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How to prevent an injury on the ski slopes in Spring


As we approach Spring, Mr Granville-Chapman offers advice on how to prevent an injury on the slopes.

If you are concerned about injury, consider:

Moderating your speed and terrain to reduce your fall risk

  • Most injuries occur during a fall or a collision. While experienced skiers rarely fall, conditions and terrain can vary rapidly and everyone carries at least some risk of a tumble. So, reduced your risk by moderating your speed and terrain.

Being aware of snow conditions to help you avoid trouble

  • As spring approaches, the snow-pack typically undergoes daily freeze-thawing.This means it will be icy in the early mornings and very slushy in the late afternoon, especially on south-facing slopes.
  • The pistes leading back into your resort during the final hours of the day will always seem to be littered with fallen skiers!As legs tire and the snow becomes heavy this is no surprise, so take extra care on your way back to resort and be aware of your own fitness levels.
  • If your legs feel tired and every turn is an effort it may be worth getting the lift down and being first to secure the best locations for Après-Ski.

Maintaining good core stability, balance and endurance

  • This can reduce your chances of falling and, if you do lose control, they will improve your chances of staying up.  
  • If you have a couple of weeks before you go on your skiing holiday you may wish to fine-tune your balance and your core stability.  Many gyms provide ski-fit classes that cater for this.  Your physio will also be happy to provide advice. If there is no time for this, be honest with yourself about your fitness and tailor your skiing to accommodate your capacity.


When to consider wearing a shoulder brace when you go skiing?

If you already have an injury or an unstable shoulder and wish to go skiing, then you may wish to wear a shoulder brace. Commercially available braces aim to achieve a reduced risk of dislocation by:

1.         Improving your shoulder position awareness and muscle control

People with shoulder instability lose their joint position awareness. This means they are slow to engage corrective muscle actions to prevent dislocation.  A snugly-fitting neoprene brace, or taping can improve the feedback from your skin and help 'tell your brain where your shoulder is'.  This can help you control your shoulder. This is the same principle that ‘K-taping’ uses (the thick adhesive tape you may have seen strapped over athletes’ joints).

2.         Limiting access to the ‘vulnerable shoulder position’ for dislocation

In 90% of shoulder dislocations the head comes out forwards. The vulnerable position is with the arm raised away from your body and with your forearm pointing skywards. These braces restrict the forearm rotation and therefore aim to reduce the likelihood of a dislocation. An example brace is the Donjoy shoulder stabilizer, but many manufacturers offer similar products.  

In general, to avoid injury it is best to ski within your limits of expertise and confidence. If you have a pre-existing problem with your shoulder, take extra care.

If you are unfortunate enough to injure yourself while skiing, do seek appropriate medical attention in resort, but remember that most upper limb problems can safely wait until you get home to be treated.  You can find more information on shoulder and elbow injuries at or book an appointment - call Kate on 01753 540208.