Don’t cut your skiing and snowboarding season short with an accident on the hill!

Don’t cut your skiing and snowboarding season short with an accident on the hill!

Part of the excitement of living in Vancouver for many is the winter season!  It’s a time to hit the slopes, escape to nearby mountains, and finish the day off with a beer or hot chocolate at the lodge.  Many people count down all year until opening day at the mountains, so much so that they might say they’d forgo summer and take November to Spring!  A lot of people travel from all over the world to take in what Whistler and other BC mountains have to offer, it’s truly a magic place.  Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to get fresh crisp air, burn some extra calories, and have some fun.  But there is always good and bad to everything in life and for skiing and shredding seasons it is an unforeseen injury on the mountain.  Any avid skier or snowboarder will tell you they have seen many times someone on the hill getting transported down on a snowmobile by the medics—It’s not an ideal way to end a day up on the mountain! Although skiing and snowboarding are such different movements and sports, many of the injuries are the same.

What are some common injuries from skiing or snowboarding?

  • Wrist fractures
  • ACL ruptures or sprains
  • MCL ruptures or sprains
  • Shoulder sprain, fracture or dislocation 
  • Thumb fractures
  • Head injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Concussions
  • Spinal injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Spinal injuries 
  • Hand injuries
  • And so many more…

What can you do to avoid an injury?

  • Take lessons if you a beginner or if you plan to do runs outside of your skill level
  • Have a restful sleep the night before
  • Eat a nutritious meal and stay hydrated
  • Wear proper clothing and gear
  • Wear appropriate clothing for snowboarding or skiing such a goggles
  • Frequently check gear is functioning properly
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks
  • Know your surroundings and keep an eye out for others on the mountain
  • Go on better snow conditions

Even though a lot of thought and preparation can be given for a day on the mountain, unpredictable events can cause a fall or injury.  After an injury, it’s important to rest up, ice the area, and elevate if necessary.  Take note of your symptoms—is it throbbing, achy, sharp in pain, dull in pain, does it have swelling? If any of these symptoms are a yes, make sure to seek an assessment by a physiotherapist if it doesn’t improve within 2-3 days.  Early intervention by a healthcare professional such as a doctor or a physiotherapist is essential.  It will ensure pain reduction is achieved sooner, the injury heals better, and the symptoms are not worsening over time.  During your first assessment, an individualized treatment plan will be made as every person is different.  What’s great about treatment with a physiotherapist, is many patients will report a considerable reduction in pain even after the first visit.  Manual therapy, strengthening exercises, stretches, use of an ultrasound, IMS, collaboration with a Kinesiologist, and so many other avenues may be a part of the plan to recovery.  Make sure to get the green light from your physiotherapist before hitting the slopes again so you don’t worsen the injury or to re-injure yourself. As a Vancouverite, it’s almost a sin to be out with an injury during the skiing/snowboarding season.  Don’t let an injury keep you out, book in with us at VanCity Physio! 

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