Skiing is a great way to enjoy the colder weather and get in a little exercise. However, as thrilling as it is, skiing also leaves you susceptible to ski boot foot injuries injuries, especially of the feet and ankles. Know what kind of injuries to look out for and how to protect your feet to avoid injuries the next time you hit the slopes.
3 Most Common Skiing-Related Foot Injuries
- Strains and Sprains
A foot sprain occurs when the ligaments, or tough bands that connect your bones in the joint, of your foot become strained or torn. With skiing this generally occurs as the result of a fall during which you land on the outside of your foot, causing it to twist inward. A sprain might also be the result of your ski tip getting caught in the snow and the boot not being released quickly enough. In either case, you may experience mild to moderate pain, swelling, tenderness, and bruising. In severe cases, you may be unable to bear weight on your injured foot.
- Fractures and Breaks
Fractures and even complete breaks of bones in your feet and ankles are not uncommon with skiing. Unfortunately, this is the case even though your foot is encased in a firm, stable boot while skiing. In fact, one of the particularly common ski boot foot injuries is a break known as a “boot top” fracture and typically results when a fall occurs with enough force to break the bones at the top of the foot or above the boot. Stress fractures are of particular concern to skiers as they are often slow to show symptoms and may present with symptoms similar to that of a strain or sprain.
- Bumps and Bruises
It may be tempting to ignore what seem like minor bumps and bruises, but even these issues can lead to more serious concerns. One of the most common of which is known as “skier’s toe.” This skiing foot injury is typically the result of boots that are too tight or too loose and causes bleeding under the toenail. The injury typically develops as discoloration and soreness of your big toe, but it can sometimes cause the entire nail to turn black. While not too serious if it’s treated appropriately, it can become more of an issue if it’s not remedied correctly.
Tips to Protect Your Feet While Skiing
Like with most injuries, prevention is the best medicine. So before you head out for your next ski adventure, be sure to follow these tips:
- Make sure your boots are properly fitted to your feet and in good condition.
- Invest in socks and other quality equipment to keep your feet dry and warm.
- Condition your body with some aerobic and endurance exercises beforehand.
- Warm up and stretch out your legs, feet, and ankles prior to hitting the slopes.
- Avoid overworking your muscles and take a break if you’re feeling fatigued.
If you do suspect a skiing foot injury following your time on the slopes, it’s best not to ignore it, as many ski-related foot injuries can lead to long-term issues if left untreated. Take care of your feet and the rest of your body by seeing a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.