Preventing Skiing-Related Injury
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the most common injuries associated with skiing are to the lower limb. They note that the occurrence of knee sprains, such as ACL/MCL injuries, are rising, and now account for 30% of all ski injuries.
Here are some quick tips from the APTA to help you avoid injury on the slopes and keep your knees healthy:
- Remember the keys to effective skiing technique: hands and weight forward, legs parallel, and hips, knees, and ankles flexing equally.
- Stay on marked trails: Going off trail can take you into ungroomed territory with many possible obstacles (such as trees and rocks) that can contribute to injuries. It’s important to stay on trials that are comfortably challenging, and not overwhelming for your ability level.
- Prepare your body. A few simple exercises can prepare your core and lower extremities for skiing. Three to four weeks of aerobic training such as walking, elliptical, or biking can be excellent ways to help you tolerate a full day on the slopes. Stretching is always good practice for any athletic activity.
- Ensure you have proper equipment: Make sure ski boots, bindings, and ski length are fit and appropriate for your height and skill level. Wear a helmet. Wrist guards are a good idea if snowboarding.
- Learn proper technique: Take a skiing technique class with a professional before you hit the slopes.
- Rest: If you are tired, rest. Injuries happen more commonly when skiers are fatigued.