The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre regularly treats patients with skiing and snowboarding related injuries. With the recent heavy snowfalls the skiing and snowboarding seasons have definitely arrived and at this time of the year the sports doctors and physiotherapists at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre are seeing acute injuries including knee ligament and meniscal injuries, muscle strains, fracture/ dislocations, skier’s thumb and contusion injuries from direct blows or falls. Also, long standing injuries can be aggravated whilst undertaking snow sports.
Whilst skiing and snowboarding can be most enjoyable and healthy pursuits, unfortunately they can be associated with an injury risk. Good physical preparation and using appropriate, well maintained equipment as well as adopting a sensible approach on the mountain can help significantly reduce injury rates.
It is important to ski and snowboard with optimum levels of control and this can be achieved by carefully choosing runs of appropriate difficulty and showing caution when the slopes are crowded or in less than ideal condition. Similarly avoiding excessive fatigue by taking rest breaks and skiing and boarding cautiously towards the end of the day, when tired, can help reduce the common fatigue related injuries and accidents.
Taking into account the cold conditions and the physical stresses snow activities place on the body, undertaking some warm up activities for both the upper and lower body are recommended. Ideally a warm up would elevate heart rate and core temperature as well as activating and stretching the muscles you are about to use. Starting the day with a few easier runs can also be a valuable part of your warm up.
Skiers and boarders should have a good appreciation of their current level of fitness and competency and should thoughtfully apply this knowledge so as not to over exert themselves on the slopes. If you are planning to hit the mountain soon you will need to work within your current fitness levels, however if you are going in a few weeks’ time there is an opportunity to specifically train for your trip.
Appropriate training for snow activities would generally include a combination of cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, functional strengthening, balance exercises and core activation. As part of an injury prevention strategy the physiotherapists at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre can undertake personalised musculoskeletal screening and advise on your training and physical preparation. It is also vital that your equipment is well maintained and appropriate to your physical attributes and ability level. Similarly, some professional lessons can help elevate your safe skiing and boarding levels and teach you how to fall safely.
In the unfortunate event that you do sustain an injury on the slopes, a timely and accurate diagnosis and appropriate initial management is the key to maximising recovery. The sports medicine, physiotherapy, and myotherapy services at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre can either initiate your care or follow up your initial injury management that commenced on the mountain.
If you would like to arrange an appointment, please phone 9650 9372 or book online.
Enjoy, and stay warm!