What are muscular strains?
Snowboarding and skiings, places significant demands on various muscle groups, and individuals may experience strains or injuries in specific areas.
Lower Leg Muscles
Common Issues: Both skiing and snowboarding involve frequent flexion and extension of the lower leg muscles, placing strain on the calf muscles such as the gastrocnemius and soleus. Overuse injuries like strains or tears can occur due to the repetitive nature of these movements in both sports. Assessment: Physiotherapists will conduct a comprehensive evaluation, examining the range of motion, strength, and signs of swelling or tenderness in the lower leg. This assessment considers the specific stresses on the lower leg muscles during skiing and snowboarding.
Common Issues: The dynamic movements required in both skiing and snowboarding can strain the groin muscles, leading to injuries like groin strains. Quick lateral movements and forceful changes in direction common in both sports contribute to these issues. Injuries in the groin area can be acute (one leg slipping out laterally while skiing) or chronic (overuse). A physio would be able to access and treat both. Assessment: A thorough assessment involves checking for pain, weakness, and any limitations in the range of motion in the groin area. Physiotherapists consider the unique demands placed on the hip joints during both skiing and snowboarding.
Common Issues: Twisting, turning, and maintaining an upright posture are inherent to both skiing and snowboarding, potentially straining the muscles in the lower back. Injuries may include muscle strains or, in more severe cases, issues like herniated discs due to the stresses on the spine.
Injuries in the back muscles (upper and lower) can be acute (due to a fall or twist) or chronic (overuse). A physio would be able to access and treat both.
Neural symptoms are also very prevalent in our patients. They will complain of numbness, pins and needles, loss of strength and/or radiating pain.
Many of our patients come in complaining of back pain to reasons outside of snow sports:
Long haul flights or bus/train trips, as well as carrying luggage is a common cause for pain.
Using unfamiliar pillows and mattresses whilst travelling to Niseko can cause muscular pain or a locked facet (when it feels as if your neck cannot turn in a specific direction - as if it’s blocked).
many patients come to Niseko with existing back issues due to a sedentary job life and sitting too much.
Evaluation of the spine’s mobility, muscle strength, and signs of nerve involvement is crucial for determining the extent of lower back injuries related to both skiing and snowboarding. Understanding the biomechanics of movements in both sports guides the assessment process.
Applying myofascial release techniques can be beneficial for addressing tension in the fascia surrounding muscles. It aids in improving flexibility and reducing muscle tightness, addressing common issues in both skiing and snowboarding.
Targeting specific trigger points through massage or manual pressure is effective for alleviating localized pain and discomfort in areas prone to strain during both sports, such as the groin and lower back.
The application of kinesio tape provides support to injured muscles, reduces swelling, and enhances circulation. This approach is valuable for stabilizing affected areas without restricting the natural range of motion in both skiing and snowboarding.
Neural gliding/neural mobilisation, is a physiotherapy technique that involves gently mobilizing and stretching nerves to improve their flexibility and reduce any adverse effects of nerve tension or compression. The term “flossing” is metaphorical and implies the gentle, rhythmic movement of nerves, similar to flossing a string through tight spaces.
The nervous system, including peripheral nerves, can sometimes become restricted or irritated due to various factors such as trauma, injury, inflammation, or poor posture. Neural flossing aims to address these issues by promoting optimal nerve mobility and reducing symptoms associated with nerve dysfunction, such as pain, tingling, or numbness.
Physiotherapists offer advice on proper techniques, body mechanics, and lifestyle modifications for both skiing and snowboarding. Recommendations include warm-up exercises, core stability work, and recovery strategies tailored to the unique demands of each sport.
In conclusion, physiotherapists employ a holistic approach to assess and address the common musculoskeletal issues associated with both skiing and snowboarding. By tailoring therapeutic interventions to the specific demands of each sport, they contribute to effective rehabilitation and injury prevention for individuals engaging in these winter activities.