Get set to hit the ski slopes this winter
While skiing and boarding come naturally to some, others spend most of their time unsuccessfully negotiating the equipment and terrain. Whatever your level of experience, skiing and boarding can be hazardous and contribute to injury. The physiotherapists in our practice can help. We can ensure that you are prepared for the slopes by minimising your injury risk through specific exercise programmes, fitness regimes, strengthening and warm up, stretching and cool down techniques.
At Central City Physiotherapy Clinic we can diagnose and treat all these problems – if we suspect a bone fracture we can refer you for x-ray and should you require a specialist opinion we can arrange that for you too!
Be fit to ski or board
Begin to incorporate ski or board specific exercises into your regular exercise routine at least eight weeks prior to the season. This will promote use of the muscles and joints required for skiing or boarding. Strengthen the muscles specific to snow sports (thighs, butts, core stabilisers and triceps) to reduce the risk of injury and increase your enjoyment and endurance on the slopes. We can outline specific exercises whilst prescribing a conditioning programme to improve your core stability and muscle strength. Ultimately, your performance on the slopes relies on your fitness, so talk to us about how to achieve an optimal fitness level.
Look after your back
When travelling distances to reach the mountain, rest every two hours and stretch. See one of our physiotherapists for effective stretching advice.
Warm up, stretch and cool down
Before skiing or boarding, warm up like you would with any other sporting activity. Stretch your thigh, calf and arm muscles. Start your day with easy runs to loosen up (make sure you also do this after each rest break.) Once you have finished skiing for the day, remember to cool down. These activities will better prepare your body to avoid injury. We can show you warm up, stretching and cool down techniques.
Ski or board within your capabilities
Beginners should take advantage of a ski or boarding lesson and not succumb to the pressure of keeping up with experienced riders. Don’t be afraid to rest when you find yourself getting tired. Fatigue can increase your injury risk. And remember, the more unfit you are, the more tired you will become. Injuries often happen on that last run of the day!
To avoid injury on the snowfields this winter, consult one of our physiotherapists on how to best prepare your body and ensure your holiday is injury free!
Some common skiing and boarding injuries: –
- Knee ligament strains
- Knee cartilage damage
- Patella-femoral dysfunction (knee pain)
- Patella tendonitis
- Back strains
- Sacro-iliac Joint strain (SIJ)
- Coccyx brusing and strains (Snowboarder alert!)
- Neck Sprains
- Hip strain
- Thumb strain
- Shoulder sprains and fractures
- Wrist sprains and fractures (snowboarder Alert!)
- Metatarsalgia (foot pain)
- Plantar fasciitis (foot pain)
Tip If your learning to snowboard wear wrist guards – broken wrists are extremely common amongst snowboarding learners. (A pillow in your pants is also a great idea!!)