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416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-8pm

Posts Tagged ‘Skiing Injuries’

Skiing Injuries: How Osteopathy Offers A Pathway To Injury Prevention And Recover

Monday, July 17th, 2023

Whether you are an enthusiastic beginner, a seasoned pro, or someone recovering from a recent ski injury, osteopathy can play an important role in supporting your healing process. In this article, we will discuss common skiing injuries encountered in New Zealand. We will shed light on how Osteopathy can help with injury prevention and recovery. We will discuss the specific benefits of osteopathic treatment. And we will also provide valuable insights into injury prevention strategies. 

Osteopathic Treatment of Skiing injuries


What Are The Most Common Injuries In Skiing?

Skiing is a popular winter sport that can put significant strain on the body, leading to various types of injuries. Some of the most common skiing injuries that our osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy regularly see include the following.

  1. Knee Injuries: Knee injuries, such as medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprains and meniscal tears, are frequently reported among skiers. These injuries often occur due to sudden changes in direction, falls, or collisions.
  2. Wrist and Hand Injuries: Fractures, sprains, and ligament injuries in the wrist and hand and thumb are common among skiers. These occur as a skier tries to break a fall with an outstretched hand. These injuries can range from mild sprains to ligament tears to sometimes fractures.
  3. Shoulder Injuries: Shoulder injuries, including dislocations, acromioclavicular joint injuries, and rotator cuff tears or strains, are also common. These can result from falls or collisions during skiing, particularly when skiers land on an outstretched arm.
  4. Neck Injuries: While not as common as some other injuries, they can occur due to falls or collisions and can result in whiplash, concussions, headaches, and neck pain. These injuries emphasise the importance of wearing a helmet while skiing.
  5. Spinal Injuries: Although relatively rare, spinal injuries can occur from high-velocity falls or collisions. These injuries may involve herniated discs, vertebral fractures, or spinal cord compressions.

If we suspect that you need imaging, we can refer you directly for an X-ray and ultrasound. You don’t need to see your GP for this referral.  For an MRI referral, we would need to refer you to a Sports Doctor who would organise this.

Osteopathic Treatment of Skiing injuries

Why Skiers Choose To See An Osteopath?

Osteopaths are skilled healthcare professionals who focus on diagnosing, treating, and preventing musculoskeletal conditions. Through a holistic approach, they aim to restore balance and promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Skiers seek the help of osteopaths for several reasons:

  • Injury Prevention: Osteopaths can assess a skier’s biomechanics, identify potential imbalances or weaknesses, and provide personalised advice on injury prevention strategies. This may involve recommendations on stretching and strengthening exercises. It will also involve correcting all the underlying dysfunction in the body that can lead to future injuries. This can include addressing any dysfunction in the shoulders, neck, back, knees, wrists and ankles, for example.  Addressing such dysfunction in the body prior to skiing can go a long way to injury prevention and performance optimisation.
  • Injury Treatment: Osteopaths employ a variety of manual therapy techniques. These include joint mobilisation, soft tissue manipulation, and muscle energy techniques. These can help alleviate pain, restore mobility, and accelerate the healing process after a ski injury.
  • Rehabilitation and Recovery: Osteopaths can provide guidance and exercises to aid in the rehabilitation process after an injury. This will help skiers regain strength, flexibility, and stability for a safe return to the slopes.
  • Performance Enhancement: Osteopaths can work with skiers to optimise their body mechanics, flexibility, and overall musculoskeletal health, leading to improved performance on the ski field. By addressing any restrictions or imbalances and improving mobility, skiers can enhance their technique, endurance, and agility.

Five Tips To Help Skiers Remain Injury-Free

As skiing can be pretty demanding on the body, it’s essential to take proactive measures to minimise the risk of accidents and injuries. By implementing these practical tips, you can enhance your safety on the slopes and keep your skiing journey as injury-free as possible.

  1. Warm-Up and Stretching: Before hitting the slopes, engage in a proper warm-up routine to increase blood flow and prepare the muscles for activity. Follow it with full-body dynamic stretching exercises.Osteopathic Treatment of Skiing injuries
  2. Strength and Conditioning: Include regular strength and conditioning exercises in your fitness regimen to build strength, stability, and endurance. Focus on exercises that target the core, legs, and upper body, as these areas are heavily involved in skiing.
  3. Proper Gear and Equipment: Ensure that your ski boots, bindings, and skis are properly fitted and adjusted to your body and skill level. Wearing appropriate protective gear, such as helmets and wrist guards, can also reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Skiing Techniques and Lessons: Take ski lessons or work with a qualified instructor to learn proper skiing techniques and improve your skills. Learning how to maintain balance, use your edges effectively, and fall safely can significantly reduce the risk of injury.
  5. Listen to Your Body and Rest: Pay attention to any signs of fatigue, pain, or discomfort during or after skiing. Rest and allow your body to recover adequately between sessions. Ignoring pain or pushing through fatigue can increase the risk of injury.

Remember, if you experience a significant injury or persistent pain while skiing, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, such as our osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy, for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

What Techniques Will An Osteopath Use During Treatment?

During treatment, our osteopaths will utilise a variety of techniques to address ski injuries and promote healing. These techniques are chosen based on the individual’s specific condition, symptoms, and overall health. Here are some common techniques employed by our osteopaths during the treatment of ski injuries:

  • Soft Tissue Manipulation: Osteopaths use gentle manual techniques to manipulate and release tension in the soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can help reduce pain, improve circulation, and restore normal tissue function.
  • Joint Mobilisation: Osteopaths employ skilled techniques to mobilise stiff or restricted joints. By applying gentle pressure and controlled movements, they aim to restore joint mobility, reduce pain, and improve overall joint function.
  • Muscle Energy Techniques (MET): MET involves active muscle contractions and relaxation in specific patterns to restore normal muscle balance and joint alignment. This technique is effective in improving joint range of motion, reducing muscle imbalances, and enhancing overall musculoskeletal function.
  • Myofascial Release: Osteopaths use this technique to release tension and tightness in the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds and supports muscles, organs, and other structures. By applying sustained pressure and gentle stretching, myofascial release can alleviate pain and restore tissue flexibility.
  • Manipulation and High-Velocity Thrusts: In some cases, our osteopaths may employ high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts to specific joints or spinal segments. This technique aims to restore normal joint alignment, improve joint mobility, and reduce pain.
  • Rehabilitation: Osteopaths may prescribe specific rehabilitation exercises tailored to the individual’s needs and stage of recovery. These exercises focus on strengthening weak muscles, improving flexibility, and enhancing overall functional movement to support rehabilitation and prevent future injuries.

It’s important to note that treatment techniques employed by osteopaths can vary based on the specific injury, patient preferences, and individual circumstances. Our osteopaths will always take a personalised approach, considering the whole body and addressing any underlying factors that may contribute to the injury. This comprehensive approach aims not only to alleviate immediate symptoms but also to promote long-term recovery and overall well-being.

Osteopathic Treatment of Skiing injuries


As we conclude our exploration of how osteopathy can help with skiing injuries, it is clear that Osteopathy can offer immense benefits to skiers of all levels. Osteopathy will address not only the immediate injury but also the underlying factors contributing to it. By promoting the body’s natural healing mechanisms and optimising musculoskeletal function, osteopaths can play a vital role in the recovery process from skiing injuries.

Furthermore, the preventative aspect of osteopathy cannot be understated. Skiers who engage in regular osteopathic care can identify and address potential areas of weakness or imbalance, reducing the risk of future injuries and enhancing overall performance on the slopes. The ability of our osteopaths to develop personalised rehabilitation programs and provide guidance on injury prevention is invaluable for skiers. This will help to ensure a more sustained approach to long-term health and your continued enjoyment of skiing.

So, if you find yourself in need of injury treatment, rehabilitation, or simply seeking to optimise your performance, please feel free to reach out to our highly skilled Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy. They possess the knowledge, skills, and holistic approach necessary to support your healing, enhance your physical well-being, and achieve optimal performance as you ski!

If you’re suffering from a skiing injury, it may be time to book with one of our experienced Osteopaths. Contact the team at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.

Our Osteopaths are here to help!