Stay injury free on your Fernie ski vacation

Stay Injury Free on your fernie ski vacationBy Dan McDonald, Fernie Physiotherapy

Ski season officially begins this weekend, but is your body ready to go from your 9-5 office job to full days skiing the powder at Fernie Alpine Resort?

There are things we can all do to minimize risk of injury and at the same time improve our technique and performance.

A physiotherapist can check you for predisposing factors that have been associated with certain types of injuries.

Common risk factors are:

1. Reduced mobility. If you do not have the necessary joint range of motion or muscle length for an activity then adverse stress is being applied to that area of the body.

2. Reduced strength. When there is a lack of strength around a joint then adverse stress will be placed on the surrounding structures, for example, glute weakness will cause adverse stress to be placed on the hip joint and lumbar spine.

3. Poor motor control. Motor control refers to our hard wiring which allows us to perform coordinated movements. Uncoordinated movements also cause unwanted stress on the body.

So how do you know if you are setting yourself up for an injury this ski season?

Try this simple test to see if you can flag any early problems.

Single leg 1/3 squats
In front of a mirror, balance on one leg and squat 1/3 of the way down 30 times in a row.

Firstly can you perform this 30 times pain free?

Secondly, how do you move? Are your shoulders level? Does your pelvis stay level? Does it rotate? Does your knee move towards the midline? Is there a difference from left to right?

If you notice any of these red flags, you should consider seeking advice from a physiotherapist on the training you can do to make the most of your ski vacation this year.

Dan McDonald holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Physiotherapy, is a Master of Manual Therapy, CGIMS and a fellow of the FCAMPT. Contact Fernie Physiotherapy at 250-423-3423 or visit