As with any sports, there is the risk of acute muscle strains with skiing and snowboarding.
Some of the common sights of muscle injury are:
- The hamstring: often when a ski becomes stuck and the body is flung forwards, placing excessive stress on the back of the thigh.
- The quadriceps: often caused by a fall when the knees are bent under and the body bent back, placing the front of the thigh under excessive stretch.
- The adductors: the two skis move away from each other causing the legs to move into the splits and placing the inner thigh muscles under excessive stretch
Pain will usually be localized to the area of the tear. Imaging is not typically needed, and a physical examination can help identify the specific muscle involved and the degree of injury. A mild strain may recover and allow a return to sport in 2-3 weeks, with more severe injuries requiring up to 6-8 weeks.
Optimal loading is key for recovery, and your physiotherapist can help guide you through a progression of loading exercises to optimize your return to the slopes. One key tip is to avoid stretching the area. Many people feel that muscle tears need to be stretched to address the “tightness” sensation.This, however, will tend to aggravate the condition and delay recovery.
As discussed in relation to back injuries in a previous post, some soft tissue injuries are unavoidable, however managing fatigue, building up skiing loads gradually, and performing strength training exercises to prepare for your ski trips will help decrease the likelihood of injury.
If you have suffered a muscle injury on the slopes then contact us now and let us help guide you on the path to recovery.