For some, there is no better rush than skiing down a mountain on fresh snow. With transport to the slops in Europe being better and more accessible than ever, more people are discovering this adrenaline pumping sport. Although skiing has a reputation as a dangerous sport, there are a number of things you can do to avoid injuries and accidents on the slopes. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are as a skier, you will come across bumps, moguls and tricky pistes you did not anticipate. So how can you best prepare to stay safe and injury free on the slopes?
Here are some Tips from Posture Dynamics:
1. Start a fitness program at least six weeks before you go skiing. Pilates is a good choice as part of that fitness regime because it challenges the deep abdominal muscles which support the core and gives skiers a strong, flexible resilient structure. For advanced skiers, activating the stablilising muscles helps to maintain balance at greater speeds and will assist with gaining agility on the slopes.
Other advantages of doing a regular pilates session pre skiing holiday include:
Improved alignment which reduces impact on the back, hips and knees
Excellent cross-training to regain muscle balance and avoid injuries.
Pilates helps skiers focus on a dynamic and full range of motion and strengthening of the hamstrings which can help balance overused quadriceps muscles (thigh muscles).
Pilates is not a cardiovascular exercise so it is important to add a cardiovascular training regime, such as running, cycling or cross-trainer work in the gym to compliment the Pilates training.
2. Skiers can also benefit from Osteopathy pre ski holiday as manual therapy can help free up restrictions in tight muscles and stiff joints. Undertaking a course of Osteopathy during your pre ski fitness regime may help you get fitter and achieve your goals smoothly and quickly.
So you are now prepared for the ski trip and on holiday on the slopes. What can we do once on the slopes to help prevent injury and ski safely?
Warm up before setting off each morning. We are all eager to get started in the morning on the slopes. This can be one of the most dangerous times when muscles and joints are cool. They can take some time to warm up and due to the reduced circulation, straining or spraining a ligament or muscle can easily happen, even if you are on a slope that seems within your capability. Take it slowly and properly warm up the muscles before getting the adrenaline rush on the slopes.
Always take a rest when tired and take special care on the last run home when you are fatigued.
Other tips to follow to stay safe include the following:
Make sure your equipment is maintained to a high standard. Check it regularly, especially boots and bindings.
Follow the International Ski Federation safety code at all times on the slopes.
Check weather conditions in the resort each day before you set out, and take note of avalanche or other warnings.
Adjust your skiing style to local terrain and weather conditions.
Despite taking these precautions accidents and falls still happen. Even the most experienced skier can end up with a strain or sprain. The most common skiing injuries affect the ligaments of the knee joint and they usually occur when we fall backwards in a twisting motion. The medial collateral ligament and the anterior cruciate ligament are the 2 most common ligaments affected.
Osteopathy can help knee injuries such as medial collateral ligamant strains and cartilage injuries by localized soft tissue treatments to the knee joint and by improving the compensatory mechanisms of the surrounding joints such as the foot, ankle and hip to reduce the strain on the injured joint and ligaments. Osteopaths at Posture Dynamics can also advise on appropriate strengthening and stretching exercises for the surrounding tissues.
Shoulder injuries are also common and usually result from a fall onto an outstretched hand directly onto the shoulder or an arm being dragged behind as we slide down the slope following a crash. Osteopathic mobilization can help to prevent further injury and joint restrictions and help to restore the functions of the injured tissues.
We sincerely hope not to see you as a result of a skiing injury. However should you sustain an injury, Osteopathy is a safe and effective treatment that will help you get back into exercise for your next trip.
For more information on how Osteopathy, Pilates and Posture Dynamics can help you prepare for skiing, or assist you to recover from an injury email us at email@example.com