Out in Front: Prevent Ski Injuries Before They Happen

Examiner.com—November 6, 2011

The old cliché that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is especially true for skiing. As Sabrina Strickland, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in the Women's Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York puts it: “Unfortunately, no one comes to see me before the season; I see them after they’ve torn their ACL.”

Step one in avoiding Strickland’s services is what’s known as pre-hab, which boils down to hitting the weights before you hit the slopes.

“I’m a huge advocate of weight lifting. Number one, you have to strengthen your lower extremities with weight machines. Then, do some sort of core and balance training. A specific example is a balancing ball where you work on single-leg stability. In skiing, balance is key because you’re typically weighting the edge with one ski or the other,” says Strickland.

Though lower-body, core and balance pre-hab applies to both men and women, Strickland says that women are up to ten times more likely to suffer ACL injuries, and twice as likely to injure their ACL skiing.

“Women have similar forces working against their joints when they’re skiing, but their ligaments are smaller and therefore more likely to give and tear,” says Strickland. “Men tend to work on their upper body more, but I don’t see a lot of women working their lower bodies either. Both men and women need to spend that extra time working out their lower bodies to prevent ski injuries.”

Read the full story at examiner.com.

 

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