Winter is well and truly upon us, for many this means packing your thermals and woollen socks and heading for the ski slopes. Whether you’re a first timer, seasonal partaker or expert skier, and no matter how good your knowledge of the mountain is, chances are you will stack it at least once this season (thats at least once a day for me). Most are forgettable, but all it takes is one minor incident to wind you up in the waiting room of ski patrol with a pretty nasty injury...especially when it comes to your knees. Admittedly some incidents are out of our control and just plain unlucky, but some can potentially be avoided by doing a little preparation before hitting the slopes!
- Check your equipment: Make sure your skis/snowboard has been serviced/tuned and that the bindings are adjusted properly. If you’re renting make sure your binding release suits your skill level. Your ski technician will help you with this one, but the lower your skill level the lower the release setting.
- Have good protective ski gear: Borrowed, hired or lucky enough to have your own you always have to make sure your protective clothing is in good condition. Rookie snowboarders wrist guards are a good idea and I personally wouldn’t ski/snowboard on Australian slopes without a helmet, way too many of natures obstacles..and it just might save your life.
- Don’t overestimate your abilities: Just because you conquered the double black diamond last season doesn’t mean it’s the first run you attempt this year. Start on a gentle slope, get your bearings then head for the moguls and powder if you dare.
- Warm up: skiing is an exceptionally gruelling sport on the legs, make sure your stretch your hamstrings, hip flexors and quads each morning before your first run.
- Condition your body before the season: skiing is a high intensity, physically demanding sport that requires a certain level of cardiovascular fitness and strength. If you want to get the most out of your holiday ensure your fitness is up to scratch before you go!!!
- Pay attention to trail signs and weather forecast. Don’t ski tree runs alone or off piste without a guide.
- Know when its time to call it a day: Alot of injuries occur on the last run of the day, your quads are trembling and your technique has gone out the window. Stop when you’re ahead, and don’t forget to order a delicious creamy hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows on your way off the mountain!
If you were unlucky enough to sustain an injury on your ski holiday, make sure you get it properly assessed to ensure there is no structural damage. EastSports Physiotherapy specialises in sports injuries. If you would like to make an appointment please contact us on (02) 9328 3822