5 Steps to Get Your Knees Ready for Ski Season
Fall is about to kick in. So now is the time to get your knees ready for the ski and board season.
Hundred-Millions of people ski every year, making it one of the most popular winter sports (1). People with previous injuries and osteoarthritis may think that they will need to sit this season out (again), but that may not be true. Whether you have a previous injury or not, there are 5 Steps that you can try to prepare for the coming ski/board season. And, don’t miss our compilation of 8 can’t-miss ski resorts near Pittsburgh.
1. Assess Your Body’s Condition Honestly
However you do not need to be in perfect shape to ski, and people with osteoarthritis or a previous injury can take steps to ski or board without pain. Consult one of our doctors, if you want a plan or program to get you ready for the slopes.
2. Exercise to Get Prepared
As with most sports the key is preparing beforehand. Months before you plan to ski you should begin doing exercises to prepare your body. Find an exercise routine that strengthens your calf and thigh muscles. These are the muscles that support the knee, and when strengthened they can lessen the amount of strain placed on the knee joints (3). The same idea can be applied to lower back pain. Strengthening the abdominal and back muscles will help ease pain levels (also works for daily life) (4).
The right combination of exercises to strengthen and stretches to loosen–when done daily–can go a long way to reduce some types of knee pain (3). Perhaps your knees are feeling sloppy or slightly unstable from a hard year of skiing or boarding or just a lingering injury. We can help strengthen and tighten loose ligaments to get you better prepared for the snow season ahead.
3. Consider Regenerative Treatment Options: PRP and BMC
At Regenexx we specialize in regenerative medicine. We use physicians, not PA’s, Nurse practitioners, or chiropractors to diagnose and treat your muscle, ligament, joint or spine problems. Our goal is to help your body heal itself. For knee pain, an alternative to surgery is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) injections. These two procedures are non-surgical and use your own cells to boost your body’s natural healing. These cells are harvested and reinjected on the same day. Often we use PRP alone or in combination with BMC injections to strengthen the knee.
PRP and BMC procedures have a much quicker recovery time post procedure than most knee surgeries. You can be back to your baseline level of pain in the first week or two, and back to doing your regular activities in 2-weeks. The most pain-reducing benefits occur in the first 3-6 months with many patients experiencing little or no pain, and the benefits only continue in the months that follow (5). Typically, a regenerative patient can resume strenuous activities fairly quickly after a regenerative procedure has been performed. Talk to us today, to see if Regenexx can get you slope-ready for the coming season.
4. Adapt/Change-out Your Equipment
Reduce the struggle to squeeze into ski boots, which can be much more difficult if you have knee or back pain. For skiing, boots have come a long way in recent years. When you shop for a new pair, ask about options that are easier to slip on and off, such as those with special removable (and moldable) inserts. (This is less of an issue for boarders because of the soft boots used in the sport.)
5. Stretch Before the Slopes
Stretching and warming up properly can go a long way to prevent injury and lower pain levels. The day you plan to ski, be sure to stretch thoroughly, and do a warm up. This could be a brisk walk in the morning or a few minutes on the exercise bike. The key here is to loosen your muscles. Even regular muscle cramps and injuries are caused by lack of a good warm up.
The Bottom Line
You CAN ski or board even if you have knee osteoarthritis or chronic back pain. Maybe exercise and new equipment can get you through the snow. But, if you want to take long-term steps to get your knees and/or spine in shape for skiing and boarding (AND in shape for a better quality of everyday life), see if you are a candidate for a regenerative procedure. A regenerative procedure this fall, can have you ready for strenuous activity on the slopes before the end of the snow season.
Regenexx Patient Outcomes Database
Regenexx tracks patient outcomes. There are nearly 12,000 patients in our regenerative knee procedure database. See how Regenexx procedures have been effective for our patients.
Explore 8 of the Best Ski & Board Resorts Near Pittsburgh
See how one of our patients got back on the slopes after 10 years of knee pain and explore 8 of the can’t-miss winter resorts near Pittsburgh.
If you have joint pain and think a procedure using PRP or your own bone marrow concentrate might help, find out if you’re a candidate today –Tap the “TALK TO AN EXPERT” BUTTON below.