Athletic Training Corner

Welcome to the Athletic Training Corner. Here you will find information on pertinent topics related to athletic injuries and/or performance. This information is updated monthly by Thompson Health's athletic training staff.

Each month’s topic will be relevant to the types of sports going on at the time.

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Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries

After enjoying the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi I figured it would be a good time to discuss some Skiing and Snowboarding injuries.

Thousands of people ski and snowboard each winter, but very few of them actually spend the time to properly get their body ready for the sport. Many times injuries occur as a result of poor weather conditions, and poor judgment on the part of the participant.

Most injuries are very traumatic, and are caused by being on dangerous train, lift accidents, falls, and collisions with other people or objects. In many instances, fatigue can be a key factor in leading to an injury.

Common issues are:Downhill Skiing

  • Time skiing/snowboarding without a break
  • Trying to ski/snowboard above ability level
  • Improperly fitted or faulty equipment
  • Inadequate acclimatization
  • Dehydration/Fatigue
  • Failure to observe posted warning signs

Most Common Injuries:

  • ACL injury
  • Shoulder dislocations or fractures
  • Shoulder separations
  • Lower extremity fractures
  • Spinal injuries
  • Closed head injuries
  • Wrist, hand, or thumb injuries

How are skiing/snowboarding injuries treated?

Most injuries are minor and can be treated conservatively with rest, bracing, and NSAID’s. Some fractures and ligament injuries may be more serious and require surgery and lengthy rehabilitation.


The best way to prevent injuries is to make sure you have proper instruction as well as properly fitted and well maintained equipment. The importance of a good warm-up and cool-down can never be overestimated. Wearing a helmet can help to prevent or lessen the severity of a head injury. Only about 48% of U.S. skiers routinely wear helmets. In terrain parks, other protective gear such as knee pads should be worn. The use of protective gear has reduced injuries of the head, neck, and face by 43%.


The National Ski Areas Association Responsibility Code for Reducing Risk
  • Always Stay in Control
  • People ahead of you have the right of way
  • Stop in a safe place for you and others
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield
  • Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment
  • Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails
  • Know how to use the lifts safely
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