Cross-Country Skiing Injury Prevention Series
Dr. Rebecca Laginski
Happy New Year!Cross-country ski season is finally here!
This is the first blog of 2 in this series and will focus on preventing low back pain and knee injuries skiing.
The next blog will address elbow pain and tips to avoid shoulder pain skiing.Low back pain is more commonly found in those who classic ski than skate ski. There is an increase in static load placed on the muscles that run along your spine and your spinal erectors while skiing. This causes more pressure in the low back and results in the ache half way into your ski or after you get out of the car from the trip home.
There are three main areas you can address to relieve some of the pressure being placed on the spine; Having a strong core, good pelvic stability to prevent the pelvis from rocking side to side (glutes, the muscles in your butt) and flexible hip flexors (psoas).Knee pain often occurs because the pelvis is not staying stable during the ski. This increase in sway tightens up your IT band which pulls at your knee cap creating the pain behind your knee cap. The source of the problem is very similar to those who suffer from low back pain skiing as described above. The body will distribute the stress and the weakest link in your chain (back, knee or both) will be where the pain surfaces.
Exercises to prevent low back and knee pain. For your convenience we have added links to video’s demonstrating each of these exercises. Please click on the links below:Warming up before you go skiing is veryimportant in preventing injury.– Build up your cardio on days when the weather isn’t cooperating on a bike, with a brisk walk, rowing or running.– Perform a dynamic warm up before you go out skiing such as:
- Leg swings (holding the car swinging front/back for glutes and hip flexors and side/side for adductors and abductors
- Walking lunges
- Body weight side lunges
- Body weight squats
- Ankle circles
- Shoulder/arm circles
- Hopping in one spot
We hope as this series continues that it helps you in your skiing and in enjoying the advantages of our Canadian climate.Until next time,OCSI