Tips and Advice

All the latest news and tips from Kingsbridge Chiropractic Clinic

Ski Safely

10th December 2012

Ski Safely

The winter skiing season is on its way, so make sure you look after those joints while you’re out on the fresh powder. Despite common assumptions that a ski injury is most likely to occur on the first day chiropractor Matthew Bennett, the first to work with the British Alpine Ski team, comments: “After three days of skiing using unaccustomed muscles, skiers become confident but are physically tired, and their capability isn’t necessarily matched to their confidence”.

If you are skiing this season, local chiropractor Fiona Webb has some tips to ensure you can stay safe on the slopes.

Pre-Ski fitness tips: 
• Don’t just sit there - Exercising through squats, sit ups and cycling is also good to tease the right muscles.
• It’s a balancing act - Balance is the single most important factor in skiing. Use a wobble board to improve balance and build up ankle muscles.  For a thorough ankle work-out, rocking heel to toe is good for snowboarders and left to right is best for skiers.
• Jump around - Use a mini trampoline to work all those ‘skiing’ muscles. 
• Roll with it – Roller blading is perfect practice and will help you develop a good ski posture, so you look like a pro on the slopes.
• Check it out - Most skiers find turning one way easier than the other.  Poor technique might not be the problem, so talk to a chiropractor for advice.

Out on the slopes:
• Hot and Cold – Don’t forget to warm up!  Start off gently rather than heading first for the black runs and round the day off with a stretch.
• Take plenty of breaks - Overexertion will ruin your holiday – moderate the length of skiing time and listen to your body. Pain is a warning sign, don’t ignore it.
• Liquid lunch - Drink plenty of water and isotonic drinks to avoid dehydration and stay clear of alcohol, tea and coffee.
• Put the boot in - No matter how many lessons, skiers won’t improve without the right boots and this is where most skiers put their first foot wrong.  Skiers often choose on comfort alone – don’t make this mistake. Get a moulded footbed from the ski shop first as this improves fit, comfort and ski control. Opt for a shop with a wide range of boots so you are spoilt for choice.
• Ice is nice - With an acute injury, use ice rather than heat.
• Tread carefully – A great deal of people are injured by slipping on ice at the ski resort, not just on the slopes. Wear shoes with a deep treaded sole and use strap-on studs for ski boots to help keep you upright.

It still holds true that it is always better to take preventive measures in order to reduce the risks of injuries. Take note of these guidelines to ensure you keep on the ski safe side this ski season. Fiona adds: “Prevention is still better than cure. These tips can help you avoid injuries - just one joint or muscle out of line can be a disaster when you are ravelling at 40 miles per hour on two skis”.


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