Skiing is a relaxing, low-impact sport that’s fun at nearly any age. But if a recent tumble or nagging pain is holding you back, experts at Henry Ford Health System can help. Our team of sports medicine specialists deliver a full range of therapies that enable more people to safely return to the slopes.
Skiing injury causes
Falls and crashes are two of the leading causes of skiing injuries. Whether you’re a new skier taking it slow or experienced with excellent technique, it’s still possible to get hurt.
Terrain is another factor in ski injuries. Skiing in icy conditions or navigating fresh powder can increase the likelihood of a fall or crash. Injuries also occur when there are obstacles like trees, rocks or ledges that are difficult to see in the snow.
Other ski injury causes include:
- Equipment that does not fit properly or is worn out. Ill-fitting boots can cause foot numbness and discomfort.
- Head injuries from bad falls and collisions with other skiers or hard objects, like trees.
- Poor posture can put added stress on your knees, back or ankles.
- Ski lift loading or unloading can cause strains, especially if you are helping a small child on and off the lifts.
Common skiing injuries we treat
We treat common and complex ski injuries, including:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and ruptures
- Back and spine injuries
- Ligament tears in the thumb (skier’s thumb)
- Shoulder dislocations
- Sprains and strains in the upper or lower body
- Upper and lower extremity fractures
Skiing injury treatment
Skiing injury treatments may include:
- Physical therapy: Our physical therapists help you build strength and flexibility to promote healing and lower the risk of re-injury.
- Injections: After drawing a sample of your blood, we separate the platelets and inject them back into the injured area. This treatment helps muscle, ligament and tendon injuries heal faster.
- Laser therapy: This painless, noninvasive treatment directs light energy to the injury to stimulate tissue repair.
- Viscosupplementation: For some knee injuries, we inject a gel-like fluid to lubricate the joint and reduce pain.
- Surgery: You may need a surgical procedure to repair severe injuries, including bone fractures and ligament tears.
- Conditioning: Our Center for Athletic Medicine helps you make a safe return to skiing. Equipment includes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill™ so you can exercise without putting too much weight on tender joints. The treadmill has a built-in pressurized air chamber that reduces the force of gravity enabling you to safely walk or run.
Skiing injury prevention
To reduce your risk of skiing injuries:
- Always wear a helmet. Read: Play It Safe: The Basics of Proper Helmet Use.
- Drink water and keep healthy snacks on hand.
- Get your skis and boots checked to make sure they fit and function as they should.
- Select terrain and runs that are within your skillset.
- Sign up for lessons to learn or brush up on proper technique.
- Start out with a few easy runs before hitting more challenging terrain.
- Take rest breaks throughout the day.
Skiing injury care: Why choose Henry Ford?
At our sports medicine program, you’ll find:
- Nonsurgical treatments: Primary care sports medicine doctors use a comprehensive approach to care for patients whose injuries don’t respond to standard therapies. We offer sophisticated in-office procedures and injections that help many people get relief.
- Prompt access: You won’t have to wait long to feel better. In-person and virtual appointments are typically available within 24 to 48 hours. You can also receive care at walk-in orthopedic clinics throughout southeast and south central Michigan.
- Surgical subspecialists: When surgery is necessary, you have access to the highest level of care. Our sports medicine surgical team includes specialists in shoulder, knee and lower extremity issues. We use leading techniques to repair severe injuries and get you back to your active lifestyle.
Request an appointment
Request an appointment or learn more about our sports medicine services. We offer in-person and virtual visits.
Explore our blogs and videos
Learn more about sports injuries and injury prevention:
- The Inside Scoop on Ski Safety: 6 Tips
- An Athletic Trainer's Guide to Winter Sports You Should Test Out This Year
- 5 Must-Do's for Winter Workouts
- Avoiding Falls During Winter Weather