A number of our Physiotherapists are very keen skiers, one in particular being Hollie. Each year, Hollie spends 3-4 months practising Physiotherapy on the ski slopes of Japan and she is most certainly kept busy!

By specifically treating skiing injuries on a day-to-day basis for months at a time, this has given Holly the opportunity to thoroughly study the most common injuries and also the best form of practice for a speedy recovery.

 

The most common skiing injuries Holly treats:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) rupture

This usually occurs when the knee is twisted beyond its normal range of motion. Normally you’ll hear or feel a pop in the knee and the joint will then give way, giving sufferers the impression that they have dislocated their knee.

In most cases, this will be a sudden sharp pain initially, however, it’s the instability of the affected leg that proves debilitating for sufferers. The knee will swell significantly and may take a few weeks to return to a more recognisable size.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injuries

Again, another knee injury. The MCL is damaged when force is applied to the side of the knee while it’s bent. They tend to occur when a skier is racing down a mountain and they fall over without changing their body position. It can also be injured when falling over and your knee falls inwards.

You will experience pain on the inside of the joint, followed by swelling and bruising. Although you’ll probably be able to bear weight on your leg, it will be uncomfortable if you try and bend the knee inwards.

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries, often dislocations, occur when a skier falls directly onto the shoulder joint, or onto an outstretched hand and the force of the fall is transmitted up the arm to the shoulder.

If dislocated, sufferers will quickly need to have the shoulder replaced back into its joint and then kept in a sling for a number of weeks. During this period, physiotherapy treatment is needed to strengthen the muscles again. Rotator cuff injuries occur similarly to most dislocated shoulder injuries, however, the likely symptoms will be restricted motion, clicking and catching and weakness. Again, this is often and easily treated by a Physiotherapist.

 

Hollie ads…

“It’s not unusual for most people to pick up injuries here and there while skiing, but an issue I come across quite often are the sufferers that tend to self-diagnose themselves. As most skiers are typically holiday-goers, it’s not unusual for them to pick up an injury and self-diagnose themselves, covering up their injury so they don’t miss any more of their holiday. I understand that they’re on holiday and they don’t want to feel like they are wasting it sat out with an injury, but this only makes matters worse and the injury more serious, however. Our health is the most important thing we have! Quite often I will be treating someone that has injured their self and tried to carry on as normal, only to have taken another fall and caused even more damage in the long run.

Moral of the story? Always prepare and train sensibly beforehand, NEVER self-diagnose, put your health first and learn to trust in the experts. We have trained for years to attain the knowledge that allows us to help you recover better and stronger than before, so let us help.

Whether you feel you have a bodily imbalance that could to lead to a possible injury on the slopes, or you just want some strengthening advice to help you before you go, talk to a physiotherapist. As fun and exciting as skiing is, there are also many risks and dangers. We want to make sure you head out to the slopes in the best shape possible and return in as equally good shape.”

 

If you would like to talk to us regarding an injury you have, or you have a skiing holiday planned and would like some advice, we’d love to hear from you! Send us a message using our FREE online Ask-A-Physio service on our website.

Alternatively, you may call us 01282 453 110 to book or arrange any appointments with our Physiotherapists.

Hollie (Chartered Physiotherapist)