Winter Sports Lovers! The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, and ski resorts will soon be packed with keen boarders and skiers. Bus, as with any sport, your knees are at risk of injury (and snow sports are known for causing particularly nasty ones). Hence, it’s crucial to protect your knees while skiing and snowboarding.
Most common skiing and snowboarding injuries
The most common skiing knee injury is tearing the MCL or ACL, which accounts for over 30% of all skiing injuries across the body. This usually occurs when you land a jump badly or sharply twist your knees while falling.
The ACL and MCL (anterior and medial cruciate ligaments, respectively) are tough bands of tissue connecting your leg bones. They’re responsible for absorbing shock, stabilising the knee, and keeping your tibia and fibula from sliding too far apart. You'll get pain, swelling, and instability when you sprain one or both of these ligaments. These symptoms will vary in severity depending on how badly you’ve torn these structures.
Practising proper technique on the slopes helps, but accidents aren’t entirely avoidable. Even the most seasoned skiers and snowboarders aren’t immune to knee injuries. And considering how important these ligaments are in sports and everyday life, it’s essential to protect the knee.
PROTECT YOUR KNEE WHILE SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING
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 for the job are ones that target the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
Squats, lunges, wall sits, and step exercises are all good ways to support these ligaments.
See more knee-strengthening exercises here: How to Strengthen Your Knees
KNEE BRACES FOR SKIING
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.
A wide range of supports is available, so picking the right one can be tricky. You are looking for something with a hinged splint along both sides of the leg. These splints help prevent the side-to-side movement of the knee, instead guiding the joint’s movement to keep it natural and safe for the ligaments.
If you have previously injured your leg, we recommend using a stronger brace to compensate for ligament and tendon weakness.
GENUTRAIN HINGED KNEE BRACE
KEEP GOOD FORM WHILE ON THE SLOPES
As we mentioned, most knee injuries happen with sudden, wrenching movements and improper techniques. So, brush up on your skiing and snowboarding skills in a safe training area before heading to the big slopes. Good stopping, falling, and turning techniques can save your knees from a lot of damage.
It’s important to remember that most of us can only ski for a few days a year, so we can get a bit rusty. And not to mention, even pro skiers and snowboarding instructors attend training sessions to practice and get better.
Over the course of the day, it’s not unusual to get sore muscles and even some aches and pains in the knee joint. What's important is to listen to your body before you take these minor injuries too far. Also important is ensuring that you stretch and recover properly. Ease into some stretches to cool down after a long day of skiing, and try to avoid strenuous activities that can overwhelm the knees.
Additionally, wearing a knee brace with compression, such as the GenuTrain, will help your recovery and ease any pressure while preventing more severe issues. Medical-grade compression knit fabric is known for reducing swelling and helping get vital oxygen and nutrients into your tissues to speed up healing.
TO SUM UP
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.
Explore more ski supports: Skiing - Bauerfeind Australia
If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 1300 668 466 or contact us via live chat.