Knee injuries from skiing are common during the winter season. According to research from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, an estimated 17,500 skiers tear an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) every year; and thousands more sustain some other type of knee injury while skiing. If you plan on hitting the slopes soon, consider wearing a knee brace for skiing.
Cutting a ski trip or a ski season short is an unfortunate event that no one should experience. A knee brace for skiing can serve as both a precautionary measure for healthy skiers and a source of knee support for skiers with a history of knee injury. This article will cover the benefits of wearing a knee brace for skiing to protect against injury and support healthy knees.
The Benefits of a Knee Brace for Skiing
Skiing is an activity that requires a lot of coordination, balance, and safety awareness. A ski slope’s incline and slippery snow surface mean that accidents and injuries can strike anytime. The knees are particularly vulnerable to damage while skiing because they are engaged in maintaining balance and steering.
Since your knees are working overtime while you ski, it’s wise to consider a knee brace for skiing to prevent injury or worsening of an existing one. The best type of knee brace for skiing will provide the proper support and protection for your knees, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned skier.
Control & Support
A good knee brace provides excellent control and support for your knees and can keep you going on the slopes for hours at a time. It may also give you a smoother skiing experience and reduce your risk of a serious injury. The reason behind this is simple: skiing requires unconventional use of the knee joint compared to other activities, such as walking or running.
While skiing, a person’s feet are locked inside the ski boot bindings, leaving the knees to do most of the heavy lifting – something that most people aren’t used to in daily life. Any additional load or strain on the knees increases the likelihood of injury. However, the risk of damage can be reduced significantly with slightly additional stability. One of the main advantages of wearing a knee brace for skiing is that it allows you to enjoy an injury-free ski trip.
In addition to supporting a safer skiing experience, a knee brace can also serve as a preventative measure for skiers who have been injured in the past. Whether you have undergone a significant ACL surgery or are nursing a sprain, wearing a knee brace can protect the injury while enabling you to continue skiing and healing.
We do not advise that you attempt to ski on a severely weakened or damaged knee joint. However, skiers with a mostly healed injury may find a supportive knee brace helpful when transitioning back into skiing again.
Knee Injury Risk Factors
Certain risk factors make some skiers more susceptible to knee injury than others. These risk factors include:
- Medical History
- Slope Intensity
The heavier you are, the more force you put on the knee joint while skiing, causing it to work harder to maintain balance and support. Skiers with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or above (which indicates they are slightly overweight or obese) should consider wearing a knee brace for skiing to help absorb any added shock placed on their knees.
The human body naturally weakens and becomes more susceptible to injury as we age. After the age of 40, the muscle strength of the average person starts to decline. This affects knee health in a significant way. Muscle weakness in the legs makes the knee joint less capable of handling stress and maintaining stability. Due to this, skiers over 40 should consider wearing a knee brace to help minimize pressure and damage on their knees.
Your medical history is critical when deciding whether to wear a knee brace for skiing. Certain medical conditions can make some skiers more susceptible to knee injury than others. For instance, skiers who have arthritis have a higher risk of injuring their knees on the slopes. If you have a medical condition, speak with a physician to learn how it may impact your knees while skiing.
Spending just 30 minutes on the ski slopes will affect your knees differently compared to two hours of steep slope skiing. Skiers taking on steep slopes for extended periods should consider using a knee brace to protect against injury.
The Best Knee Brace for Skiing
The best knee brace for skiing is one that will provide adequate protection and support to your knees to prevent injury. Certain risk factors may make you more susceptible to injuring your knees while skiing than others. If you have a history of a knee injury, talk to your doctor about wearing a knee brace before you take your next ski trip. If you are actively looking for a brace, consider the Icarus Ascender.
Our team is available to give you more information and help you find the solution that works best for you. Contact us today.