Chiropractic for Skiing, Snowboarding, and other Winter Sports
| by Dr. Matt Weaver, DC |
Chiropractic care and extreme sports are not always things we intuitively pair together. Instead, we think about orthopedic medicine and post-injury rehabilitation. However, I'm here to change your mind. Chiropractic absolutely has a place alongside mountain sports-- and may keep you OUT of the ortho office altogether.
How can chiropractic care help with skiing and snowboarding?
For starters, “chiropractic care” can mean many different things these days so when I say that, I am referring to the care that you can expect to receive from a clinician at The Facility. We focus specifically on evidence-based care that is active oriented and patient centered.
As an avid snowboarder and skier myself (@mattthechiropractor), I understand the demands of the sport and the joy that can come from it. I also understand how quickly that joy can diminish when faced with an injury. In order to get where we need to be, we need to take a couple of steps backwards and establish a foundational knowledge of pain and injury before we can move forward.
At any given time, our body has a certain capacity; which is basically how much load we are able to tolerate at that time. This harmonious relationship of load and capacity has really helped me to understand pain and injury at a very basic level and be able to communicate it to others. The tricky part to this equation is that you are a complex, unique, and whole person so load may present itself in many different forms such as lack of sleep, stress from work, demands from a relationship, sudden increase in physical activity levels, or simply the daily demands of life.
Managing the balance of Load and Capacity to prevent injury
A visual that I like to use is a cup with water, where the cup is our CAPACITY and the liquid in the cup is the LOAD that we are able to carry in said cup.
As you can see here, you have two options for managing and mitigating pain/injury:
Make a bigger cup
Decrease the load that is filling your cup
The bottom line: when our LOAD exceeds our CAPACITY, we experience pain and injury.
So, what does load:capacity have to do with skiing and snowboarding??
The most common injuries that we see in the snow sports are typically traumatic and acute. For skiers, there are a larger percentage of knee injuries and snowboarders experience more upper extremity injuries. Most of the time we have no way of preventing these injuries; but we do have the ability to build injury resilience (build a bigger cup) and train smart (appreciate the load).
A classic example of this is the “this is my last run” that we have all heard right before someone experiences an injury on the slopes. Typically, we see injuries when people are more fatigued and their load is exceeding their capacity in that given time.
This year, make sure that you are easing into the ski season and gradually build up your tolerance. Early season days mean taking more time to rest, so that you can enjoy longer days well into the spring.
Ummm... where does chiropractic care come into play??
Great question. I work with clients to help alleviate their pain through chiropractic modalities like soft tissue work and joint manipulation and then build up their resilience through rehabilitation and strength training. Learning skills like prehab (ahem...SKIHAB!) decreases the chance of injury.
When injury does occur, the recovery process can be difficult to navigate. My philosophy is to calm things down and then build things back up. I look out for contributors to your pain experience and make sure that you feel empowered to make decisions about your own health.
By using chiropractic care and physical therapy, I can help you get back to the activities that you love and teach you how to do them until you are 80.
>> If you are experiencing pain or are concerned about your preparedness for the winter season, make sure to find a chiropractic provider that will guide and educate you to help you reach your goals!
Whether you’re dealing with an injury (sports, car accident, life) or looking to enhance your physical performance, Dr. Matt can help you. He sees patients at both our Cherry Creek Clinic and our South Broadway Clinic. Click here to see availability.
“I'm not here to fix. I'm here to guide.”
Have a specific need or question about Chiropractic Services? Reach out!
Dr. Matt Weaver, DC sees patients in-person at The Facility in Cherry Creek and The Facility on South Broadway. He offers chiropractic services for a range of conditions.
Learn more about Matt's Philosophy here.
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