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Skiing and snowboarding are a ton of fun and great exercise! As with all other sports though, skiing and snowboarding do come with a few risks. The main risk is of course, injuries. There are many steps you can take to avoiding these injuries. We have outlined a few below. Proper and timely treatment is also important if you do get an injury.
Knee injuries are one of the most common injuries on the slopes. Falling backwards on skis or a snowboard can trigger ACL or MCL injuries, which will require qualified help. Tendonitis can also occur, which can heal well with massage therapy and physio. A great way to prevent knee injuries is to ensure that ligaments and muscles supporting the knee are strong. Maintaining an exercise program that strengthens these areas is crucial. When done correctly, exercises such as lunges and squats are beneficial for the knees for general maintenance.
Similar to the knees, ankles injuries can occur when skiing or snowboarding. Tendons and ligaments around the ankles can sometimes be neglected, causing them to become weak and injure more easily. One exercise that can be done to prevent ankle injury is walking on your heels. Walking on your helps will help to strengthen the muscles that are prone to creating shin splints. Another exercise is heel dips that will strengthen the muscles of the calves. Heel dips are done by placing your toes on a raised surface (stairs at home) and letting your heels hang off the end. Then, lift up onto your toes, hold for a couple of seconds, and then allow the heels to drop back down. Practicing these exercises regularly can reduce the chance of ankle injury while on the hill. Of course, properly fitted boots are also important to ensure ankle stability.
Often when the knees get tired, more force is exerted on the spine with every bump on the hill. It is recommended that you do your last couple of runs for the day on easier slopes. This will combat the effects of poor form due to the fatigue of being on the hill all day. Falls and collisions are a source of injury for skiers and snowboarders, making their back subjected to the impact of the fall. Chiropractic, massage therapy and physiotherapy can all be extremely helpful if you sustain a back injury from winter sports. If you suspect you may need physiotherapy, it a good idea to book your appointment at a clinic that offers many different services. Your physiotherapist in Ottawa may take a look at your back and recommend that you see another practitioner (chiropractor etc.) within their clinic.
We hope that these tips help you enjoy a fun and injury-free winter!
Until next time,
The Apollo Team