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Be safe on the slopes

We know many of our patients will be hitting the ski slopes soon so here are a few tips from our Chiropractor Lauren on how to get the most out of your ski trip this winter and prevent injuries.

Build your endurance – Most of us hit the slopes and plan on skiing all day even if it’s been months or years. By the time the afternoon comes around the body is tired which is the prime time for injuries and accidents to happen. Building your cardio endurance at least 6 weeks before getting on the ski slopes by exercising 3-5 times is recommended. The best exercises to prepare for skiing are running, the stair climber or the cross trainer for a whole body workout.

Build your strength – Lower limb and trunk strength are important to make sure you are dissipating the vibrational forces as you are going over the slopes on your skis or snowboard. For lower limb (glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps) I would advise exercises like lunges, squats, deadlifts and some simple plyometrics, and for core strength planks and sit ups will help. For an exercise programme designed specifically for you speak to your Chiropractor.

Improve balance – Balance is an important factor in skiing. Using a wobble board can help to improve balance and build up your ankle muscles. Rocking heel to toe is good for snowboarders and left to right is best for skiers.

On the slopes – Ensure you warm up before skiing and stretch at the end of the day. Start off gently taking one warm up run down the easiest slope each time before more challenging terrain. Take plenty of breaks and listen to your body – pain is a warning sign!

Back pain – Repetitive stress and fatigue on the back is common with skiing. With an acute injury use ice rather than heat to help reduce inflammation. Always be careful when carrying skis or boards. Leave them standing upright so you don’t have to bend to pick them up. Carry them over your shoulder, swapping shoulders regularly.

Check in with your Chiropractor – If you start to feel your back is niggling, or had previous back pain episodes and dropped off your exercise routine, taking action earlier is always better. Book in for an appointment with one of our Chiropractors to prevent a back pain flare up, rather than having to treat one while your away.

Resources: British Chiropractic Association website https://chiropractic-uk.co.uk/