Injuries on the slopes - prevention, treatment and rehabilitation

Injuries on the slopes - prevention, treatment and rehabilitation

Thomas Kozicki, M.D. (orthopaedic traumatology specialist at Damian Medical Centre)

The ski season lasts only a few months and skiing enthusiasts look forward to this time of the year. But we should keep in mind that if we don’t want to end our downhill ride in a hospital emergency room, we need to prepare in advance.

We certainly know how to prepare ourselves technically before we go skiing, how to take care of skis, boots, bindings and clothing. But in order to prepare our bodies for the ski season we need to do much more than that. Many people need to strengthen their leg and back muscles. Because we only ski during the season, it is recommended we spend time rollerblading or running. Many skiing enthusiasts do not exercise regularly, and they are not aware that training requires a specific exercise plan.

While training on a stationary bike, treadmill or doing exercises under the supervision of a physiotherapist, will certainly strengthen our muscles, we must also remember to boost the performance of our entire body. An ideal supplement to exercise will be treatments in the cryogenic chamber. They significantly boost physical fitness, improve the range of motion of joints, increase muscle strength and hormone levels, improve metabolism and dilate blood vessels. Cryotherapy is an excellent form of biological regeneration for those experiencing fatigue. It has an anabolic effect, similar to that of doping substances.

Regular exercise, while gradually increasing the weight load, combined with general cryotherapy, will help strengthen our muscles, improve our mood and improve resistance to infection.

In order not to succumb to falls on the slope, we should do exercises to improve our balance, coordination and reflexes. This preparation will allow us to enjoy the white powder without worrying.

We should still remember, however, that while on the slope we must tread carefully, as there are many opportunities for injury. The most common injuries include:

  • damage to the ligaments, especially the knee joint (cross and minor), manifested by pains making knee movement impossible, as well as intra-articular hematoma and swelling of the joint, which is the most dramatic;
  • damage to the shoulder, usually by dislocating it during a fall, resulting in severe pain and limited mobility, even paralysis of the hand.

Equally frequent are overload injuries and rapid fatigue of muscles, as a result of poor preparation and conditioning. In such cases, massages to reduce pain are recommended.

In case of sprains, bruises and fractures the following healing treatments are recommended:

  • magnetic field therapy,
  • laser biostimulation,
  • partial cryotherapy,
  • iontophoresis.

Another way to treat injuries and immobilisation is by custom rehabilitation exercises or manual therapy. Rehabilitation is a lengthy process, but a worthwhile one, because it brings excellent results. This is a long-term collaboration between the patient, doctor, and physiotherapist. Such a system is in place at the Damian Rehabilitation Centre. A well-trained physiotherapist and a motivated patient guarantee success.

You have not exercised for a year? No time for exercise in the last two months before the trip and you want to be well-prepared for the ski season? You suffer from pain, which can jeopardise your dream winter vacation? Come to us! We will do our best to help you enjoy the ski season, and reduce your concerns to perfectly prepared slopes.

Damian Rehabilitation Centre
Cybernetyki 7B
tel. (22) 566 22 22

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