|English: Ski descent from Lairig Ghru Superb snow and calm cold weather made for a memorable crossing of this Cairngorm pass. The peaks ahead are Devil’s Point on the right and Carn a’ Mhaim to the left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bring on the snow! Those of you who are avid winter athletes are gearing up and gathering your skis and boots from your basements where they laid dormant for the spring and summer months. Get excited! However, as with any sport, there are risks. Here are a few tips to remember before your winter adventure on the slopes in order to keep your lower extremities healthy.
First and foremost, STRETCH. Those who forget to stretch and warm-up their muscles are often the ones who have a hard time making it down the hill the next day. It is especially important in the cold weather to remember to keep your muscles warm and flexible. While your feet will be in a boot for the majority of the day, it’s important to remember to stretch your toes, ankles, and calves. You will certainly be on your feet for the better part of the day, and they will therefore take a beating. This precaution will not only help to reduce your risk of injuries, but also keep you from being sore in the days after.
After your stretch and warm-up routine, don’t forget to check your boots and bindings. Make sure that everything fits properly and that you don’t have any cracks or broken equipment. Every foot is different, and thus needs to be fitted differently. Every skier needs to talk to a podiatrist and a boot fitter to make sure that their boots are the perfect fit for them and to possibly be fit with orthotics (same as with shoes!).
Finally, be aware of how your feet are positioned in your equipment. The most common types of ski injuries are related to twisting knees. While your ankles will be somewhat protected from sprains in hard boots, don’t forget that muscles in your legs and knees are still connected to your feet! Be especially careful when turning, as this is the time that most knees give out due to the stress and torque placed on the muscles.
Dr. Andrew Marso and his staff are always willing to help make sure that your feet stay fit and healthy so that you can continue to do the things that you love. Visit our website to request an appointment to see what else you can do to stay protected during your winter sports adventures. Or call (414) 425-8400 to visit us at our office in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.