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Ski Injury Tips

Ski Injury Prevention Tips

Performing a sport specific dynamic warm-up prior to starting your ski day will help your body prepare for a day on the slopes. The two most common ski injuries are ACL and MCL injuries.

A common ski injury is the dreaded ACL-the anterior cruciate ligament. This is the ligament that keeps your lower leg bone from slipping forward at the knee. The mechanism of injury for this winner is a backward fall with hips below the knees and arms back.  

The best way to avoid this injury (from Vermont Safety Research) is to:

  • Keep arms forward
  • Keep feet together
  • Keep hands over skis
  • Do not try to fully straighten your legs during a fall, and if you feel a fall coming on to go ahead and fall-falling forward
  • Do not try to sit down after losing control
  • Do not try to get up until you have stopped sliding (unless it is to avoid an obstacle)
  • Land jumps on both skis with knees flexed
  • Recognize potentially dangerous situations

Along with strengthening your core and quads, strengthening your hamstrings will also help diminish this injury because it prevents the forward motion of the lower leg bone.

The MCL is the medial collateral ligament and is another common reason to end up talking to a person in a red jacket. This is the ligament on the inside of the knee that keeps the lower leg from forming an “L” shape. The mechanism of injury frequently is a wide overzealous snowplow position. It can also be caused by catching an inside edge at moderate speeds. The best way to prevent this injury is to keep up with the pre-season lower extremity and core conditioning, make sure your bindings are set correctly, and to avoid over-wide snowplow stances.

Take home message: “Remember to listen to your body.”