6 Things You Need to Know About Skiing-Related Knee Injuries
‘Tis the season to be skiin’! But with every ski season inevitably comes injury–most commonly, knee injuries like sprains, meniscus tears, fractures, and dislocations. While the introduction of releasable ski bindings has decreased the rate of leg fractures by up to 90% in the past three decades, knee sprains, including ACL and MCL tears, have increased. Here are 10 things to know about knee injuries–including how to avoid them. Make sure you read up before you hit the slopes!
How to Prepare for Ski Season
Conditioning core and lower extremities via aerobic training and squats can help prepare your body before you hit the slopes. Ensuring functioning equipment and learning proper technique are also essential in injury prevention.
How to Prevent an MCL Tear
The most common skiing-related knee injury is the medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear, which often occurs when a skier falls while ski tips are pointed towards one another in a “snowplow” position. To prevent an MCL tear, make sure bodyweight is balanced in a snowplow position.
How to Prevent an ACL Tear
The second most common skiing-related knee injury is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear–and this injury often require surgery. To avoid this painful injury, make sure to land from a jump with your weight forward; if you land with your weight too far back, the force from the landing can tear the ACL.
Ice & Elevate
The reality is, even those with the best form, training and experience can still become injured while skiing. If you do injure your knee, giving your body time to recover is essential to prevent long term damage. Resting, icing, and elevating the knee are your first steps.
What’s Up, Doc?
Even if you think your knee injury is minor, it’s a good idea to go see a doctor–especially if you may have an ACL tear, which can require surgery. Having a professional’s opinion on next steps like physical therapy is always a good idea.
Wearing a brace that restricts side-to-side movement but still allows the knee to bend is a good way to heal from an MCL tear or other sprains.