Osteopathy and ski preparation
Skiing: an exhilarating sensation achieved by strapping each foot to a plank and unleashing the speed demon inside of you. As the ski season is upon us, injury risk is unfortunately a factor to take into account. But worry not! Osteopaths are here to help you!
Most common injuries
The most common injuries associated with skiing are falls, collisions, knee injuries and ski lifts incidents.
Falls and collisions can cause fractures, concussions, dislocations and other serious injuries. Skiers are prone to knee injuries due to the nature of the sport, involving quick and sudden change of direction while doing a slow or simply while performing the snow-plough position. Because of the latter, Anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) and medial collateral ligaments (MCL) are two of the most damaged structures in the knee by skiers.
Finally, let’s not forget that mountains are beautiful but an unforgiven and cold environment! The general risks to remember are dehydration, hypothermia, altitude sickness and avalanches.
Warm Up Exercises and Stretches
Having a daily warm up and stretching routine is essential in order to prevent injuries in general. In skiing, the joints of the lower limbs: hips, knees and ankles, are going to be absorbing most of the shocks. Therefore, it is important to have a powerful group of gluts, quads, hamstrings and calves to ease off the workload on the joints. Exercises such as squats, gluteal bridges, burpees, deadlifts, and stretches like straight and horizontal leg swings and butt kicks form a great lower limb routine session. As always, engaging and working on your core is vital to prevent strains and injuries on your body! Sit ups, russian twists, the plank and dead bugs are a few good examples of exercises to develop core strength.
Some Tips to be safe & sound
Wear multiple layers to keep yourself warm, you are in a cold environment!
Safety first! Wear a helmet!
Keep yourself hydrate and always have a snack on you.
Watch out for others! Not everyone will have the same confidence, level and pace.
Make sure to have a phone on you. Being able to contact first aid responders if someone gets injured, including yourself, is vital.
If you do get injured, follow the P.R.I.C.E protocol (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation)
That concludes this paper. If you wish to see an osteopath before your holiday ski trip, or for any other reason, please do come to the clinic, Charlotte or myself will help you. If you are already skiing, enjoy that cold breeze of fresh air, the scenery, and unleash the speed demon... while still being safe and looking out for others!
Registered Osteopath 10928
References: • Harris, N. (2022) Osteopathy & Skiing / Snowboarding, Woburn Osteopaths. Available at: https://woburnosteopaths.co.uk/2019/01/aint-no-mountain-high-enough/ • Parry, J.W. (2018) Ski injury prevention, Osteopath Exeter. Available at: https:// osteopathexeter.com/modify-ski-injury-risk/