People should train before skiing or snowboarding in order to minimise risks of osteoarthritis later in life, a study by Arthritis Research UK has revealed.

A new report by the charity in conjunction with The Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine revealed that more than half of people who take part in sport, especially skiing and snowboarding, have suffered an injury such as sprain ligaments, tendon tears and broken bones.

The two organisations have conducted research which suggests that more than half the active public have sustained injuries such as sprained and torn ligaments and bone fractures due to sport.

Many of them are likely to develop osteoarthritic changes in their joints 10 or 20 years after their injury.

Knee injuries, which account almost half of all sports injuries, are especially associated with the condition. Studies have shown that on average, 50 per cent of two common knee injuries result in osteoarthritis.

Arthritis UK spokesman Prof Phil Conaghan said people, no matter what activity they took part in, should train before getting involved.

For those hitting the slopes, strong thigh muscles were particularly important. This was particularly crucial for casual snowgoers whose bodies weren’t necessarily prepared for the rigours of the slopes.

“Prevention of sports injuries is one of the public health interventions that has been overlooked,” Prof Conaghan said.

“Despite the overriding benefits of participating in sport and exercise, there are hidden hazards related to sports injury.”

– Jahn Vannisselroy