For most, a weekend trip to the ski slopes is a great way to stay active and enjoy the gifts of winter. Skiing and Snowboarding are generally safe and fun activities thanks to improvements in equipment and well-designed ski resorts.
Although injuries happen every year, most serious or fatal injuries are connected to extreme and risky behaviors when skiers push the limits of their equipment and their abilities, or participate in back-country skiing.
Falls do go hand in hand with the sport. The most common injuries on the slopes are sprains, strains and muscle soreness from minor falls or overexertion.
Prevention is always the best choice to avoid or mitigate injuries:
- Proper stretching before and after hitting the slopes will prevent many aches and pains.
- Fatigue is another factor. According to Stop Sports Injuries.org, most injuries on the slopes happen after lunchtime when tiredness sets in. If you are feeling tired, rest. Pushing yourself can also mean pushing your luck.
- Dehydration is another common issue because the body’s thirst response is diminished in the cold. Sweat evaporates more quickly in cold weather and we lose respiratory fluids though breathing cold air. Drink plenty of fluids even of you don’t feel thirsty.
When an injury occurs:
Get emergency medical treatment right away. Follow up with western diagnostics such as X-rays or MRI’s to rule out fractures or torn ligaments. It is best to seek acupuncture treatments once the emergency care is complete. The sooner the treatment protocol begins, the better the results.
Acupuncture can quickly and effectively address trauma to any part of the body. It can reduce pain and swelling to improve the blood flow to the injured area, repair the damage and promote faster healing.
In cases of severe injuries, acupuncture can help prevent the need for surgery by removing obstacles for healing. When surgery is necessary, acupuncture treatments before surgery can improve pre-operation conditions, reduce post-operative pain, and speed recovery time.
Acupuncture effectively treats scar tissue, which can be a post-operative source of pain, and limit performance. Acupuncture treatments can make the stiff scar tissue more like the surrounding tissue.
Enhanced Performance on the Slopes:
But what if you like to challenge yourself on the slopes? What if pushing your limits is what drives you to ski or snowboard in the first place? What can acupuncture do to help you maintain your competitive edge?
Acupuncture boosts energy and promotes increased mental clarity. It improves blood flow to the heart and other organs to strengthen the body and increase endurance. And acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to accelerate the speed of information traveling from the brain to the nerves and muscles.
If you want to be your best both on and off the slopes, acupuncture can help you achieve your goals.
Before you hit the slopes be sure to get an assessment from a licensed acupuncturist. They can help identify and fortify any weaknesses before you set out to conquer the mountainside and assist with recovery when you are done!
For me, personally, skiing holds everything. I used to race cars, but skiing is a step beyond that. It removes the machinery and puts you one step closer to the elements. And it’s a complete physical expression of freedom.
The Healing Point Acupuncture Clinic
Natalie Miner, L.Ac., C.SMA
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