There are many reasons people get injured on the slopes. Every winter we see a large amount of people injured skiing, snowboarding and spending time at the snow. This week we bring you 6 tips to reduce your risk of injury.
1. Injuries are common when snow sporters attempt runs above their level of competency - ski at your level and be safe.
2. Warm up prior to hitting the slopes - particularly if you’ve just done a long drive to get there!
3. Most injuries occur after a few days when you are fatigued - take a rest day to reduce your risk of an overuse injury or making a mistake.
4. Dehydration and inadequate energy intake hinders your ability to perform - Drink lots of water and take rests to eat.
5.Warm down and stretch after a day on the slopes. Stretch your quads, glutes, calves, hip flexors and back.
6. Take care when walking around in the snow. Many injuries occur from falls on icy slopes!
Skiing and snowboarding are very physically demanding activities. Many of us don’t adequately prepare our bodies for long days of shredding on the slopes.
Here are 5 great exercises to prepare your body, not only to reduce the risk of injuries, but also improve performance.
1. Squats: Help strengthen your glutes and quads for when you get on the slopes
2. Side planks: Strengthen your obliques and glute mede, ensuring faster turns
3. Sustained squats: Holding for as long as you can to increase endurance
4. Calf raises: Transferring weight is very important with skiing and snowboarding and having strong calves helps.
5. Hopping then landing and holding: A stable and smooth transfer of weight between feet is important for turning in skiing or boarding.
Before you leave, ensure your gear is in good service and fits well.
Skiers ensure your DIN settings are correct to minimise knee injuries.
See our Facebook page for videos and photos of these exercises!
Most snow sport injuries result from falls and awkward positioning, often resulting from a loss of control when traveling at speed. This week we bring you the 6 most common areas injured while skiing and snowboarding.
1. Knee injuries - Ligament sprains (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL) and meniscus damage
2. Shoulder dislocations or fractures
3. AC Joint injuries
4. Lower Leg fractures
5. Wrist, hand, or thumb injuries.
6. Closed head injuries and concussions
The ankle joint is very commonly injured in the active population. In sports such as rugby, AFL and hockey, an ankle sprain is the most common ankle injury. Ankle sprains are commonly referred to as a ‘rolled’ or ‘twisted’ ankle.
What is an ankle sprain?
Surrounding all our joints are ligaments that connect our bones and protect the joint by limiting excessive movement. An ankle sprain is when the joint is moved forcefully to the end of the available range and one or more of the ligaments gets overstretched, resulting in damage. There are 3 grades of ligament sprain; grades 1-3. These are diagnosed according to the severity of the damage, with grade 1 being minor damage and grade 3 being full rupture of the ligaments.
Types of Ankle Sprains
Mechanism of Injury
Most people sprain their ankle when walking and running on uneven surfaces or in sport when accidentally landing or standing on something, such as uneven ground or an opponent’s foot. The most common way to sprain an ankle is to roll onto the outside aspect of the ankle joint, causing a lateral ankle sprain.
Signs and Symptoms
The ankle will be painful, swollen and occasionally bruising will come up around the joint. It may be painful to take steps and the ankle is often reported as feeling unstable. In severe sprains people are unable to put weight through the injured foot.
Ankle Sprain Management
The first important step is to ensure that there is no fracture – if there is significant pain and an inability to place weight through the foot, then a visit to the hospital emergency department is recommended. Otherwise when your physio assesses the ankle in the clinic they will determine whether imaging is required and refer appropriately.
Of people who experience an ankle sprain and do not manage their symptoms appropriately, 70% will experience long lasting symptoms. Therefore, it is important to take your ankle sprain seriously. In a recent review of the literature, it was found that most management approaches are too short in duration, and unless treatment is tailored to the severity of the ankle sprain, most people will have lingering symptoms. However not surprisingly, having at least some treatment was more effective than a ‘no treatment’ approach in ankle sprain management.
Stages of Rehabilitation
Acute (approx. 0 - 10 days)
What to expect from us
Booking an appointment with us in the first few days post injury is very important to protecting your sprain appropriately. Then physio is important to complete the correct rehabilitation and get you back to activity safely and then reducing the risk of re-injury in the long term.
Your first physiotherapy appointment will involve:
If you have had multiple ankle injuries or experience chronic ankle instability, physio can help! The treatment is very similar to an acute sprain, without the initial care following after an acute injury.
If you have an acute ankle injury, want to reduce your risk of injury, or need advice on any of the above please do not hesitate to call us to book an appointment on 9970 7982, or alternatively book online.
Dijk van, C.N., Mol, B.W.J., Marti, R.K., et al. (1996). Diagnosis of ligament rupture of the ankle joint. Physical examination, arthrography, stress radiography and sonography compared in 160 patients after inversion trauma. Acta Orthop Scand, vol. 67, pp. 566-70.
Fong, D. T. P., Hong, Y., Chan, L. K., Yung, P. S. H., & Chan, K. M. (2007). A systematic review on ankle injury and ankle sprain in sports. Sports Medicine, vol. 37, iss. 1, pp. 73-94.
Kannus, P., Renström, P. (1991) Treatment for acute tears of the lateral ligaments of the ankle. Journal Bone Joint Surgery [Am], vol. 73, pp. 305-12.
Pijnenburg, A.C.M, Dijk van, C.N., Bossuyt, P.M.M., et al. (2000). Treatment for lateral ankle ligament ruptures: a meta-analysis. Journal Bone Joint Surgery [Am], vol. 82, pp. 761-73.
Most running injuries (50-75%) can be attributed to overuse due to the repetitive movements involved in running. The most common conditions reported in runners are patellofemoral pain and plantar fasciitis. In this blog we will describe some of the common causes of pain in runners and strategies to prevent them.
Patellofemoral pain also known as “runners knee” is characterized by irritation and inflammation of the underside of the patella. The pain is usually felt when running, long periods of sitting and when walking downstairs or downhill. Patellofemoral pain in runners can be caused by incorrect tracking of the knee cap over the knee joint. This can be due to weakness in the quadriceps or the gluteus medius muscles.
Iliotibial band (ITB) friction syndrome is sometimes associated with patellofemoral pain. This pain will also be worst with downhill walking and running or going down stairs. The ITB is a band of connective tissue which runs down the outside of the thigh. With repeated bending and straightening of the knee as we run, there can be an increase in the friction between the ITB and other structures on the outside of the knee, causing pain. This is often a result of poor running technique and strength imbalances, particularly weakness in hip stabilizers.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by a failure of the connective tissue on the sole of the foot, called the ‘plantar fascia’, to support the weight of the body during loading. There is excessive pulling on the fascia which runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. Runners who have ‘flat feet’ or high arches are at risk of developing plantar fasciitis due to increased strain on the fascia. Other associated factors include tightness in calf, hamstring and gluteal muscles. The onset of pain is usually gradual over the heel, and can feel like walking on glass when the pain is extreme.
Achilles tendinopathy is caused by overload and tightness in the calf muscles, the gastrocnemius and soleus, resulting in irritation and inflammation of the achilles tendon. Pain can be felt with contraction or stretch of the muscle and it is often more painful in the morning or after cooling down from exercise.
Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, is an inflammatory condition effecting the front section of the tibia (shin bone). The symptoms will often worsen following exercise and ease with warming up. The pain gradually increases over time and becomes more frequent. There has been some debate surrounding the causes. Factors including flat feet, poor technique, fatigue, muscle dysfunction and reduced flexibility have been found in patients with shin splints.
The above are only SOME of the diagnoses that could relate to you. If you have ongoing pain that has not settled with rest, come in for a thorough physiotherapy assessment.
What can you do to prevent these injuries?
What can BeachLife Physiotherapy do?
As part of your physiotherapy assessment, we assess your running technique and diagnose your injury. Treatment will include hands on therapy, exercise prescription to improve muscle function and a graded rehabilitation program to ensure a safe return to running.
Don’t let your pain hold you back, come in for a physiotherapy assessment to get you running pain free! Call us to book an appointment on 9970 7982, or book online.
Brukner, P., Kahn, K. (2009) Clinical Sports Medicine eds (3th edn). McGraw-Hill, North Ryde Australia.
Kozinc, Z. and Sarabon, N. (2017) Common Running Overuse Injuries and Prevention, Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med., 6(2) 67-74
Lopes, A., Hespanhol Jnr, L., Yeung, S. and Pena Costa, L. (2012) What are the Main Running-Related Musculoskeletal Injuries? A Systematic Review, Sports Medinice, 42(10) 891-905.