Monday, 23 November 2015

UBI's? Are you at risk?

So what are UBI's and who gets them? UBI's aren't skiing or snowboarding injuries, but they are one of the most common types of injury we see at this time of year.  The snow has just arrived, as have most seasonnaires.  UBI's can range from minor to severe.  Many people are at risk.  They are often not noticed until the morning after they have occurred.  The mechanism of injury is always vague.  They can occur throughout the season.  Any ideas yet.......


Those already resident in Val d'Isère are unlikely to be skiing yet, unless they are training on the glacier in Tignes.  At this time of year, many of our Val d'Isère clients come in with long standing niggles, chronic overuse injuries or problems that have occurred from summer sports that have not properly healed.  However, we also have a category of people that come in with UBI's.  These injuries range from sprained wrists when people reach out to try and break a fall, injured coccyx's from landing on your 'derrière', knee injuries from twisting during a fall, neck injuries from a whiplash effect when hitting the ground and a range of bruises, cuts and other ailments.

One of the worst parts of my job as a physio, is telling people they won't be able to ski or board for a while due to their injury.  Every year, there are a handful of seasonnaires who are not able to hit the slopes until January due to a UBI. Worst case scenario is being sent home as your injury stops you from working. At Bonne Santé we will accelerate the healing process as fast as we can but prevention is much better than cure.

So, how can you avoid sustaining a UBI?  Well, obviously the best way is to avoid drinking too much, but as we all know Val d'Isère parties just as hard as it ski's so we've put some tips together to help you reduce the change of sustaining a UBI.
  • For every alcoholic drink that you have, follow it with a glass of water.  Alcohol has a strong effect at altitude, especially because many people up here are dehydrated due to poor fluid intake during the day. 
  • Avoid piggy backs - the number of injuries that we see from people collapsing in a heap on each other is incredible! 
  • Your reaction times are a lot slower when you have been drinking and the roads are icy, therefore if you slip you are likely to go down like a sack of spuds.  
  • Pole dancing - only advised if you can control your skills on the pole.  Head and neck injuries are not unheard of! 
  • Wear crampons.  Whilst these might not be the trendiest accessory, they make a huge difference when you walk on ice.  Just remember to take them off when you are inside.   
  • Avoid rugby tackling each other in the snow.  That lovely soft clump of the white stuff may well be hiding a hard, jagged rock just under the surface.  
  • On a more sombre note, look after your friends.  Sadly, death's from hypothermia after a night drinking are not unheard of.  There have been incidents of people leaving bars and clubs on their own, getting lost on their way home and in their drink inebriated state have thought that lying down in the snow for a nap was a good idea.  Look after each other.  
My husband (who's second home is Pacific Bar) has just pointed out that I sound like a complete killjoy who is anti alcohol!  Whilst this is probably true (at least in his eyes), I am not writing these blogs to preach the idea of not having fun.  I am passionate about my job and injury prevention is a big part of what I do.  Many tour operators and mangers ask me to speak to their staff about the risks of alcohol, therefore I thought now, before the season starts would be a good time to write about this.

(For the record, I have written this over a glass of wine for inspiration)


      Bonne Santé

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