Very few states rival the world-class skiing found in Colorado. Whether you love bottomless powder days, secluded tree runs, endless bumps or cruising the groomers, you’ll find plenty of terrain to suit your preferences and ability at the dozens of resorts around the state. But as exhilarating as skiing and snowboarding can be, it also comes with a serious risk of injury.
According to the ski information website Unofficial Networks:
Regardless of your age or ability level, you’re at risk of getting injured anytime you hit the slopes. This is true of professional skiers, weekend warriors and once a year ski vacationers. The sheer number of skiers on Colorado mountain resorts certainly contributes to the number of injuries that occur. The more crowded the slopes, the more moving obstacles you must avoid, and the more uncertainty you face while skiing.
However, the nature of the sport also increases the risk of injury. Skiing and snowboarding involve high-intensity exercise that requires you to possess significant balance, coordination, strength and agility. In addition, you must react quickly and make precise turns at a moment’s notice on variable conditions that are often icy. Therefore, proper conditioning and a high level of skill are required to ski safely and proficiently.
In addition, skiing places high levels of impact on your lower body joints and muscles, particularly your knees. As a result, these areas are most susceptible to injury. That being said, it’s possible to suffer a ski injury on just about any area of your body. While knee injuries are the most common, many skiers also suffer shoulder injuries, hand and wrist injuries, back injuries, broken bones and concussions.
Often, the snow conditions will dictate the types of injuries that are most likely to occur. For example, hard-packed or icy conditions often result in high-speed, high impact falls that can cause broken bones, dislocated joints or concussions. On the other hand, fresh powder or heavy spring snow is more likely to cause torsional and twisting injuries to the knee.
While physical therapy is most often performed to help you rehab following an injury or surgical procedure, it can also be extremely beneficial in getting your body ready for the rigors of ski season. Scheduling a few physical therapy sessions prior to the start of ski season is an excellent way to get in shape and reduce your risk of injury. Your physical therapist can help you prepare for skiing by designing a customized strength and conditioning regimen that targets the specific muscle groups used in skiing to improve balance, stability and muscle control.
Your skiing prep physical therapy program will involve several key components:
The in-house physical therapy team at Colorado Advanced Orthopedics can help you perform at peak levels and reduce your risk of injury this ski season. We’ll work with you to design a customized training program that targets the muscles you use on the slopes. Our physical therapists will consider your age, ability level and preferred ski terrain to ensure your workout regimen provides exactly what you need. You’ll not only receive a program tailored to your unique needs, but you’ll be given detailed coaching to ensure you perform all exercises with the proper form.
In the event that you suffer a ski injury this winter, our physical therapists can help with your recovery. For minor injuries that don’t require surgery, physical therapy can help you restore strength and mobility so that you can get back to your favorite activities as soon as possible. If surgery is required, you’ll benefit from increased collaboration between your surgical and physical therapy teams when you have all treatments performed at CAO. This greater alignment with your healthcare team will provide the best possible results.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.
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