Pre-Season Screening is Highly Recommended:
Before you hit the slopes, you should come in for a pre-season exercise screening exam! A pre-season screening exam can be an extremely useful tool in identifying any current injury you may have or can help determine a predisposition to injury – and identifying a predisposition to injury can help reduce time spent on the sidelines this winter.
What to Expect from a Pre-Season Screening at Nose Creek Physio:
Nose Creek’s Physiotherapists will begin by looking for reduced mobility or stiffness in the joint, and if these joints show any reduced mobility or stiffness, our qualified Therapists will ensure they are mobilized and/or manipulated. In doing so, they will correct your muscle imbalances in one of two ways: (1) For weak muscles, appropriate exercises are prescribed to strengthen them to optimum levels, or (2) For tight muscles, your Physiotherapist will prescribe stretches to lengthen muscles to original length.
We will also work with you and show you which exercises you should focus on prior to engaging in any sport! For example, winter sports can include: cross country skiing, downhill skiing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tobogganing with your kids, or simply going for a walk or run on a sunny snowy day to reduce your cabin fever! (Tip: Every walker should put on grips on the bottom of their winter boots to prevent a slip)
How to Prevent Injury on the Slopes:
This winter, we want you to lower your risk of injury on the slopes. My Health Alberta lists the five most common ways people injure themselves on the slopes:
- Going too fast and losing control
- Running into other boarders, skiers or objects
- Being tired
- Not having enough experience
- Using equipment that doesn’t fit or work correctly
Have you ever experienced any of these leading to injury while on the slopes? If so, we will help make sure it does not happen again! Follow these steps below to ensure you are ready to hit the slopes:
- Before you hit the slopes, be aware of the weather and snow conditions. To do so, you can always use a weather app. However, a more precise depiction of the weather on the slopes will be found on the website of the ski resort you are planning to go to. For example, if you are heading to Sunshine Village in Banff, their website lists the current conditions of the slopes and even offers a webcam of what the slopes look like. Check it out here: https://www.skibanff.com/. Also, to familiarize yourself with the runs, you should get a map or look up the map online prior to getting out there.
- Be sure to warm up and stretch for about 5-10 minutes before and after hitting the slopes (read Exercises Before & After Skiing/Snowboarding below for more information).
- Not only do you have to ensure your equipment fits right and is well maintained; you will need to make sure it is right for your skill level and size (for Selecting the Right Ski Equipment, keep reading).
You are now ready to hit the slopes! Follow these tips to make sure you are safe while on the hills:
- Make sure to read and follow any posted signs and warnings.
- Matching your speed to the traffic on the hill, snow conditions and people around you will allow you to assess your environment.
- Choose runs based on your skill level.
First Time Skier or Snowboarder? Choose Your Skis and Snowboard Correctly!
Selecting the right ski or snowboard equipment can be challenging if you are unsure of which to choose! This is why we have done our research to help you through this process. Our considerations can help you stay comfortable, and most importantly, help reduce injury while engaging in the winter sports you love.
If you are a beginner skier or snowboarder, it is encouraged to rent as a qualified technician at the rental shop will easily and correctly help you select the right skis/snowboard. You will be able to rent skis/snowboards with bindings attached and the correct sized boots – this will be based upon your riding experience, weight and what runs you plan to do. Beginners will usually be fitted with shorter skis/snowboards that are relatively easier to turn than longer ones. These skis/snowboards will usually reach from the floor to somewhere between your nose and your forehead.
Note: It is important to know how to fasten and adjust your boots and get your feet in and out of the bindings before you head to the slopes.
The Physical Therapy Institute suggests that if you prefer to purchase skis or snowboards, “you will probably still want to rent until you are familiar with the skis that suit you, and to try out different brands. Look out for shop demo days where you can test run new skis. If you are experienced and like to go fast, your ski will likely be longer. Longer skis will also help with flotation on powder snow. Don’t forget to take your ski boots with you when purchasing skis, so that the bindings can be fitted and adjusted for you by the ski technician.” (Read More about the importance of goggles, gloves and preferred clothing while skiing or snowboarding).
Exercises Before & After Skiing/Snowboarding
It is recommended that you stretch for about 5-10 minutes before and after skiing and snowboarding to prevent injuries. Check out these pre-ski stretches to prevent injuries prior to hitting the slopes: Pre-Ski Stretches. If snowboarding is your passion, try these stretches: Snowboarding Stretches.
It is proven that post-ski stretching is an important factor in maintaining mobility throughout the kinetic chain. Before you hit the hot tub or bar, be sure to spend a few minutes stretching. Check out these seven post-ski and snowboard stretches that will help you improve function and mobility while on the slopes: Post-Ski and Snowboard Stretches.
Injury? Nose Creek Physiotherapy Will Manage Your Pain
Conveniently located in two locations in Calgary (Beddington and Thorncliffe), Nose Creek’s Physiotherapists will first assess your injury, and secondly, manage your pain. Our Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists recognize that each person has their own unique needs and desired outcomes. At the outset of care, each client’s medical and physical history is assessed along with other lifestyle factors, and a personalized treatment program is developed based on the injury, age, sport and other lifestyle needs. We also take into account unique factors such as patterns of movement, body alignment, postural habits and treatment goals in order to develop the most effective, customized Physiotherapy rehabilitation plans possible. Just as no two clients are exactly the same, no two treatment plans are the same either.
If you have experienced an injury and want to keep enjoying your winter sports, give us a call today at our Beddington location (403.295.8590) or at our Thorncliffe location (403.275.7728). We would be happy to help you assess and resolve your pain, and get you moving faster and feeling better!
Blair balances his busy professional life by staying active. He enjoys cycling, swimming, working out, hiking, camping and snowboarding, depending on the season. Blair shares his free time with his wife, son and daughter outside on the weekends. He has learned to enjoy the journey, as life really is too short.
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