For those fully engaged in outdoor winter activities the thought of spending hours outdoors can be delightful. However, for those less prepared for the outdoors is it can be a dangerous and unpleasant experience. To make the most of your skiing experience no matter how skilled (or unskilled) you happened happen to be, there are several tips to help keep you injury free this season.
Making sure your feet stay warm can be a challenge while skiing. Your lower extremities never go through a complete gait cycle while skiing. This does not allow for your second heart (calf muscles) to do their job by allowing for proper blood circulation, which can be attributed to having cold feet. Also, if your ski boot is too small, it will impair blood circulation. However if your boot is too big it will not be able to properly insulate your foot. Keeping your feet dry is also a key factor in staying warm. Once your feet become damp from sweat or wet from snow, it becomes nearly impossible to stay warm. When you are out skiing try to avoid cotton socks, and venture into some variety of synthetic sock which will wick moisture away from your skin. The Active Therapy Compression Sock by Sigvaris is an excellent option for skiers as the moisture wicking properties combined with the graduated compression will keep your feet dry, as well as allow for proper blood circulation and keep your feet warm.
Skiers with some minor biomechanical imbalances may encounter a problem called edging. This is a trend that occurs when the foot rolls inwards (pronates) or rolls outwards (supinates) causing the skier to ride the inside or outside edge of the ski. This can also cause an inefficient load transfer when making turns down the ski hill resulting in reduced control, and a greater potential for injury. If you wear an orthotic in your footwear, transferring it over to you ski boot may be a great option for you. However if you do not have a custom made orthotic, speak to a Certified Pedorthist or other health care professional to see if you could benefit from a custom made foot orthotic.
When trying on a boot there are a few key components to consider. The cuff of the boot should align with the position of the tibia. If it does not, it may mean you pronate or supinate and should possibly look into orthotics. As well, when standing up, your toes should graze the front of the boot. However, when you bend you knees as you would while you are skiing, your toes should pull away from the end of the boot and no longer touch the end of the boot. A custom made foot orthotic will change the fit of the boot, so make sure you try the boot and orthotic on together to ensure proper fit.
Have a safe and happy ski season!
Visit us at www.miltonOrthoticWellness.com