or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Injury and skiing

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
After one is injuried, their skiing changes. How have you overcome the negative effect of the injury? Ski differently? Train differently? Have the final goals changed?

Lisamarie mentioned in a different thread "some studies that have shown that if ANY part of the body has ever been injured, the tva will be"weaker" on the side of the injury, and balance and stability will be compromised on that side.Also, if someone has ever sprained an ankle, the proprioception on that foot will be lessened.

Seven years ago I injuried my rotator cuff by jamming my pole into a frozen mogul during spring skiing. To this day I do not block my body using the pole on that side, so my "line" isn't a "zipper" down the mountain. Instead, I use a more giant slalom approach and hop occassionally from one line to another. I am lucky in that I can find a variety of skiing and do not have to be limited. If the snow conditions are similar to the accident day-I don't do moguls.

I overcame a year of literally having no sense of balance by doing things blindfolded, and by working only one side of my body at a time.

When we size up our students past injuries and physical limitations are important to know.

I worked two years with a skier with a bad knee. The agreed approach was to pretend the skier was skiing with an outrigger...and not put weight on the bad leg. In essence, be a one-legged skier. Now the skier enjoys any and all terrain, and the average skier has to look closely to see that only one leg is being used. (fairly narrow stance)
post #2 of 35
After extensive injuries over the years, I finally stopped pushing the limits quite so hard - and no longer "ski to die".
post #3 of 35
Interesting topic. When I had a lesson with Todd, he picked up on my "uneven turns" right away. When we tried that traverse balanced on one ski, I absolutely could no do it on my right leg. So he modified it, having me lift only the tail.

Many instructors have taught that exercise, and simply said "try to be more balanced on you right leg". But if there's something internal going on, its not going to be cured in one ski lesson. But a creative instructor can motivate student to find ways to try to work on it.

If I had never taken up skiing, I would have never known I had this problem, because I am never in any kind of pain.

So if you ask a student if they have an injury, if they are not in pain, they will say no. You are on to something when you suggest asking about past injuries.
post #4 of 35
And Lisa Definately picked up on the reasoning of all such exercises faster than 97% of advanced skiers do.
post #5 of 35
First time I laughed in a week!
post #6 of 35
KeeTov don't ask Todd for a list of his injuries. I remember he listed them once, and after the initial shock I finally realized that he is made of rubber.

I have some positive outcomes from past injuries and the fact that I am getting older (I'm 39). I now ski with finesse rather than power. I used to muscle my way through the snow and never worried about the effort because I was always above average in the strength department. But injuries from other sports (mostly weightlifting and bodybuilding) and age have made me re-think my approach to skiing. In the past 2-3 years I have tried to be smooth and work with the terrain rather than against it. I don't know how to explain it but I recognize it when I see it. I see it in older, experienced instructors who have nothing to prove (they have "been there, done that") and have to avoid injuries in order to continue to work in the industry. I am not there yet and probably never will be, but that is my goal. Conditioning is very important (I work out religiously), but I realize that balance and technique are key to getting there.
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by TomB (edited September 21, 2001).]</FONT>
post #7 of 35
I have had numerous sports injuries over the years and the difference between just living with it and complete recovery (or close to it) has been physical therapy. When I did not go to a physical therapist my injuries took much longer to heal and my mobility was compromised. Injuries treated with PT healed much sooner and mobility and strength were close to 100%.
post #8 of 35
Well part of it was being made of rubber, part of it being that I always had to be hucking the biggest, carving the hardest and turning in the fastest race times . . . and the ego can cause a lot of injuries! But back then I used to party so hard that I usually didn't feel the pain for very long anyways!

My machismo was strong and misplaced enough that I usually refused patrol treatment and only went to the doc when I had to or a girlfriend forced me too.

Like when I had a tib/fib break at bootline - but rather than ride down in a sled I put a ski over one shoulder and showboated by carving turns on one ski down into the base area . . . and then hopping into the FAR. STUPID!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Todd Murchison (edited September 21, 2001).]</FONT>
post #9 of 35
The biggest adjustment is popping an advil before I start.

Lymes disease, bad hip and torn rotator from an auto accident.

At 53, I don't heal like I used to and..... now avoid the bumps more than ever.
post #10 of 35
Machismo is not just a male thing. I once sprained my ankle at mile 22 of the NYC Marathon. I insisted on completing the last 4.2 miles.

BTW, it was the right ankle.
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Okay, getting started here. And you're right, don't want to ask Todd about his injuries...I'll show you mine if you show me yours...

Two more thoughts for this thread.

If the injury just "slows you down" and you learn to be more efficient with "stacking" and more intelligent by not banging each run(some new level 3s that are getting on never want to do another bump run again!), can you still be a model for your students? Can you fake it enough that the student doesn't realize you're cheating?

If it is your student with an injury-and they come to the lesson to improve, how do you adjust your instruction to their injury. Let's assume whatever it is can't be corrected with orthodics. They see the wonderful skiing model and want to be there!

My answer to the first-I have slowed down (trying snowboarding) and when I do teach the stuff that is painful to me(fear factor again), I explain to the student what it is I am doing.

My second answer-that's what I would like more input on. I have dealt with the weak knees, bad shoulders and fear of ice.

My most recent injury (1 week ago) is my sciatic nerve. Ruins my image by walking with a cane and planning on skiing. How am I going to do it? How can one be balanced and do the flexing/extending when your leg could collapse at any time? Earlier I mentioned I trained a two-legged person to ski on one ski. I'll try that, but my good leg isn't that strong this early in the season, and easy terrrain is limited. I'll keep you posted-October is coming soon to Killington.
post #12 of 35
In answer to your first question, although I don't teach skiing, my guess is a probable "yes". I've been doing it myself for years. But there will be things that you can't fake.

Example, I am trained to teach Urban Rebounding, which is a highly modified version of trampoline training. I'm fine on any 2 footed jumps, especially the ones that mimic skiing. But one legged things look awful. I 've told my coordinator that I don't want to teach it until I get that together.

With other things, I might just tell my students that something is going on, because they may subconsciously copy what they see.

If there is any good thing that comes out of being injured yourself, its that it may give you better insights into your students technical problems. It only took Todd one run to figure out what was going on with me.

But there is a crucial point, here. The student has to really WANT to do something about it. Its sort of easy to figure out ways to fake your way around your injuries, especially, {which is my case} you never expreience any pain or discomfort. Also, working on an inbalance or instability is not fun. I didn't feel the "good stuff" from Todd's teaching until the next morning, when I took class with another "cyberfriend" instructor, and kept ripping ahead of the rest of the class. He kept saying "I thought you said you were always the slowest!"

In terms of your sciatic nerve problem, check out this thread: http://www.epic-ski.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001810.html

I can't really give medical advice, but the stuff about the TVA activation with weight bearing can be helpful.
post #13 of 35

Similar situation with long-ago injury leaving some nerve damage that affects right hip/knee/ankle. One thing I'm doing now, to address the proprioception problem in my right foot ("dead" spots in the stabilizers) is closing my eyes and balancing on that foot as long as I'm able. When I first became aware of this and began to address it, I was surprised at just how "off" I'd been for so long, not really knowing the extent of the problem due to the fact that before skiing, which highlighted the problem, I'd just learned different ways of camouflaging it, compensating for it with the other leg, not even being aware of it. One thing I'm doing now is standing on just the right foot, eyes closed, for as long as I can. The burn, I hope, means slow but steady improvement, though 100% stable/secure ain't gonna happen. And I'll do some other drills, like skiing on only the right ski for small stretches (eyes open in this case) trying to tighten the wobbliness that's there. It's sometimes very grueling, tedious, but necessary. Looking forward to seeing how much of a difference it's made once the snow falls.
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by ryan (edited September 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #14 of 35
Hello folks. I visit here on occasion but haven't posted. I also have interacted with some of you over at Paula's Skilovers. Because I think my personal experience with skiing and injury might be of interest to some I thought I'd post about it for what it's worth. I have had my share of injuries from skiing but my best lesson has come from the degenerative hip disease I have experienced. Like a lot of guys I'm afraid I'm not hesitant to talk about my injuries so if you want to skip the story you can just jump down to my conclusions at the end.

About five years ago my hip really started to rapidly get worse. Over the next 3 years I experienced some pain most of the time and by the time I was ready for hip replacement (March, 2000) I was experiencing a lot of pain in general and extreme pain with any kind of forced internal rotation whether from a fall or just having my ski twist due to catching a tail on a rock or stump. Mostly I just tried to "hero" it and ski through the pain. The week before my surgery I skied with heavy round the clock doses of percodan. In my last year before surgery I also had the opportunity to work with Harb and his PMTS approach which I felt played a significant role in allowing me to continue to ski. I was initially reduced to skiing only a few hours a day. With the balance and efficiency I learned I returned to being able to ski an entire day.

Three or four months after hip replacement I started to more actively work at therapy. Initially I had to go with pretty moderate stair climbing and light lifting. In a couple of more months I started a much more aggressive therapy and training program prompted in part by arthroscopic surgery on the opposite knee to partially remove a meniscus torn while playing tennis (and favoring the new hip). Initially this program included a lot of balance exercises as well as strength training for knee rehab on one side and the hip on the other. Part of the motivation was to try and develop some kind of replacement for the proprioception lost with hip replacement. Soon though, I decided to skip most of the balance and stability exercises (I was spending more about 3 hours a day in therapy) and almost exclusively emphasize strength development.

I began skiing at the end of November of 2000 (it was very tenuous and in retrospect too early to come back - but skiing called). My first day was very interesting. I came a day early to Copper for an instructor's camp to see if I would be able to ski. I took my first run and realized I was going to be extremely limited as I could hardly turn in one direction. (I wasn't willing to "hero" anything much as I was very concerned about damaging my new hip fixation). After just one run I met up with Bob Barnes (whom I'd "met" on Paula's) and some of his instructor colleagues from Copper. They invited me to ski with them and I agreed (with a great deal of internal reservation). All of a sudden I was forced to figure out a way to turn even though I had been unable to very effectively do so on my first run. Very quickly I discovered an almost 100% weighted inside turn that let me keep at least within hollering distance and Bob and his gang were kind enough to stop a few times along the way. This was something I had certainly practiced before but never had I realized it's true utility.

I ended up skiing for the 4-day camp after that and about 12 of 14 days during Christmas and New Years. To give an idea of just how tenuous my skiing was, when I fell it took about an hour to recover before I could effectively ski again. However, I was able to ski most of the terrain at Targhee and JH (including a back country day). Unfortunately my season was curtailed in February (just when I was starting to feel some real strength returning) when I got run over from behind and broke my collar bone. I was, however, able to combine some glacier skiing in another instructor camp in May with a business trip.

Here are the lessons I think I've learned from this experience:

While off-slope balance and stability exercises may offer some assistance, improvements in balance learned while skiing are overwhelming more effective and useful.

Strength for stability and movements is not nearly as important as I used to imagine. Once again, discovery of improved balance in skiing provides so much of the answer. It can compensate to a very great extent for weakness and poor joint function.

There are many ways to compensate for pain and injury. "Heroing" it is one but there is not much to be learned by this approach except for the limits of one's pain tolerances. Searching for efficiency in movement, however, is tremendously effective and has lead to some of my very best learning experiences. The older I get (I'm 49) the more I am learning to use this approach. I find that I am not only more able to cope with injury now than ever before but I am learning a great deal and making very noticeable improvements from these experiences.
post #15 of 35
Welcome Si! I was wondering when we would see you here!

You raise some important issues. The reason the balance exercises are most effective when working on the slopes, is because the transverse abdominal muscle, as long as some of the bodies other stabilizers, such as the internal obliques will become more active when challenged on a more unstable surface.

I discovered this last year at a Core Board Workshop. The instructor had us do the Yoga "Tree" exercise, where you stand on one leg and balance. Alot of wobbling went on. Then we did the same thing on the Core Board, which is like a Wobble Board.

The activation of the bodies stabilizers seem to be intuitive, brought about by a NEED to have them activated.

I have recently developed a highly personal opininion that skiing can be used as therapy for balance related problems.

Your statements about strength, are ideas that I have been ranting about for awhile, especially after Todd told me I ski like a pro football player! (one day I may even let him live that down! )

In my SKIREADY program, I only use strength exercises that incorporate balance. I also do not let people use resistance loads that would throw them off balance or make them lose alignment.

Hope we hear more from you, SI!
post #16 of 35
I thought my ski career was over in 98 when I herniated a disc(l5-s1)Had the back suregery in Jan. of 99. Was back skiing the 99-2000 season. I have been able to get nbck in the bumps byt I now ski a much smoother line-moe rounded turns and not a whole lot of slamming around. The worst thing for me now is the chair lift ride,the ride home in the car and helping never -evers get up after a fall. Terry
post #17 of 35
Just a thought off the top of my head, and I don't really know if I'm correct. At some point, a skier is going to fall and there might not be anyone there to help them get up. Perhaps the first thing a never ever should learn is how to get up on their own. Just have people lie down on the snow and practice getting up.

Louisa at Okemo is very big on not letting people get up in ways that would damage their ACLs. After she explains the details, she has us watch people on the mountain. If we see people do it incorrectly, she ahs us go over and explain the correct way.
Good way to reinforce learning.
post #18 of 35
Kee: I get my siatic adjustments done while lying on my side and having the chiro give a push. The old way (lying on the stomach) with that "pop out" panel was useless.


Believe it or not, we are not allowed to teach folks the easy ways to get up..... the by the book answer is "take off your skis".

I usually manage to sneak an example in though.

I think this is lawyer/injury generated.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by yuki (edited September 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #19 of 35
Yuki: Please say it isn't so!!!!! I've always been told not to take off my skis. If instructors continually have to pick up their students, it is a safety issue for the instructor.
Research from Vermont Safety indicates that there are ways to get up from a fall that could increase the liklihood of an ACL injury.
One of the things that people who have fear of falling think about, is being unable to get up again.

Sounds like a rant I should do on Hyperchange.
post #20 of 35
In Colorado I often used to lead tours and privates with customers into terrain/snow where if you take off your skis you risk loosing your butt! I wonder how this policy would fit in that situation, or perhaps such schools would just never even allow such classes or tours?<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Todd Murchison (edited September 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #21 of 35
In level one and two lessons they are afraid that someone will pull something if they try to get up with a pole push. 75% of these folks don't have the strength or dexterity to pull this off anyhow. Remember, I'm at a little old Pocono feeder and we get the church bus groups and romantic weekenders. Our market share is not the same as VT......

The ones that survive past level three figure this out. I usually demo how to get up but I'm too old/stiff to get up from a split...... so I leave that one out.
post #22 of 35
Trust me I don't try to make a habit of picking people up off the ground and we do show several ways to get up after a fall.
Not all my students have the strength to even undo their skiis. I am talking mostly never-evers here and as a first year instructor this is the bulk of my day. Terry
post #23 of 35
Urban Rebounding! We used to do that behind cars on our slalom skis when it snowed enough in town!
post #24 of 35
LisaMarie, I consulted the Activities Coordinator at my local Family Fitness Center, but they don't have an Urban Rebounding program. Are there books or videos available?
post #25 of 35
post #26 of 35
post #27 of 35
Thread Starter 
I started this thread after I herniated my L5-S1 disk. I spent the last week in September flat on my back in the hospital.

I skied today at Killington!! My love of skiing kept me focused on all of my rehab drills.

Interesting continued side effect...there is a "dead spot" on the lateral edge of my right foot. If I wear stiff hiking boots, my walking gait looks and feels "normal". If I am barefoot or wearing soft moccasins, because I don't feel my edge, I wobble, and I can't run...because I don't feel the contact with the floor, and I don't have "power" to push off on my toes.

So, how did I ski? First, after static one legged bends, I then did them on a dynadisk to improve my ankles and used visual cues to build up my medial side of my right foot.

So, how did I ski? Because I still have less than full "power" in my right foot,(trouble doing calf lifts) my right turns were not smooth because I couldn't lead/point/steer with my lateral edge of my right foot. Because I could still "collapse" my right foot, I was able to extend and steer my outside left foot.

Hopefully with rehab, drugs, prayer I will recover completely.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
post #28 of 35
Good Post

The point about looking for injuries in our clients is a good one. This has cropped up from time to time. It is something to ask a client IF they appear “one sided”. Is saying that, it is important not to over emphasis the injury as part of the cause.

I very rarely help people up, demo sure and maybe a little assist once they are almost there but not from a sitting start. If you cannot get up on the groomed then take your skis off. Powder and steeps are a very different situation of course. If you cannot stand up well …… skiing is a physical activity …..

I blew my ACL 4 days before my full cert skiing exam. It just went POP in a defined transition from dynamic short to medium turn training demo. With the aid of three days of “ice and “spice” for the pain and brain, then some serious pain killers before my exam runs, I managed to scrape through.

I think the biggest hurdle was psychological as my skiing career (demo team, SS director) was mapped out from my full cert pass and this opportunity all went out the window with my time off and the fact that I missed a US season and the training that was planned for me.

After my op I was back for the next Oz season but everything was different. From top of the pecking order I was now a “cripple” or so I felt. I took the next winter off then did three seasons back to back (OS\Oz\OS) but it was just not the same.

Anyway after much phsyio, pool exercise, beach running, strength training, swelling management (never get the thing drained just stop & ice it) and most important TIME, the skiing strength and balance is back BUT the knee still has dead spots and I have to consciously push myself to “test” the knee. (though that is fading with the miles) I can still ski all mountain strongly BUT I do use more finesse than power. Not keen on marble\ice so I do not ski OZ anymore. When surfing I am actually more “powerful” at 40 than at 30. Funny thing is that the “bung” knee is now “tighter” than the “good” knee.

Lifes like that.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #29 of 35
Kee Tov, I think you are on the right track with the Dyna Disks. Because of their "squishyness" they can even feel like skiing. Please keep us posted on your progress!
post #30 of 35
Something occured to me overnight. Both Kee Tov and Man from Oz spoke of "dead zones', either in the foot or knee.Usually, when we think of injury, we think of pain. But the LACK of sensation is probably just as dangerous. Since you are both instructors, you know how to compensate. A student may not be as tuned in.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: