Ski season is upon us! Not that I like to see anybody get injured, but every winter our schedule gets filled up with patients who have had a bad day on the slopes. They found some way to twist, pull, tear, and crush some part of their body that requires medical attention.
You know that sometimes you feel lucky to have all your body parts attached if you have ever had a serious yard sale on the slopes. The worse ski injury I have ever worked with happened when the person was just traversing in the backcountry. Her ski slipped out from underneath her for a split second and did very bad things to her knee.
Check This Out!
Here are some statistics for the number crunchers:
1. Skiers are more likely to suffer a strain or sprain than a snowboarder
2. 48% of all skier injuries are strains or sprains compared to 32% of all snowboarder injuries *
3. Snowboarders are nearly twice as likely to suffer bone fractures than skiers (29% of snowboarders to only 15% of skiers) *
4. 33% of all skiing injuries are to the knee *
5. 88% of ski injuries happen on the hill *
6. Skiers are much more likely to suffer thigh, lower leg, and ankle injuries than snowboarders *
7. Snowboarders are twice as likely to suffer a concussion than a skier (2% compared to the 6%) *
On that side note, always wear a helmet. If you not wearing a helmet when you ski or ride just know you are making a stupid decision and be willing to live with the consequences. As much as these numbers can tell you what your chances of getting injured are; I believe the sense of freedom, enjoyment, and satisfaction you can get from a good day on the hill are well worth the risk!
Pre Ski Season Strengthening Program**
Right now is the time to start getting ready for ski season! I wanted to go over a simple pre-season strengthening program that you can use to help decrease your risk for injury.
Here is a simple program you can begin performing twice a week for the next six weeks to get you ready to shred it on the slopes. Once the season starts it is a good idea to perform the program at least once a week. Having good strength, endurance, balance, and dynamic control in your core, hips, and legs will put you in the best position to not get injured while on the slopes.
KEYNOTE: It is important that you make sure you have a correct form with each exercise because you are not only working to get stronger but teaching yourself to move correctly.
Some points to consider with performing this program are that if you cannot complete these exercises without any foot/ankle/knee/hip pain then you should stop. Get a physical therapist to have your movement patterns and strength deficits assessed so they can give you any supplemental activities to perform so you can do the program pain-free.
Completing this program will help you be in the best position to have an injury free ski season. Keep in mind though that injuries still happen to the best-prepared athletes and skiers/snowboarders. So in the event of an injury make sure you get in a see a medical professional sooner than later so you have the best chances of getting better.