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Are you ready for the slopes?

December 12th 2018

Are you prepared for your winter ski/snowboard trip?

Every year thousands of people head off to the slopes for a winter ski holiday. But are we really prepared enough to tackle the long physical days on the slopes?

There are numerous health benefits to skiing other than being in the great outdoors but people often expect their bodies to function at a high athletic level whilst on the slope. However in the weeks prior to the trip, they have most likely been desk bound working 9-5, with little to no conditioning. This will dramatically increase the risk of injury and reduce your ability to ski confidently throughout the day.

With this in mind it is important to make sure your body is well prepared and functioning optimally to deal with the demands of the trip. In the build up to the holiday, you can benefit from and ski proof your body by following these handy tips:

Get checked your chiropractor to ensure you are well adjusted, that the joints are mobile and to remove any interference from your nervous system.

Consult your sports therapist well in advance of the trip. They will be able to put you onto a ski specific strength and flexibility programme to minimise the risk of injury. Nearer the time they can also reduce any muscle tension which may be causing a restriction in your movements.

Keep as mobile and active as you can in the week leading up to it, so that your body starts to become conditioned to the physical exertion required.

Don’t ditch that early morning pilates class. It’ll be a great way to add some further flexibility and strength work.

Unfortunately with any winter sport there are associated risks, and anything can happen when . Here are a few to look outfor…


Knee injuries tend to be the most common type of injury with winter sports enthusiasts. They can range from low level ligament sprains and muscle strains to severe joint dislocations.


Rotator cuff injuries are prevalent in skiing, particularly when your shoulder is wrenched whilst caught in strap of a skipole. Other common injuries include sprains to the acromioclavicular joint (AC) or shoulder dislocations when falling on an outstretched hand.

Spinal injuries

Injuries to the spine during skiing can vary to a great degree. They can result from either landing awkwardly from a jump to having another skier colliding into the back of you whilst out of control. The joints become inflamed and the spinal muscles may go into spasm.

If any of these do happen to you, make sure to ice it as soon as possible and, if swollen, elevate/compress it also. On your return from your trip make sure to book back in with the chiropractor and sports therapist to help resolve any issues which may have arisen from the physical impact of skiing.

Adam Harrison

Sports Therapist MSST