Steps you can take now to prepare for your skiing holiday

If you are planning a skiing holiday this winter, you may be looking at ways to prepare for the slopes. Skiing is very popular with both professionals and holidaymakers enjoying winter sports. In addition to the exhilarating physical activity involved in skiing, the scenery in and around the popular resorts is spectacular and many people return to the slopes year after year.

However, no extreme sport is without risk and skiers now experience more serious knee injuries than ever before. Knee injuries account for 35 per cent of all the injuries associated with snow sports, with medial collateral ligament tears being the most common injury.

There are many benefits to wearing a knee brace when skiing and they are not only for those with a previous injury but can also help to prevent a knee injury from occurring.

Support and control

Wearing knee braces can reduce the chance that you will sustain an injury and can also make your skiing more enjoyable, as it will be smoother and you will not have the worry of injury each time your knees take more strain than they would normally. Every time you twist or jump, extra pressure is applied to the knee joints and over time, this can lead to discomfort or injury. You can protect your knees and multiple ligaments, including your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), your posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), your lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and your medial collateral ligament (MCL), through the use of a knee brace.

Avoiding injuries

Not all injuries are avoidable, and many different factors are involved in the risks associated with skiing. These include the experience of the skier and how tired they are. The experience of other skiers nearby can also have an impact on how safe conditions are and, of course, weather conditions and obstacles can also cause problems.

For skiers who are worried about these potential dangers, a knee brace can provide some protection against injuries. There are many different designs of knee brace, but a rigid carbon fibre knee brace will protect against impact damage.

Improved stability

Knee braces give you better stability, which is important when your feet are locked in position and the knees have to make the movements necessary for changing direction. The kneecaps do not normally have to move from side to side or up and down as they do in skiing, and knee braces can relieve some of the strain that the knees are under. Although a knee brace provides improved stability to the knees when skiing, it does so without sacrificing performance or limiting essential movements.

Protection for previous injuries

In addition to preventing injury, knee braces can also help to prevent previous injuries from occurring again. Anyone who has previously experienced a knee injury or has undergone surgery or rehabilitation for knee problems will understand the importance of wearing a knee brace to protect and support the vulnerable area.

Knee braces are available in different sizes so that a skier can select a brace for their specific symptoms and one that relieves pressure or pain from the area that is troubling them. This can enable the person to return to the slopes and enjoy skiing as they have previously, with confidence that they will not be damaging a weakened joint any further.

In addition to this article on knee brace options, you may also be interested in Mr Simon Mellor’s tips on How to Prevent Skiing Injuries.

Mr Joyti Saksena, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Total Orthopaedics, can provide advice on bracing options such as off the shelf braces or a custom knee brace, if you are considering one. Please contact us for more information or to book an appointment.

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