How to enjoy injury-free skiing all season long

The weather service is predicting a better than average snowfall with the La Nina weather pattern, and skiers are eager to hit the slopes. Nothing is worse,  however, than having your season cut short by injury. To avoid twisted knees and other pains, Rick Jusko, PT, owner/director of Seattle Hill Physical Therapy, says preseason conditioning (see accompanying articles, right) and following some common sense techniques can help you enjoy injury-free skiing well into April.

Jusko directs all patient skiers to the website of Vermont Safety Research (VSR), the research arm of Vermont Ski Safety. “They have great tips to help skiers prevent a skiing-related ACL (anterior cruciate ligament)  injury.  An ACL injury is a tear in one of the knee ligaments that joins the upper and lower leg bones.  The reason it’s so important is that it is the ligament that keeps the knee stable.

Jusko says a classic set-up for an ACL injury occurs when the feet are pointing one direction and the body is twisted in another.   Vermont Safety Research defines six elements that are dangerous to skiers:

● Uphill arm back

● Skier off balance to the rear

● Hips below the knees

● Uphill ski unweighted

● Weight on the inside edge of the downhill ski tail.

● Upper body generally facing the downhill ski

These six elements are a “perfect storm” for an ACL injury.  Once you find yourself already at risk there are measures you can take to prevent the injury. Keep your arms forward, your feet together and your hands over the skis. To read more about how to prevent an ACL injury go to

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