There are two to three injuries every day for every 1,000 people skiing and snowboarding. Despite the different equipment required for each sport, the injuries are quite similar.

Those under 18 have the highest incidence of injury. Women get injured at a slightly higher rate than men, but when men get injured their problems tend to be more severe.

Here are the five most common skiing and snowboarding injuries and how to prevent them:

  • Knee ligament injuries.These make up about one third of all skiing injuries. Wearing a knee brace can help prevent the twisting movements that lead to knee injuries.
  • Snowboarder’s ankle.This is a fracture of the outside ankle as a result of a high-energy ankle sprain. Wearing a sports ankle brace will restrain the leg and prevent the body from going over it.
  • Skier’s thumbThis injury is caused by falling while grasping the ski pole. You can either wear a thumb stabilizer while skiing to prevent this injury, or hold the poles without putting your hands through the loops.
  • Wrist fractures.These happen most often in snowboarders, since they fall more as beginners. Wear wrist guards when learning to snowboard.
  • Head and spinal injuries.Head and spinal injuries are usually the result of a collision with the ground, a tree, or another skier. The evidence for helmets to prevent head injuries is mixed, as it usually transfers the energy to the spine, and those injuries can be just as serious.

If you’re wondering which participants get injured more often, the answer is snowboarders. According to a study by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, female snowboarders experience the most injuries out of any group on the mountain.

Richard Rizk is the only attorney ever awarded the Far West Ski Association’s “Safety Person of the Year” for his snow sports and winter travel safety education efforts. If you have questions about holiday injuries or negligence by another party, contact Portland personal injury attorney Richard Rizk by emailing rich@rizklaw.com, calling (503) 245-5677, or visiting www.rizklaw.com.