Now that the winter season is in full swing, we have adapted our activities to suit. Winter activities are notably different than those enjoyed in the summer. So, whether we engage in winter activities (i.e.: alpine skiing) or shift to indoor versions (i.e.: indoor soccer) we don the appropriate clothing/equipment. These adaptations can affect our bodies functions (i.e.: temperature regulation) as well as affecting body mechanics/movements.
Think of these…
- The preciseness of skate position in figure skating
- The crouched 90-degree angle of the knees in alpine skiing
- The forward bent position of the body during hockey
- The deep knee flexion or frenzied movement of the arms during curling
The transition into these winter activities can lead to (but not limited to) …
- Knee pain, falls and strains/sprains
- Stressed ACLs, PCLs, menisci/cartilage
- Aggravation the low back while shortening the hip flexors
- Patellofemoral pain or core tension
In conjunction with a stretching/strengthening regimen, massage therapy can ensure muscle strength and length. Gentle joint mobilizations and passive relaxed movement of the joints, through their available range, helps the body secrete synovial fluid, helping nourish cartilage. Massage will also address holding patterns in the soft tissue that may elicit joint dysfunctions.
Warming up before activities, being conscious of posture/technique, and stretching after partaking in your favourite activity will also help prevent injuries over the winter season.
Suzanne Shynkaruk, RMT