If you ski, you surely know: knee pain and knee fatigue are common issues for skiers and snowboarders alike. Some 25-30% of all ski injuries are knee-related! Because of the mechanics of the sport and the stress your knees have to endure, there are so many things that can go wrong. You can sense weakness in your knees, instability, warmth, redness, swelling, stiffness – this strenuous exercise can exert force and torque to the joints, and you might have to deal with some discomfort.
Common types of knee pain
First of all – if you’re experiencing persistent or unusual knee pain, a more serious injury might be the cause, so make sure to consult your doctor. That’s always the best thing to do. Serious injuries aside, many types of knee discomfort come from improper technique and/or poor preparation for the season. Here are some of the possible issues*:
- MCL injury: the most commonly injured knee structure is the medial collateral ligament, especially when the ski tips are pointed toward one another in a snow plow position (the common slow or stop position) and the skier falls down the hill.
- ACL injury: the anterior cruciate ligament is something advanced skiers deal with more often, or those who experience a specific type of fall. Why? Sudden direction change with a forward, twisting fall accentuated by the long lever arm of the ski.
- Pain behind the knee cap: so called patellar pain can be a result of riding in the backseat too much. In that case, correct your ski form.
4. Pain on the inside of the knee: it can be caused by forcing your skis to turn by pivoting your ankle and knee.
5. Pain behind the knee: improper balance, especially when skiing in varied terrain, can be the cause. Try to relieve stress on your ligaments and tendons.
6. Pain below the knee, on the outside: pay attention to transitioning from fast snow to slushy, slow snow, especially in the spring, because your body momentum will be in conflict with the speed of your skis as they suddenly slow down.
Knee pain prevention
So what can you do to prevent these things from happening? First of all, make sure your equipment is up to the task: your ski boots should fit perfectly, and absorb shock as much as possible. Second, try to work on your technique and ski less aggressively, taking fewer risks. Plus, don’t forget the “common sense” rules for every skiing season:
- Keep your weight normal: healthy weight means less stress on your knees.
- Strengthen your quads and hamstrings, balance and stability training work best.
- Increase flexibility: don’t forget to stretch, stretch, and stretch some more.
- Stay in shape: this is self-explanatory 🙂
To strengthen your legs and knees, try common exercises like squats, box jumps, lunges, and wall sits, or use a balance board or medicine ball to activate the small muscles in your ankles and knees, to add strength. Aside from this you can always do some additional research online, or – this is absolutely recommended! – consult a professional trainer to find out which exercises to do and how.
Knee pain treatments
Treating your knee pain when skiing will depend on the type of pain and the seriousness of the problem, of course. Here are some first-aid things you can definitely do:
- Stop skiing. Painful knee surely needs a break.
- Avoid putting additional stress on the painful knee.
- Keep the knee raised up, higher than your heart.
- Apply cold packs or ice wrapped in a towel for short intervals of time.
- For compression, use elastic bandage, or a knee sleeve with the kneecap cut out.
- Try LUBRICEN® Knee Patch.
Knee patch solution
LUBRICEN® Knee Patch is a knee pain management alternative: it can be applied and worn both during skiing and before/after it. The patented diamagnetic micro-array technology built into the patch enhances the delivery of key ingredients – Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, and Menthol – into bioavailable areas of the knee. As a result, you and your knees will feel better and ready for action.
What LUBRICEN® Knee Patch does is help your body produce synovial fluid, the body’s natural joint lubricant. Skiing – and exercise in general – places various load forces on your knee joints. The result is often a loss of synovial fluid, which makes cartilage compromised and results in inflammation. This is the “knee pain” most people feel when skiing or trying to be physically active. Try the patch and let us know if it works for you.
One thing’s for sure: skiing is so amazing, it is addictive. Before you hit the wall and are forced to give it up, or skip a winter or two, try to do whatever you can to prevent the injuries, discomfort and surprises. And if LUBRICEN® Knee Patch can help – so be it. 🙂
*There are many more, of course, but these seem most common.