Ski Injuries – The skiing season is almost over, and it’s a great time to work on your recovery from ski injuries. If you had an unfortunate accident or have a joint that hurts when you put pressure on it, you could use physical therapy to make a recovery from that nagging ski injury.
Long after ski injuries heal, the pain can persist for the next few weeks or months. Reasons for the continued pain can be complex. However, a professional physical therapist can identify the problem and assist with physical therapy to treat the condition. Physical therapy methods, such as key exercises or acoustic wave therapy, could increase mobility and the strength of the affected area, eliminating pain.
This article summarizes the common ski injuries and physical therapies available for their treatment.
Common Ski Injuries
An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) rupture or sprain
Knee injuries are the most common ski injuries, accounting for 30-40% of all ski injuries.
The ACL is a strong band of ligaments located in the knee. It connects the femur to the shin bone. A sudden twist or impact on the knee can tear the ligaments. The injury can make walking difficult and can take weeks to heal. MCL works in conjunction with ACL to connect the femur to the shin bone. MCL is present at the inner side of the knee, i.e., the side that’s close to the other knee.
Shoulder sprains, fractures, and dislocations
Shoulder ski injuries result from a direct collision with a tree, an object, or crashing on the ground. A fracture in the shoulder can make moving the arm difficult for months.
Wrist and thumb fractures
Wrist and thumb fractures are common among novice skiers. Breaking a fall with palms puts pressure on the wrist and thumbs. There’s a condition called, Skier’s thumb, caused by damage to a ligament at the base of the thumb. This condition can make simple daily activities like holding a pen difficult.
Head injuries, whiplash, and concussion
Helmets can safeguard against critical ski injuries such as skull fractures. Unfortunately, it can’t entirely prevent skiers from sustaining head injuries and concussions caused by a collision. Head whiplash can make neck muscles sore as well.
Lower Back Pain
Constant strain on the lower back can make the lower back hurt long after you stop skiing. Serious back-related ski injuries include spinal trauma and lumbar injury caused by a fall or twist.
Best Physical Therapy for Ski Injuries
Acoustic Wave Therapy
Acoustic Wave Therapy is a non-invasive method of healing ski injuries and strengthening the affected area. A device sends high-energy pulses into the affected area to stimulate cell and collagen growth by inducing an inflammatory response. Acoustic Wave Therapy can treat chronic conditions as well.
Application of the RICE method is critical in the first few hours of the injury. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. The name is self-explanatory. Give rest to the affected area, apply ice, use an elastic bandage to compress the area, and elevate the area above the level of the heart. For example, if you have sprained your ankle, lie down on a couch and prop your leg on a pillow.
Taping and Strapping
An adhesive bandage or tape can be wound around the affected area to restrict pain-causing movement while allowing mobility. Apart from treating injuries, taping and strapping can also be used to prevent ski injuries and maintain correct posture.
Stretching and Exercises
Once the injury has healed, a physical therapist can provide stretching and custom-tailored exercises within a program to accelerate your recovery. The physical therapy program can go for weeks, and if you follow through with it, you have a high chance of full recovery.
Contact Us for Ski Injury Treatment with Physical Therapy
The Professional Physical Therapists at Mountain View Physical Therapy can help you recover from ski injuries with unique forms of physical therapy. We have helped numerous clients in Utah recover fully and even return to skiing.
If chronic pain is troubling you, or if you have injured yourself recently, contact us today!