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Tips for Avoiding Spine Injuries on the Slope


No matter if you are an avid skier or a pro at the bunny slopes, Oregon is a superior ski destination. Oregon offers many great ski resorts and there is no better time than the present to hit the slopes. However, a serious fall or injury to the spine could keep you off the slopes indefinitely. That is why regardless of your skill level, it is important to know how to avoid spine injuries while skiing.

Spine Injuries While Skiing

Although injuries to the lower body, such as ankles and knees, are more common during skiing, a serious fall could result in a spine injury. A fall could cause the spine to twist unnaturally, causing great damage and putting stress on the soft tissue that supports the spine. Therefore, knowing how to prevent a fall is key.

4 Tips For Avoiding Falls

Below are a few helpful tips:

  1. Strengthen Your Core: Strong core muscles help to support the body and take pressure off of the back. Skiing takes great athletic ability so begin conditioning early. Focus on your core muscles, your hips, and your hamstrings. Tight muscles in the hips and hamstrings can put more strain on the lower back, making the chances of injury greater.
  2. Don’t Skip The Warm Up: When you are excited to hit the slopes you may decide to forgo your warm up routine. However, this is not advised since cold muscles are more likely to be injured. Stretching and light cardio are both important so be sure to make proper time for your warm up.
    Stick To What You Are Comfortable With: If you are not an advanced skier, opt out of skiing the black diamond. Start small and work your way up. You are more likely to get injured when taking risks. As tempting as it may be to join your friends on the most challenging slope, make sure you are well prepared before taking the leap.
  3. Learn Proper Techniques: Despite your skill level, at times falls are inevitable. For this reason, it is important to learn the proper technique for handling falls. In the event of a fall while skiing, bend your knees and arms and tuck in your head. This position aids in preventing strain to the neck, back, and spine.

Signs of a Spine Injury

If a fall occurs while skiing, keep an eye out for the symptoms below. They could indicate a spine injury. If you fear you are suffering from a spine injury, even if no symptoms are present, seek medical attention immediately. In some cases, symptoms such as numbness may develop over time.

Symptoms to be aware of include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle spasms or exaggerated reflexes
  • Intense stinging sensation
  • Difficulty coughing or clearing lungs
  • Loss of sensation, such as not being able to distinguish when the area is touched and not being able to feel heat and cold when applied to the area.
  • Inability or loss of movement and mobility
  • Inability to control bowels or bladder

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, don’t wait to seek help. A series of tests will be performed to determine the neurological level and severity of your injury.

Contact Pacific Spine Specialists Today

If you have experienced a spine injury, seek treatment from Pacific Spine Specialists. Dr. Keenen is an expert in treating conditions of the spine. Using conservation measures and minimally invasive treatments when possible, Dr. Keeven will work to have you back on the slopes in no time. Contact us today to schedule a complementary MRI review.