Every winter here at Cohen Health and Performance, we see a rise in a very specific type of injury that brings people in for physical therapy.
Bethesda is full of skiers and related injuries start as soon as the snow starts falling.
The injury rates in skiing and snowboarding are particularly high for a variety of factors.
Many new skiers or snowboarders simply do not know how to fall properly. Falling is a part of these sports and there is an effective way to do it. This is typically the first thing that a ski or snowboard instructor will teach a student and may be worth a second lesson!
Most injuries that higher-level skiers or snowboards experience are related to overuse injuries.
These overuse injuries often occur due to mobility restrictions in the hips. Both sports (specifically skiing) require an adequate amount of hip mobility as the body bends into and out of turns. Furthermore, ankles are locked into bindings that limit ankle movement and place more emphasis on the hips to take up the slack.
How do you know if you have enough hip mobility? I’m glad you asked!
The video below illustrates a drill called a hip CAR (Controlled Articular Rotation). This drill provides an opportunity for you to explore all of the available range of motion that your hip currently has. It is also a great drill to do daily to keep the hips moving!
With this drill you may notice that your hips feel stiff. If so, it would be beneficial to increase your available hip motion so that you can reduce your risk of skiing or snowboarding related injury.
Commonly hip internal rotation and hip external rotation are limited. If you noticed limitations in either of these motions, give the exercises below a try! Remember to stop the activity if any pain or discomfort is present.