I was reminded by one of my clients that it was, Skiing time.
With all the rain we have had and the mildness of the weather it had not occurred to me,
but now with I feel it is time to talk to folks about Skiing Injuries
like any other sporting injury they can vary, but lets face it broken arms legs seem to be the usual suspects, as for your muscle’s, strains and sprains are very prominent , lets not forget you are in cold conditions, so if muscles don’t have time to warm up they will pull and more than likely to tear.
Although sometimes disasters happen like the incident that has affected Michael Schumacher, these are rare these days and we are thankful he is in a stable condition, also the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has injured her pelvis on a cross-country skiing trip during her Christmas vacation although she is still working, but is now having to cancel some of her engagements.
I deal with recovery and rehabilitation of injuries, Sprains, Strains and recovery after all broken bones are a regular occurrence and in all my years in business, I have had to deal with quite a few, dealing with them using Neuromuscular Injury Techniques, massage on the and with The Bioneuro Therapy System Sigma Q (ΣQ®)
We all know that prevention is better that cure and preparation is always better, unless you are to prepared to fail.
It is the same with suppleness and conditioning , if you have regular massage, you muscles are more supple and flexible therefore they will allow you to become more flexible, less prone to injury, no matter what sport or exercise you do.
Ice, snow are unstable surfaces, so it is more important that you counteract that with stability in your body.
Here are some of the Common injuries, and how it may be possible to avoid them.
This is a upper extremity injury, affecting the stabilizing ligaments on the sides of the thumb joints – usually the inside or ulnar collateral ligament (UCL).
How does it happen
It often occurs when a skier falls and they do not release the ski pole, causing over-bending and stressing of the thumb. The first thing is the pain, you will feel it, do not ignore this it is a signal to see a Doctor or therapist , It could be a partial tear of the ligament, possibly treated with a splint; a Therapist would be able to advise you because if it is a complete tear it will need surgery, you will need to see a therapist for rehabilitation work after surgery to get you back on track.
Tips on prevention of this injury
Your reaction is to hold on to the Ski pole, Don’t you have to let go of your ski poles the moment you fall. There are certain poles because of the type of handles, as a beginner you should avoid talk to the Ski shop advisers for information on this to help decrease risk
As I said the main problem, 40% of all skiing injuries, are either ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) or MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) sprains or tears of these ligament and muscle groups, being the most common.
How does it happen
Knee injuries usually occur as the result of the something Skiers call the Snow Plough Position, ( Imagine you are doing a squat with your knees to far forward, past your toes, your body is not stable and the most extreme point is your knees), so when a skier is falling in this position they will hit the knee joint with excessive force. Another injury caused to the knees, can be because of Skis crossing or stance widening too far . Again, we may be looking at splinting as it may resolve the injury, but again there is a possibility of more ruptures occurring, you may require surgery. Therapy will defiantly be needed after this and the sooner the better, early intervention, will defiantly speed up recovery.
Tip on prevention of this injury
The best prevention here is pre-conditioning of your quads, Massage and the correct sort of workout building steadily, should help considerably. Proper maintenances is so important. Avoid an overly-wide stance, and if you do start to fall, don’t resist, go with it. ( one other tip is why not go to a Jujitsu class and ask for a few lessons in learning how to fall you will be in a safe environment with guys who specialise in that sort of teaching )
As with any head injury it is a must that you get it checked out Straight away DO NOT leave it under any circumstances.
Tip on prevention of this injury
I will pull no punches here. These can be fatal when skiing at high speeds. So it is important that helmets are worn they are vital protection, you may find your self in a situation of travelling down the slope 2-3 times faster than the recommended range, for even the best helmet protection, so if your new to the sport please stay in the designated areas advised and listen to your instructors.
There is no if’s or maybes about this one, You should always wear a helmet, you should also monitor your speed to stay within a safe zones. Also, be aware of others around you and your surroundings, use your common sense to avoid collisions, remember you are on a slope of a mountain, there will be people above you so look uphill as well as down, and give way when you need to as they may not be able too , Always follow directions on the signs it could well save your life.
Neck and Shoulder Injury
These can occur from a sudden fall, damage may be to the Clavicle or Scapular also injury to the Humerus because of impact due to the fall, these injuries seem to be more prevalent with Snowboarders, than Skiers. In this case it may be a hospital trip to put things back in order, you may also have damage to muscle groups from the Trapezius, Rotator Cuff muscles, to Rhomboids if these muscles are tight, this can be the case especially if you are in a sedentary working environment and not use to a rigorous activity, then these muscles are suddenly having to do a lot of stretching and work.
Tip on prevention of this injury
Try to stay flexible with shoulder and neck muscles, lots of exercises you can do keep supple, massage can be essential for these muscles, as we do seem to not use them as much as we should. When you feel tired, relax these muscles and a hot soak in the bath or a session in a steam room can always be good for them.
If you are New to skiing some quick tips to help:
1. Don’t overdo it, trying to impress your friends, we all need to start out somewhere and if you want to continue with the sport do it sensibly . Start out on easier terrain, improve your skills gradually take your time enjoy it, you are not in a race you are on a steep learning curve . Before you even start on the real thing , get in shape prepare those muscles, have proper training, try a dry slope.
2. There is a skier’s “code of conduct” – these are common-sense rules, you will see them posted on the slopes, don’t ignore them, They are for your benefit, your protection, and for the safety and of others, don’t become and injury statistic.
3. We have not mentioned the Ski lifts .You must Pay attention to them and others when getting on and off the lift, this can be a prime time for injury, and you don’t want that, on your first time out.
4.You have to take breaks. I know in the excitement you will want spend your Ski time challenging yourself . Injury rates do increase with fatigue, when you are tired you are not focused, pace your self , rest when you feel you need to take it sensibly and steady , as with any exercise you will need to stay hydrated so you still need to drink plenty of water.
5. Learn to take the fall; Don’t fight it , as I have already stated fighting it is how ligaments get torn and damaged. Your bottom can is your best friend If you can, sit down to break the momentum Also this will naturally bring you down into a foetal shape. Tucking every thing in. Less area to damage.
6. Take lesson from a professional, that is what they are there for, to improve your technique you skill and to help you avoid any bad habits , don’t take short-cuts , they will not do you any favours .
If you do sustain an injury
You should see the doctor, don’t be a hero, whenever you sustain any type of injury. Skiing injuries should always be evaluated to avoid the possibility of long term damage, most can usually be treated without operative intervention and can be stabilized and treated by a therapist with excellent results.
Before you venture out on the slopes, get in shape!
Skiing will put heavy demand on some major muscle groups, so lets get them prepared. I will say this again regular massage is a preventative measurement as well as a recovery and rehabilitation measure.
Quadriceps are the main muscle group used for skiing; they maintain your stance and protect your knees. You need to get them in shape, try squats and remember your knees should not go over your toes.
Glutes & Hamstrings: These allow you to flex, forward into the leaning position needed for downhill skiing, it requires great strength and a lot of work from your hamstrings and glutes.
Thighs: Your inner thighs keep the skis together, while outer thighs are the main provider of stability and steering.
Calf muscles the Gastrocnemius and the Soleus. keep you upright over your bent knees. These are your power house you need to strengthen them.
Abs and Back: When Skiing you need to be in the proper flexed, bent position but this will put stress on your back. You need to strengthen your core stability to prevent spinal injury.
Arms: You need to be able to push-off with power and stability, so work on the shoulder joints, biceps and triceps need to be part of your preparation routine.
Look at the whole package and work it out with your trainer, don’t miss out the massage it is a must to keep all those muscles in top working order.