Knee ligament injuries are becoming increasingly common amongst physically active individuals, especially those who participate in high-impact sports involving a lot of bending and pivoting – skiing being a case in point. But there’s no need to let any concerns about getting injured prevent you from enjoying your favourite winter sport.
Our top 10 tips for preventing knee injuries while skiing will help you maximise control over your knees and protect them from damage while you’re out on the slopes.
How to Prevent Knee Injuries While Skiing
1. Exercise before you go. Get your general fitness levels up by gently exercising three to four times a week, working on your core strength to help stabilise the body during movement.
2. Strengthen your quads and hamstrings. Training these muscles can help support the vulnerable ligaments in the knee. Doing these leg exercises regularly will help reduce the risk of meniscus, MCL and ACL tears – the most common knee injuries amongst skiers.
3. Maximise your range of movement. Stretch your legs regularly, using the muscles around the knee joint, to improve the joint function and prevent stiffness. Don’t deep squat – there is nothing that damages a knee joint more than this.
4. Don’t ski when you’re tired. If your muscles are telling you to rest, miss the last lift. Tired muscles won’t support your knees properly and you’re more likely to make mistakes.
5. Have your ski bindings set to suit your skiing style. If they’re too tight, you’ll damage your knee before they release.
6. Protect weakened knees. If you’ve ruptured your ACL, MCL or meniscus in the past, wear a knee brace to improve control, protect the injury and prevent it from getting worse – whether you have undergone surgery or not. (Find out what to look for in a knee brace.)
7. Don’t drink and ski. We probably don’t need to tell you why……
8. Be aware of those around you. There will be skiers of all levels of ability on the slopes, so remain vigilant at all times and make sure you’re prepared in case others stray into your path.
9. Don’t stop in the middle of the slope. If you need a break, wait until you reach the bottom to prevent others from crashing into you.
10. Keep away from the edges of the piste. Variable snow depth, ice lumps and pot holes are all there ready to cause an accident, causing your ski tip to catch and twist and damaging your knee, so make sure you keep to the centre.
Finally, have fun! Don’t let your concerns about knee injuries prevent you from having a great holiday. Provided you follow the above steps, you can be sure that you’re doing what you can to reduce the risk of injury.
If there is anything else you would like to know about preventing knee injuries while skiing, call Technology in Motion on 0330 100 1800.