Skiing is a popular winter sport enjoyed by many people around the world because of its exciting nature combined with the thrill of conquering difficult terrain. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, skiing can be a fun adventure.
Like any other fast-paced sport, however, skiing carries a risk of injury which must be considered as you prepare yourself for ski season.
Frequently injured areas
Numerous reports show that skiers have a greater tendency to injure their knees, due to the impact of a fall after a sharp turn or bad landing.
Knee problems usually include tears in ACL or MCL ligaments which are often a result of the “slip-catch” mechanism; when a skier loses balance backwards, he/she is forced to re-establish their grip with the outer ski by extending their knee awkwardly away from the body.
A study conducted to investigate alpine skiing injuries in Finland determined that the lower body, especially the lower leg, is the most commonly injured area among skiers.
Fractures of the two bones in the lower leg were observed to be frequent because of accidents such as falling downhill, collision with another skier, unpredictable surroundings and poor choice of ski boots.
Some risk factors
You can develop your own protective measures to remain injury-free on the slopes by learning about the risk factors responsible for some common lower body injuries in skiing.
There are some points that can raise the risk of injury while skiing – improper technique, low fitness levels, inefficient gear/equipment, lack of experience, or previous injuries.
The importance of general physical fitness in avoiding injuries is proven by the high injury rate often found towards the last quarter of alpine ski races, when fatigue tends to be at its maximum.
Moreover, a failure to release ski bindings properly can contribute to the development of severe knee problems such as ACL injuries.
The design of the ski course matters as well – if turns are set too close to the point where terrain transitions occur, the skier may not have enough time to avoid making a mistake.
How to prevent injuries
If you’ve been injured before, consult a qualified physician to ensure you’re fit enough to return to skiing since the chance of a repeat injury can be high.
Visit a sports specialist to train how to avoid specific injuries such as ACL tears while skiing; this can be helpful in reducing the occurrence of these kind of injuries in the sport.
In order to prevent injuries related to equipment, make sure you’re choosing the right kind of skis and ski boots that provide the correct balance of rigidity and flexibility while skiing.
An effective injury-prevention programme must include exercises that promote core strength, balance, flexibility and full joint range of motion. Such programmes boost fitness levels and can also be used in the rehabilitation of a present injury.
MASS4D® foot orthotics help in managing any pre-existing foot posture problems such as flat feet that could further raise your risk of developing lower body injuries; a flatfoot condition sets off a ‘domino effect’ on the movements of the lower body that can impact your overall posture and form during skiing.
MASS4D® regulates any unhealthy movement patterns of the feet and lower body to avoid some ski-specific injures by allowing your joints to function freely through their normal range of motion. So you can stay longer on your feet and make the most of ski season.
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Pilates refers to a series of exercises that target the core – the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, and so on. The movements involved in pilates also help to improve flexibility and posture while promoting core stability.