Planning a trip to the slopes this winter? Tips to stay safe and enjoy your trip.

As a Physiotherapist in an Active, sports driven town, winter is a busy period. Unfortunately a large portion of our day can be spent giving people bad news - how many weeks (or months) they will be on the sidelines. Despite the number of serious knee injuries we assess and treat, the look on someone’s face when you tell them they no longer have an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) never gets easier to see. They understand immediately that sport will not be an option for 9-12 months, surgical reconstruction is likely, which will impact work and other aspects of life. With an increased risk of early onset arthritis, a huge financial cost and some studies suggesting only 65% of those injured making a complete return to sport, prevention is essential.         

The ACL is the main structural stabiliser of the knee and is under a huge amount of stress on the ski slopes.  It can be damaged when the knee is twisted inwards (when bindings fail to release, catching an edge and twisting awkwardly, or more embarrassingly when walking to the lift or from the pub!)                                                                                                                          

A vast majority of serious injuries occur in the final hour of the day.   It may not come as a surprise that lack of Physical fitness is the greatest risk factor for injury.  It is crazy to think some people will complete 5-6 hours of continuous exercise, for multiple days on end, without any form of preparation or fitness base.   

Picture this..Standing up from lunch on day 1, battered and bruised, quads dead, calves burning and feeling as though the last 4 hours have added 15 years. If this sounds familiar, commit to making changes to avoid it this year.  

Recommendations to stay safe on the slopes:

  • Complete a thorough training program, consistently, for 6 weeks prior to your trip!

    Physical fitness, leg strength, endurance and balance will all help to reduce injury risk while improving technique and performance.  
  • Ski to your ability and get lessons to improve your technique.  

  • Ensure boots and bindings are well fitted and will release appropriately based on technique.  

  • Avoid skiing or boarding while fatigued

  • Racing your mates at full pace down summit on the last run of the day is never a great idea.  

  • Enjoy alcohol responsibly... Funnily enough it affects skiing the same way is does walking.

Our Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologist are highly trained to identify specific weaknesses and inefficiencies in your movement and technique and will tailor an effective training program to you.  


What Active Physiotherapy can offer you:

Active Physiotherapy offers a Snow Fit program that aims to individually target areas of muscle weakness, instability and poor biomechanics. The 6 week program will include an initial assessment followed by weekly group sessions that aim to increase fitness and confidence prior to the start of snow season.  

Call us today on 0269257734 to book your appointment.

Cristy Houghton