Most of us know someone, or may have yourself, had a ski injury- which not only ruins the rest of your holiday (even the après-ski is hard on crutches!)- but can put you out of action for months.
Here at Twickenham Chiropractic Health Centre there are a number of common ski injuries we see due to the nature of the sport, but also due to the fact that our bodies tend be somewhat unfamiliar with sliding down ice with a plank stuck to each foot!
This is by far the most common. Ligament and meniscal damage in particular are common due to the stresses and loads that go through the knee joints in skiing, but muscle pulls and strains are often involved too. Sadly it tends to be sudden traumas, for example a twist to the knee as you fall, or even a knock from another skier into the side of the knee that causes damage to the ligaments and menisci and this can sometimes be a lengthy recovery.
Whether or not you require surgery following any structural damage, you will absolutely require rehabilitation to optimise full healing and to re-strengthen the joint. Ligaments and menisci are inherently poor healers due to a poor blood supply structurally, so there are many ways you can stimulate healing and restore strength and range with specific exercises given to you by your rehabilitation therapist, dependent on exactly what you have injured and how far into your recovery you are.
Wrist and thumb injuries
As mentioned above, the nature of the sport can lead to traumatic injuries – if you fall over when skiing you tend to be already moving at a fast pace, and fall on to a hard surface. You tend to fall with hands outstretched so that’s a big load that your poor wrist or thumb has to deal with. If this doesn’t really reflect your day to day life back at home then your joints may not cope particularly well with ‘falling’! I’m not suggesting you practice falling over before you go on your next ski trip, but believe it or not it may be helpful to strengthen and load the upper body so that your wrists get stronger – you never know, it may save you from a fractured scaphoid and reconstructive surgery!!
If you have unfortunately already suffered this injury, then again it is important to stimulate healing and full recovery. Your rehabilitation therapist can help improve blood flow to the area and work on restoring function. Lack of rehab on this type of injury can result in future tendon injuries such as RSI (repetitive strain injury) due to lingering compensations. We use our thumbs and wrists lots, so it’s important to get this right.
Another bone that often bears the brunt in a fall is the collarbone, or clavicle. Sometimes you don’t have time to put your hands out to catch your fall, and you can land on the front or tip of your shoulder. The collarbone may be fractured in a fall, or the small joint where the collarbone meets the shoulder can be dislocated. These do occasionally require surgery to relocate and stabilise the damaged area. Additionally, many muscles attach to the collarbone and shoulder joint, and if left untreated can later cause numerous issues around the shoulder, neck, and upper back. Ongoing rotator cuff problems or even tension headaches can appear later down the line if this area is not treated following the injury.
If you are suffering with any of these injuries, whether acute (very recent), chronic, pre or post-operatively, come and have a chat to our rehab specialist Helen or book in for an assessment here to get back on track to recovery.