Protecting Your Knees This Ski Season

What knee braces are best for skiing

With the Ski season at its peak throughout January and February, the slopes are full of exhilarating fun, but these angelic white snow-covered mountains also carry the risk of injury, particularly concerning the knee joint. Among the various injuries skiers face, knee injuries stand out as one of the most prevalent and concerning. Below you can read about these injuries, how to protect your knees this skiing season, and how orthopaedic bracing and supports can limit the risks that Skiing brings to the slope.

Prevalence of Knee Injuries in Skiing

According to peer-reviewed studies, knee injuries account for approximately 40% of all ski-related injuries. Among these, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ranks amongst the most common, making up a significant portion of total knee injuries suffered by skiers.
Skiing Knee Injuries

Factors Contributing to Knee Injuries

Mechanical stress is a key factor in injury prevalence. The high-speed movements and the dynamic nature of skiing puts considerable mechanical stress through the knee, which is only worsened by sudden twists, turns and of course, impact and falls.
Poor skiing techniques will contribute towards this as incorrect weight distribution and alignment will overload soft tissues, putting their structures and integrity at risk of failure.
Changing terrains, icy patches, or unexpected obstacles increase the risk of sudden joint instability and loss of control, furthering the risk of sustaining injury.

Types of Knee Injuries

Knee injuries in skiing include ACL tears as mentioned, plus medial collateral ligament (MCL) and meniscus tears. There is also a risk of dislocations, excessive contusions (bruising) and of course fractures. Look back at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 when Nina O’Brien fell resulting in catastrophic injury.

Preventive Measures

Due to Skiing’s unpredictability, it’s difficult to eliminate the risk of injury, however ensuring the use of proper equipment and well-fitted ski boots, bindings and supports on the knee can minimise excessive movement and mechanical stress going through the joints.
Soft wraps can provide compression and proprioception, giving feedback via the central nervous system, making the body and brain more subconsciously aware of the joint. The compression will also aid stability, blood flow and provide warmth to the joint which is particularly beneficial in the snow with arthritis sufferers.
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    Sport Elastic Knee Support (Long)

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  • TheraGo® Elastic Knee Stabiliser
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    TheraGo® Elastic Knee Stabiliser

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  • Express - Woven Knee Sleeve
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    Woven Knee Sleeve

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Rigid bracing is used for pre-existing injuries or for people with joint instability and laxity. The rigid aluminium shells provide an exo-skeletal support which gives protection, lateral strength and stability to the knee, and limits forward and backwards translation. Rigid knee braces are commonly used in Skiing and can be used alongside compression sleeves and wraps for additional support.
  • Functional 4-Point Knee Brace
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    Functional 4-Point Knee Brace

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  • Express Orthopaedic® Rigid Functional Knee Brace
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    Rigid Functional Knee Brace

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  • TheraGo Elastic Hinged Knee Brace By Orliman
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    TheraGo® Elastic Hinged Brace

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Knee injuries in skiing are common and can have a significant impact on an individual’s experience and overall well-being. Understanding the risks, practising preventive measures, and using the right equipment for support and protection are key.
Orthotix offers a variety of medically approved braces which are suitable for Skiing and can help prevent injury to the knee, supporting your wellbeing whilst on the piste.

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Remember, skiing is an enjoyable event on and off the snow. Stay safe on the slopes, and enjoy the thrill of the sport!
If you would like to speak to one of our specialists please get in touch by calling us on 02920 370696, or emailing us at [email protected]
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