Advice from the British Chiropractic Association – Beware of Day Three!

Despite common assumptions that a ski injury is most likely to occur on the first day
Matthew Bennett, BCA Chiropractor and the first to work with the British Alpine Ski team,
comments: “After three days of skiing using unaccustomed muscles, skiers become
confident but are physically tired, and their capability isn’t necessarily matched to their
confidence”.

If you are skiing this season, the BCA has some tips to ensure you can stay safe
on the slopes:
Pre-Ski fitness tips:
• Don’t just sit there – Exercising through squats, sit ups and cycling is also good to
tease the right muscles.
• It’s a balancing act – Balance is the single most important factor in skiing. Use a
wobble board to improve balance and build up ankle muscles. For a thorough ankle
work-out, rocking heel to toe is good for snowboarders and left to right is best for
skiers.
• Jump around – Use a mini trampoline to work all those ‘skiing’ muscles.
• Roll with it – Roller blading is perfect practice and will help you develop a good ski
posture, so you look like a pro on the slopes.
• Check it out – Most skiers find turning one way easier than the other. Poor
technique might not be the problem, so talk to a chiropractor for advice.
Out on the slopes:
• Hot and Cold – Warm up before strenuous skiing. Start off gently rather than
heading first for the black runs and round the day off with a stretch.
• Take plenty of breaks – Overexertion will ruin your holiday – moderate the length
of skiing time and listen to your body. Pain is a warning sign, don’t ignore it.
• Liquid lunch – Drink plenty of water and isotonic drinks to avoid dehydration and
stay clear of alcohol, tea and coffee.
• Wrap up – Make sure clothing is warm and adequate for the cold weather and don’t
forget hat and gloves.
• Put the boot in – No matter how many lessons, skiers won’t improve without the
right boots and this is where most skiers put their first foot wrong. Skiers often
choose on comfort alone – don’t make this mistake. Get a moulded footbed from the
ski shop first as this improves fit, comfort and ski control. Opt for a shop with a wide
range of boots so you are spoilt for choice.
• What a bind – If you are prone to going ‘knock-kneed’ when you ski, look out for
lateral alignment. Wedges expertly placed under the binding can make a huge
difference.
• Carry on – Always be careful when carrying skis/boards. Leave them standing
upright so you don’t have to bend to pick them up. Carry them over your shoulder,
swapping shoulders regularly.
• Ice is nice – With an acute injury, use ice rather than heat.
• Tread carefully – A great deal of people are injured by slipping on ice at the ski
resort, not just on the slopes. Wear shoes with a deep treaded sole and use strap-on
studs for ski boots to help keep you upright.
It still holds true that it is always better to take preventive measures in order to reduce the
risks of injuries. Take note of these guidelines to ensure you keep on the ski safe side this
ski season. Matthew adds: “Prevention is still better than cure and these tips can help you
avoid injuries because just one joint or muscle out of line can be a disaster when you are
travelling at 40 miles per hour on two skis”.

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