Injury Mitigation Report 22/23...

Musculoskeletal Injury (MSKI) continues to be the biggest health risk for UK Defence, adversely impacting Force Readiness and Operational Effectiveness.

Disproportionately more injuries occur during military training, including Cold Weather Warfare (CWW) training and mitigation interventions have been proposed to reduce this risk.

A proof-of-concept Service Improvement Programme(SIP) was implemented offering a ski skill acquisition programme to Units deploying on CWW courses during Winter Deployment 22/23, with the aim of improving ski proficiency and reducing MSKI occurrences. The training consisted of a 5-day programme undertaken using Nordic Cross Skates (Off Snow) and Telemark and/or Alpine Skis (On snow).  Skills were taught and assessed.

Musculoskeletal Injury occurrence was surveyed in the deployed population by a Forward Rehabilitation Team, who also recorded if presenting patients had undertaken pre-deployment ski skill training.

None of the personnel who completed pre-deployment ski skill acquisition training reported a MSKI. Data from this Service Improvement Programme is consistent with the hypothesis that teaching basic ski skills before deploying on CWW courses reduces the likelihood of MSKI during the course.

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