Given the nature of snow sports, injuries are common and can ruin not only your ski holiday but your whole season! Here is my advice on how to minimise your risk of skiing injuries.
Now there are two main types of skiing injuries; acute and overuse. Acute injuries happen all of a sudden, either from something outside of your control (like a rouge snowboarder taking you out) or landing a jump awkwardly and often result in damaging your ligaments, muscles and tendons as the fail to cope with the extreme force. Impact injuries, often from crashing, can also lead to things like corkys, bone bruising and one that is quite topical, concussion.
Overuse injuries build up over time and often start as a little niggle such as a pain at the front of your knee or lower back and gradually increase in intensity. They’re often the result of muscles and tendons that gradually get overloaded, or wear and tear of the joints over time.
So how do we prevent some of these injuries from happening? First, we need to look at what we can control and set-up of equipment is an easy one. Making sure your skis or board is the right size and set-up so that you can control it efficiently. If it’s not, you will get fatigued sooner, use poor technique and put yourself at higher risk of falling or overloading your muscles and tendons.
For ski’s, making sure your bindings are on the right setting to match your skill level is pivotal. For beginners you want the skis to pop off more readily if you fall so that you are at less risk off twisting the knee ligaments, but then if you are an advanced skier you need them to be tight enough so they don’t just decide to pop off when you go over a jump. So my main advice with this is when hiring or buying, don’t rush the process and read and fill out any forms accurately, because ultimately this is one of the easiest ways to prevent leg injuries.
Technique is important in regard to preventing overuse injuries. My main advice with this is to get some lessons. As simple as that. You don’t have to look like a pro, but having a basic knowledge and training your brain to move in the most efficient way will decrease your chance of injury. You can also help this by building strength and control in the specific muscles we mainly use for snow sports, in particular, the glutes, quads, hamstrings and core muscles.
Of course, you can do all of the preparation possible but there will still be those times were accidents happen that are often out of your control, so that is when it is important to utilise protective apparel. Helmets, wrist guards and undergarments with protective padding are not only going to help minimise injury, but they will help to keep you warm. G-form and 2nd skull products are scientifically engineered to reduce impact as they utilise padding which is lightweight and flexible at rest but can momentarily harden and absorb energy under sudden pressure or impact. Check them out here.
If all else fails and you do get injured, my free injury guiding chatbot through Facebook Messenger will guide you through exactly what to do, who to see and when to see them. Just open messenger app, search ‘Physio Phebe’ and follow the prompts!
For more free physio advice check out my blog at physiophebe.com
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