Reduce injuries when skiing
Thousands of Irish will be heading to ski slopes in the coming weeks - and many will be hobbling home injured. Physiotherapists have some tips on how to reduce injury-risk.
• Pole position - Don't bunch up your shoulders, relax and drop them below your ears to avoid neck pain and arms should be relaxed and slightly away for the body to aid balance.
• Boots - Wearing a fixed angle ski boot all day can cause tension to build up in the calf complex. Try to loosen your boot at lunchtime and flex your foot up and down to prevent this.
• Posture - Poor posture can put excess strain on your soft tissues leading to stiffness and pain. You should be slightly flexed at the spine, hips, knees and ankles while keeping a neutral spine, open chest and long neck. Poor posture can lead to accidents, so it is vital to get it right. Skiing with your weight on your heels will disrupt your balance and skiing with back extended and knees straight will reduce shock absorption, putting pressure on your knees which can increase your risk of injury.
• Eye level- You should be looking straight ahead at eye level with the centre of mass inside your base of support, balanced over your whole foot.
• Stretching - Off-piste stretching is vital to aid recovery from a full day on the slopes. Start at the top of your body and work your way down. Beginners may find stretching the upper back useful as it tends to overwork while trying to maintain balance.
Health & Living