You CAN Ski or Board with Knee Osteoarthritis

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

The first question to ask is are you in the right condition to be skiing or boarding? While it can be disappointing to sit out of a favorite activity, a lot of pain and suffering can be avoided by honestly evaluating your body’s condition. You are at the most risk for injury from skiing if you are overweight, have core strength weakness, are a woman, are a beginning skier, or have a previous ligament injury (2).

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.

References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8126542/pdf/167_2020_Article_6221.pdf

[2] https://www.thecenteroregon.com/medical-blog/how-to-avoid-common-knee-injuries-from-skiing/

[3] https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/take-control-of-your-knee-pain

[4] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/4-tips-to-ski-or-snowboard-with-arthritis/

[5] https://regenexxpittsburgh.com/regenerative-procedure-vs-knee-surgery/

 

About The Author
Dr. Paul Lieber

Dr. Paul Lieber

Dr. Paul Lieber

Dr. Paul Lieber

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Knee

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Knee Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Meniscus Tears
  • Patellofemoral
  • Syndrome/Chondomalacia
  • ACL Tears + PCL, LCL & MCL Tears & Sprains
  • Patellar Tendonitis
  • Pes anersine bursitis
  • Baker’s cyst
  • Instability
  • Hamstrings Tendinopathy & Biceps Femoris Insertional Tendinopathy

Lower Spine

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Spine Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Lumbar Facet Injury
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Herniated or Bulging Disc
  • Radiculopathy (pinched nerve)
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Many More Disc and Low Back Issues

Foot & Ankle

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Foot & Ankle Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Ankle Instability
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Peroneal tendon tear or split
  • Ligament sprain or tear
  • Sub-talar arthritis or instability
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Bunions

Cervical Spine

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Spine Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

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  • Cervical Facet Injury
  • Neck, Back or Rib Instability
  • Many More Disc and Cervical Issues Causing Pain

Shoulder

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Shoulder Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Rotator cuff tears
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  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Labral tears or degeneration
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis & tendonosis
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  • Recurrent shoulder dislocations

Elbow

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Elbow Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

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  • Instability
  • Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow
  • Nerve entrapment (ulnar nerve)

Hip

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Hip Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinopathy
  • Labral / Labrum Tear

Hand & Wrist

Regenexx® Procedures are non-surgical injection treatments that are intended to help reduce pain and improve function for those who are suffering from pain due to common injuries, arthritis, and overuse conditions. View Details About Hand & Wrist Treatments >

Commonly Treated Conditions:

  • Hand Arthritis
  • Basal Joint Arthritis or CMC / Carpometacarpal
  • Arthritis
  • Instability
  • TFCC Tear
  • Carpal Tunnel SyndromeTrigger Finger