The weather may not suggest it at the moment, but winter is actually about to begin. While we can’t be certain what that means for our weather conditions in New Jersey and the rest of the East Coast, for skiers, there will always be snow somewhere, and it’s just a matter of finding it.
Skiing is a great form of exercise that works out many parts of the body, and it’s also one of the best ways to experience the outdoors during conditions that might otherwise keep people inside. Throughout the course of its history, skiing has experienced a significant improvement in the equipment used, which has made it a much safer sport than it once was. However, there are still a number of factors that lead to a fairly high injury risk, and experiencing one can easily ruin a vacation or even an entire season.
A wide variety of injuries can occur to numerous parts of the body while skiing. Due to the pivoting nature of skiing, knee injuries, especially to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are the most common of all injuries seen. Injuries to the shoulder, including dislocations, sprains and separations, also occur frequently as a result of arms being put out to break falls. Though not as prevalent, skiing can also result in other injuries to the hand, wrist, spine, lower extremities, and in some cases, head injuries like concussions.
If you’re eager to get on the snow but don’t want to cut your season short from an injury this year, ski smart and safe on the slopes. Follow these tips when skiing this year:
Eight tips to avoid a ski injury this season
- 1) Be sure you’re using proper, up-to-date equipment; boots should fit snugly with no ankle movement, bindings should be adjusted; wear a helmet
- 2) Warm up with some brisk walking or running and stretching for about five minutes before hitting the slopes; especially focus on your hamstrings
- 3) Take some slower runs on beginner-to-moderate trails to ease into the day before attempting more strenuous work on advanced trails
- 4) Stay hydrated and fueled all day, and take breaks when needed
- 5) Follow advisory signs, stay in-bounds, always ski with a partner and follow the rules (e.g. the person in front of you always has right of way)
- 6) Don’t ski above your ability level or try to keep up with too fast a pace
- 7) If you do start to fall, go with it instead of trying to resist; a rigid body is much more prone for injury than a loose one
- 8) If you’d like to get ahead of the game, try training a few weeks before and during the season to put yourself in optimal shape and reduce injury risk
- Strength training (single leg squats or lateral lunges are recommended)
- flexibility training (increases range of motion)
- aerobics training (increases stamina) will all help accomplish this
Most skiing injuries occur at the end of the day or after eating lunch when fatigue sets in and people aren’t as careful on the mountain, so be extra careful during these times and don’t continue skiing when you’re too worn out. Here at ARS Hand & Physical Therapy, we want you to avoid ski injury treatment in Springfield, NJ, and have a safe and successful season. Follow these tips or contact us at 973-379-7006 for more information or to schedule an appointment.