures could be avoided by wearing ski boots with a high, rigid shell.
The right clothing can help to keep you warm and dry. Experts recommend layering lightweight items of clothing, rather than heavier, bulky garments. Wearing wicking materials against the skin can help to keep you dry if you are engaging in strenuous activities.
It is important to take out insurance before your holiday as the cost of being stretchered off a mountain by helicopter can range from around £500 to upwards of £2,500. If you also need to be flown home from holiday the price tags can run into tens of thousands of pounds.
Seek prompt treatment
If you are unfortunate enough to injure yourself on holiday it is important to get a proper diagnosis as quickly as possible.
X-rays, ultrasound, CT or MRI scans may be used to show the type and extent of any injuries. Continuing to use an injured limb can worsen the injury and may result in prolonged recovery or permanent damage.
Once you have a diagnosis you can agree a treatment plan with your doctor to help you make the fastest possible recovery.
SPORTS INJURY TREATMENT | MANCHESTER, WIGAN, CHESHIRE + MORE
W27 provides fast, accurate diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal symptoms and conditions using the latest state-of-the-art imaging facilities.
For your appointment there is a choice of locations:
The John Charnley Wing, Wrightington Hospital – Hall Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9EP
HCA Manchester Institute of Health & Performance – 299 Alan Turing Way, Manchester, M11 3BS
Euxton Hall Hospital – Wigan Road, Euxton, Chorley, PR7 6DY
The Spire Manchester – 170 Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2AF
European Scanning Centre – 10-11 Bulstrode Place, London W1U 2HX
The OrthTeam Centre Ohm Building – 168 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M20 2AF
Information about our Fees can be found here.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options with a specialist, please contact the team to book an initial consultation.