Keep in mind these tips to prevent injuries on the slopes.
Kelly Cunningham, MD
Regenerative Orthopedic Sports Medicine Specialist
Founder, Austin Ortho+Biologics.
As a 15-year US Olympic Men’s Ski Team physician and orthopedist, every year during the winter months I treat many ski & snowboard injuries. As traveling doctor for the team, I accompanied the athletes throughout the US, Canada and Europe on the World Cup tour and was responsible for the triage, stabilization, and treatment of these world-class skiers.
One of the most frequent questions I get this time of year from my patients who ski is, “How can I avoid hurting myself on the ski slopes?”. So, what do I tell recreational skiers about staying healthy while on the slopes? First and foremost, adjust to the altitude in your first few days. While there are medications that will improve your blood oxygen, they require a prescription and can have side affects. Perhaps the easiest to take along are low-dose aspirin or ginko biloba, as both are safe (unless allergic) and easy to take. Low-level exercise and lots of water (especially during the first night) are also key, as is abstinence from alcohol during the first 24 hours at altitude. Modern skis, boots, and bindings are universally safe now, unlike in decades past. Multi-release bindings help you come out of your skis safely in a fall and with less stress on your knees, the most commonly injured joint in a skier. Make sure they are set correctly.
Speaking of knees, in most solid, intermediate skiers, unlike beginners (learning to stop) and racers (ACL injury from shear forces), serious knee injuries are actually quite rare.
The best way to protect yourself from ski injury is:
- get in good “ski-shape”
- ski within your limits
- stay relaxed but focused
- watch out for that last, fatigued run of the afternoon
- if you fall, fall forward and throw your hands in front of you
- if an injury happens, we are available for same- & next-day appointments and have for years worked closely with ski resort physicians to coordinate care
And always, always, wear a helmet!
Dr. Kelly Cunningham, a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon trained in Sports Medicine, is the area's leader in regenerative sports medicine, and skilled in the emerging science of Cell-based (“stem cell”), PRP-platelet plasma and other innovative treatment protocols. Dr. Cunningham is also Central Texas' only active member of the International Cartilage Research Society.
Sports can be rough on joints and cartilage, especially shoulders, knees, and hips. Kelly Cunningham, MD, has cared for many young and mature athletes whose joints take a beating day in and day out. He welcomes patients from Austin,Texas, and its surrounding communities to experience the cutting-edge technology and skill offered by his team at Austin Ortho + Biologics. Dr. Cunningham works with each patient to develop an individual treatment plan that emphasizes the least invasive treatments possible with a goal of minimal recuperation and downtime. He combines rigorous standards and quality of care with experience and insight, integrating the best new techniques into the care of each “weekend warrior”.
Call today 512.410.0767 for your one-on-one appointment!
Come see us in our new Westlake office
5300 Bee Cave Rd, Suite 260
Kelly Cunningham MD
Board-certified, Orthopedic Surgery
Regenerative Sports Medicine
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