Winter is coming, and you have GoT to go to the snow!

Skiing and snowboarding are great fun, but as anyone will tell you it can hurt! More often that pain is because of muscle soreness, often referred to as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). DOMS is that pain and stiffness that you feel after you do an unfamiliar exercise or activity. The pain can be at its worst within the first 48 hours following the activity, and can sometimes last up to 72 hours. Unfortunately if you are feeling some pain from DOMS, it can predispose you to injury especially later on when you are fatigued. The good news is DOMS can be reduced or avoided if you condition your muscles gradually to prepare yourself for the upcoming ski season.


The most common injuries from skiing are the ligaments in the knee, including the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). The ACL is essential for controlling pivoting movements and preventing the tibia from moving forward in relation to the femur, especially when turning and stopping whilst skiing.

Unfortunately ACL’s are not the only structures that can get injured in your knee and sometimes you can injure a combination of any of the following structures:

  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
  • Meniscus

Injuries to any one or more of these structures can often mean weeks or months in rehabilitation or even surgery.


Snowboarding differs from skiing because when you lose your balance, both feet are fixed into their bindings and the instinctive reaction is to outstretch a hand to break the fall. Therefore injuries to the upper limb are more common, followed by head/face injuries, knees and ankles.  Another difference is that snowboarders are more likely to have fractures than skiers, and most of the fractures occur in the wrist joint. The wrist is a complex joint and if injuries are not treated appropriately at the time of the injury, it can result in long-term pain disability.

If you plan on heading to the snow this winter, come and see the team at Powerhouse Physiotherapy and we can help design an individualised conditioning program to reduce your risk of injury and have you ready to hit the slopes this snow season.