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  • Writer's pictureDr. Keith McGahey

Sports Injury Prevention - 5 Tips For Skiers And Snowboarders

I've been practicing Chiropractic in Bellevue for over 25 years now. In that time I've treated a lot of ski and snowboard injuries. In my experience, a lot of these injuries occur at the end of day, when your muscles are fatigued and can't react quick enough to challenges. So, you can decided to stay home and stream Netflix, where you're safe. Or, you can do some preventative work, and enjoy your season on the mountain without injury.

Man falling while skiing suffering sports injury

If you choose the former, rest easy knowing that you can marathon 6 seasons of Black Mirror without ever leaving your bed. If you choose the latter, I would suggest getting ready now instead of waiting for the last minute. Read on for some helpful tips to prepare for a long season in the snow. And if you need help with sports injury treatment, schedule an appointment and let's get to work.

1. Stretch To Prevent Sports Injuries

Sports injury prevention starts with stretching. Stretching helps to improve flexibility and ranges of motion, and healthy muscles are better able to respond to the demands of skiing and snowboarding without injury. It’s also embarrassing when you bend over to adjust your boots or bindings, and can’t reach them. Don’t be that person!

2. Strengthen (To Prevent Sports Injuries)

This is an important one to take care of before the season actually starts. Nothing says ‘short day’ like seeing smoke coming off your burning quads as you painfully make your way down the hill… on your second run? Really??

Want to get serious about sports injury prevention and enjoy the slopes this year? See your local trainer or hit the gym and do some squats. Better to have a few extra runs than a bunch of screaming muscles. And as always, check with your chiropractor or healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.

3. Dust Off Your Gear

Time to get your equipment tuned up – examine your bindings, refinish your surfaces and have your edges cleaned up and sharpened. If you need new gear, take advantage of Black Friday sales or hit your local ski swap for some good deals. After doing all that stretching and strengthening, don’t let your equipment be the weak link. You’ll perform better and have more fun if you look after your gear.

4. Check Your Clothing For Moth Holes

Make sure you have the proper clothing for the conditions you intend to ski and snowboard in. When you are cold and damp your muscles tend to stiffen up, making them more susceptible to a specific type of sports injury – a pulled muscle. Check out cold weather materials that wick away moisture (road trip to REI anyone?). It’s also a good idea to keep some backup clothing in your vehicle – socks, boots, jacket and gloves – in case you get wet while you’re out playing.

5. Get Your Car In For A Tune Up

If you don't think this is a part of injury prevention, you've never pushed a car in the snow. I'm from Canada... I have a LOT of experience. As always, plan for the worst and you'll probably never have an issue. Make sure your tires have a good winter tread for driving up snowy passes. Make it a priority to have a good roadside emergency kit with flares, blankets, water and a shovel, and have your battery tested. You want to make sure your car starts at the end of the day so you can get back home.

And if you’re really serious about sports injury prevention, get yourself in for a tune-up with your friendly local chiropractor. Ski and snowboard injuries occur more often when your joints are stiff and your muscles are fatigued. By making sure you are properly prepared for the season, you can enjoy a ton of runs while avoiding a ride on the red toboggan!

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