Winter Sports Lovers! It's finally time to get back to the snow. Although coronavirus restrictions may make your experience slightly different this year, it'll be exhilarating to be back on the slopes. One thing which does remain the same each year is the risk of injury and how important it is to protect your knee while skiing and snowboarding. Here are some tips to help keep you safe.
Most common skiing and snowboarding injuries
The most common skiing knee injury is tearing the MCL or ACL, which makes up for more than 30% of all skiing injuries across the body. This usually occurs when you land a jump incorrectly, or when you try to stand in a fall.
Practising good technique on the slopes helps, but accidents aren’t entirely avoidable, and even the most seasoned of skiers and snowboarders have accidents.
With how important these ligaments are, not just to winter sports but everyday life, it’s important that the knee is taken care of and protected. Here are a few key ways to do that, both on and off the slopes.
Knee strengthening exercises
Strengthening the muscles surrounding the ligaments in your knee is one of the best ways to protect them and reduce the risk of injury. The best exercises here are ones that target the Quads, Hamstrings and glutes among other muscles.
Squats, chair dips, wall-sits and step exercises are all good ways to support these ligaments.
For more information on how to do this, see here: Knee Ligaments
Protect your knee while skiing and snowboarding
Even a strong knee is at risk of ligament damage when skiing or snowboarding, especially if you’ve had previous injuries to the knee. Wearing a knee brace to support the knee and protect the ligaments, is one of the best things to do while on the slopes.
There are a wide range of supports available, so picking the right one can be tricky. What you are looking for is something that has a hinged splint along both sides of the leg. These splints help prevent the side to side movement of the knee, instead, guiding the movement to keep it natural and protecting the ligaments.
If you have previously injured your leg, it is always recommended to use a stronger brace in order to compensate for ligament and tendon weakness.
Form while on the slopes, and recovery afterwards
Over the course of the day, it’s not unusual to have minor injuries or strains which cause pain and discomfort in the knee. What is important, is to ensure that you stretch and recover properly. Wearing a knee brace with compression, such as the GenuTrain, resting and easing any pressure will help prevent more severe issues from developing.
With skiing and snowboarding, focusing on your form and ensuring that you're landing safely as well as practising recovery techniques which are consistent and safe, will also protect the knee.
Overall, preventing knee injury is much less painful, cheaper and more time-efficient than waiting until you need to treat one. Focusing on your strengthening and support of the knee is the best way to get the most out of that next snow trip.
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Bauerfeind products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.
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