This time of year, lots of people will be heading skiing meaning this can be a very busy time for chiropractors! Skiing is one of those sports that can be lots of fun but can be high risk and may often cause injury! Here are a few tips that will hopefully help to keep you safe on the slopes.
It may be useful to take a lesson before you go. A good technique means there is less chance of an injury and helps to prevent any bad habits.
It is also a good idea to prepare the body for skiing, which is an intense workout for the hamstrings and quadriceps. Exercising using squats, lunges, using a mini trampoline or cycling are great ways to prime these muscles. Remember, most skiing injuries occur on day two or three when muscle fatigue reaches its peak.
Most of us live at sea level and only head to the mountains in winter. If you’re not in great shape at sea level this will make exercising at altitude even harder and injuries more likely!
It’s a great idea to work on your balance to help improve your proprioception and build up your ankle muscles before you go. You can do this by using balance or wobble boards or balance pipes.
On the slopes
It is very important to do a proper warm up before beginning to ski for the day and start off gently, especially as skiing uses lots of unaccustomed muscles. It is a good idea to give the easier runs a try first to learn the movements and perfect your technique and then challenge yourself on the harder runs.
Make sure you finish your day with a stretch, take plenty of breaks during the day and listen to your body. Pain is a warning sign, don’t ignore it! People typically hurt themselves late in the day, when they are tired or heading back to their chalet.
Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and isotonic drinks before, during, and after your time on the mountain to avoid dehydration; it’s also a good idea to stay clear of alcohol, tea and coffee.
Have your ski or board bindings set up by a pro because if your bindings are incorrectly adjusted, or you borrow someone else’s skis, you’re much more likely to injure your knees. In the hire shop, give an accurate weight and estimate of your ability and don’t use boards or skis that are too short or too long. Getting a moulded footbed from the ski shop may help to improve fit, comfort and ski control.
Always be careful when carrying skis/boards. Leave them standing upright so you don’t have to bend to pick them up. Carry them over your shoulder and make sure to swap shoulders regularly. Ensure you know your chair lifts; you might not realise it, but getting on and off the lift is prime time for getting injured if you’re not paying attention to the speed of the chair lift and how it works.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us a Ealing Broadway Chiropractic Clinic