Four and a half ways to have an injury-free ski season

Physio, Louise Parker demonstrating the correct way to use a helmet!

So, we are a well into winter now, and well into winter injuries at our clinic!
As much as we love meeting new people and seeing old friends again, our mission is to keep Queenstown healthy….so here are a few of our top tips for avoiding having to see us with a painful injury!

1 – It’s not too late to get ski fit!
Make sure you add in some non-skiing exercises into your weekly routine, we know strength and conditioning in sport can help reduce injuries and promote your recovery if you do get one. If you have any niggly aches and pains, then it is probably a good opportunity to do some rehabilitation so you can properly enjoy your season. One of our physiotherapists can assess to check relevant joint mobility, muscle strength; muscle control and balance. From there we can prescribe a plan relevant to your ski ability and current fitness and help reduce injuries.

2 – Start slowly.
If you haven’t been up the mountain yet, start slow, sometimes that all or nothing mental attitude on the first day back can end up in injury before you have really started. Build up your adventures slowly to allow your body to get back into it.
Try to warm up your body a little each time you head out on the slopes, start on the easier stuff and build up to the crazier stuff later in the day too, allowing both your brain and body to warm up a bit.

3 – Check your gear to avoid skiing injuries.
Skiing injuries can occur from incorrect fitting boots, the wrong binding DIN setting and poorly maintain skis.
Remember there may be some adjustment required, and if you aren’t confident in this, then best get down to a store in town so you don’t end up injured from an incorrect set up.

3.5 – Also, on the subject of gear… Consider wearing safety gear – most importantly a helmet!
Any pre-existing conditions may benefit from external support, or if you like to push your limits joint and spine protection are options. Although theses wont completely stop injuries and ultimately the research is not sure, but it is something to consider.
Head injuries are common, even a slight bump either on an object, body part or hard packed snow (or ice!) can cause concussion. Helmets don’t stop head injuries but they reduce the risk, the research is sure on this one! But if you do hit your head, we run a concussion clinic so book in for an assessment and we can make sure you are ready to get back to the mountains.

4 – Call it a day before you injure yourself
If you are tired, call It a Day. Don’t ski until you drop. Most injuries happen when your body is tired and muscles are weak. Without strength to hold your form you can strain things or make mistakes that leads to a nasty injury. Ski to your limits and if you get any sore or tired muscles don’t forget our physiotherapists can help ease those tried muscles too.

There you are; get strong, ease into it, think about your gear and know when to quit – rules to ski by… and to live by!