Vail health column: Improve the way you move
It’s that time of year again and we are all doing the snow dance! The skis and snowboards are coming off the shelf and becoming a way of life. As a chiropractor, keeping you on the slopes and injury free is something I take pride in. A 2012 study from the American Journal of Sports Medicine looked at trends of injuries between skiers and snowboarders. The most common type of injury for snowboarders was a wrist injury and for skiers it was an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain. Wrist injuries accounted for 28 percent of all snowboard injuries and 3 percent of skiing injuries, while ACL injuries accounted for 2 percent of all snowboard injuries and 17 percent of skiing injuries. This statistic shows nearly 1 out of 5 people will suffer from an ACL injury while skiing. Female skiers suffered more ACL ruptures of their non dominant leg than male skiers (63 percent versus 45 percent).Luckily, there are ways to prevent many of these ACL injuries from occurring. One preventative measure is to maintain a high level of fitness and endurance on the mountain. However, the most important preventative measure is to improve the way you move. Utilizing proper hip and knee motion is crucial while in a ski or snowboard boot because your ankles have limited mobility. Are you able squat like a two year old? Do your hips have proper movement when you bend over to pick something up off the ground? Do your knees and low back do all the work? As adults, we tend to lose functional movement patterns as we age and we forget how to move properly. This is common for most adults as we start doing repetitive duties for our jobs. Vail Integrative Medical Group (VIMG) can provide you with a Functional Movement Screen or Optojump Video Analysis, which helps determine restrictions in your movement patterns. Using information from our screening and functional testing, VIMG can set up a personalized program that will help you restore functional movement patterns. Each individualized program will address issues of mobility, flexibility, stability, endurance and strength. By regaining proper movement patterns throughout your body, you will reduce the likelihood of injury. Stay active and strong all winter long and take the steps to prevent ACL injuries before they occur. Karla Solum is a chiropractor with Vail Integrative Medical Group located in the Eagle Ranch Fitness Center. For more information, visit http://www.vailhealth.com. Vail Integrative Medical Group is a cooperative partner in the Vail Valley Partnership’s Health & Wellness Initiative. The Vail Valley Health & Wellness Initiative is led by the Vail Valley Partnership in conjunction with like-minded businesses, trade associations, consumer organizations and economic development organizations whose goal is to increase medical groups and meetings in the Vail Valley.