Cardiff's leading heath clinic.

Preparation for the piste – Common snowboard & ski injuries (and how to prevent them)!

Given the current global circumstances, many of those reading this blog will be thinking ‘will I ever make my beloved ski trip this season’?! At the time of writing this blog Northern Hemisphere ski slopes have been back open for a little over a month. Despite this, Brits have been unable to visit popular French ski resorts due to travel restrictions. Fortunately, France have just announced a reduction in travel restrictions, so things are looking more hopeful! With any luck we’ll be able to dust off our ski boots and get back out there soon, but in the mean time I thought it would be a great opportunity for our readers to brush up on common boarding and ski injuries, and more importantly- find out how to prevent them!


Let’s face it, waiting in anticipation for the trip of the year, a chance to visit the slopes for an amazing week of skiing with friends or family, then getting injured on the last run of the first day is less than ideal. You spend the remainder of the week tucked up in a French hospital bed, or sat on your balcony dreaming of what could have been.


In this blog we’ll discuss at a few things that can influence this sad possibility, and hopefully stop this from happening to you!


Common Injuries

Skiing is a physically demanding sport and has the potential to put lots of stress through different joints and muscles in the body. Even for those who choose to pootle down the green slopes and spend most of the day sipping rosé in the sunshine, negotiating the après bar stairs in ski boots can bring its own risks!

The knees can often take the brunt during twisting injuries of the legs, and the shoulders need to withstand a lot of force when you catch an edge and have a traumatic tumble. Below are some of the key snowboarding and ski injuries we see on the slopes:

So how do we prevent these?!

There are many snowboarding and ski injuries that we can’t prevent which are just down to bad luck and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, the good news is that many injuries CAN be prevented:


Where does physio come into this?!

By this stage, you may be thinking ‘why do I do this to myself?!’ Well, the good news is that some of these factors can be improved in as little as a few weeks. Completing a programme of exercises to improve your neuromuscular control and strength is a great way to prepare your body for the demands of being on the slopes, and reduce your risk of injury!


If you’re reading this sat on your resort apartment balcony, beer in hand with your knee in a brace, you’ve probably been unlucky enough to have sustained one of these injuries! It’s important to follow a graded rehabilitation programme to reduce any pain at the area, and ensure the structures damaged can heal in the best way possible.


Come and visit us in clinic or book in with one of our physiotherapists using the below link to create a bespoke ‘pre-habilitation’ plan ahead of your trip to the slopes, or to rehab your injury back to full health!


Written by Jonny Harper
MSK Physiotherapist BSc Hons MCSP