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Monday, January 27, 2014

ACL Injuries Aren’t Just Common Among Winter Olympic Hopefuls

Everyone’s favorite skier, Lindsey Vonn, will not be among the Sochi Olympic contenders. She had hoped to recover from a knee injury suffered one year earlier for a 2014 run at the gold. But, after aggravating the injury during a preliminary trial, she was required to hang up her skis for the season.

While most of us will never ski to Vonn’s ability, injury on the slopes is common for amateurs, professionals and everyone in between. A knee injury is the most frequently suffered, especially of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)—the same issue that kept Vonn sidelined.

How do you make sure you don’t end up in the ER during your winter vacation?

Four Safety Tips When Hitting the Slopes

Maintain fitness and don’t overreach. Be sure you’re in good physical condition when you set out on a ski outing. If you’re out of shape, select ski runs carefully and gradually build your way up to more challenging trails.

Warm up. Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm up with jumping jacks, running or walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Take a couple of slow ski runs to complete your warm up.

Hydrate. Even mild levels of dehydration can affect physical ability and endurance. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Know safety rules. Understand and abide by all rules of the ski resort. And know the general safety rules, such as how to stop, merge, and yield to other skiers.

Click here for more tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

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