With all the snow we’ve had so far this winter, it’s shaping up to be a great ski season. Once these freezing cold temperatures clear, lots of folks will be eager to head for the slopes. Every year, I see patients in physical therapy who have suffered ski related injury. You can help reduce the likelihood that you will be one of those who suffer a ski related injury this season with a few tips that will help you stay healthy and have fun on the slopes.
Exercise. Skiing can be very strenuous, so preparing your body with some regular exercise can be helpful. Simple body weight squats, step ups or lunges are a good place to start. Always think about the alignment of your legs when doing these exercises. Keeping your toe, knee and hip in line as you squat or lunge will help reduce your likelihood of injury, particularly knee injury. Core work is also important. Planks are a great way to work core strength and stability. Biking is also helpful as it develops leg strength and builds endurance.
Proper equipment and technique. Be sure that you have the right size skis and that your bindings are set at the right tension (also known as DIN). Your local ski shop tech (or, if you’re renting skis, a tech at the mountain) should help with this. It’s often a good idea to take a lesson too. Ski schools usually offer refreshers, quick one hour group classes, which are affordable and helpful if you haven’t been on skis for a while.
Fatigue. Fatigue is a major contributor to injuries in all sports and it’s particularly problematic during the dreaded “last run” in skiing. Injuries on the last run are so prevalent that, often, skiers won’t even say the words “last run” because they think it’s bad luck. There are a few reasons for increased injuries at the end of the day. You are tired which leads to increased injury risk, ski conditions tend to be worse (especially in the east where it tends to get icey), and other skiers are tired so there is increased risk of collisions. Be extra careful at the end of your ski day.
There is nothing better than spending a day on the slopes. These simple tips can help reduce the likelihood of injury and keep you carving turns all day long. Have a fun and healthy ski season this year!
If you do experience an injury during your skiing day and need post-injury rehab, choose Complete Game Physical Therapy and we can have you back on the ski-lift in no time! Call us at 978-710-7204 for an appointment at our new location at 1703 Middlesex St. Lowell, MA 01851.