Friday Findings: The Ski's Knees

Hey <<First Name>>!

I'm out on a bachelor party ski trip this weekend in Northern Michigan (yes, there is snow on the slopes), and as a movement/biomechanics nerd, I thought about what effective-skiing demands from the body and what injuries would result with insufficiency.

Of course, there are freak accidents like fracturing your arm from catching a nasty edge or pulling a Michael Kennedy. It's probably not the best idea to blend any other sport with downhill skiing -- just a thought.

Far and beyond, the most common injuries in skiing are knee injuries, which makes sense.

The knee is a hinge joint (think door hinge) that mostly goes forward and back with a little side-to-side and twisting motions. These movements in excess are prevented by ligaments, such as the ACL, but ultimately controlled by your muscles.

When the knee hurts, it is always first to be blamed; however, the knee does what the hip and foot cannot control. Yes, you can have a bum knee, and there may be an issue within the knee joint that needs to be addressed, but looking at why there's a knee problem in the first place is another story.

Take a look at RG3 (Robert Griffin III) here performing a long jump at the NFL combine a few years back.

See why he's suffered from multiple traumatic knee injuries over his college and professional career? The approximation of the knees you see is nowhere near optimal and indicates a high risk for ACL/MCL ruptures. He's strong but does not know how to control his strength. There is undoubtedly instability/control issues with his hips and/or feet.

Many new knee issues are resolved by applying repetitive end-range loading of the knee in a specific direction. If you've worked with me in the office, you likely know what that means. If you're interested in fixing your recent knee problem, pick this up on Amazon.

'What' is the knee problem itself, 'Why' it occurred is likely the inability to control the knee dynamically. A great place to start to improve your 'Why' is this exercise.

If you have had a nagging issue that you can't seem to curb, it's important to see a professional, such as myself, to find the appropriate solution. The last thing you want to do is have it treated with drugs or surgery when it could have been resolved conservatively, or let it go to the point where you indeed need surgical intervention.

Hopefully, no one ends up with ski's knees this weekend -- total buzzkill bro!

Until next week!

Treating patients on a daily basis, I frequently address questions regarding nutrition, lifestyle, and "how do I now stay out of pain," questions. In our technology age, there's instant access to vast quantities -- not always quality -- of information, but so little time. Friday's Findings offers access to quality information, in small, weekly doses, so you can make the little changes that make a significant impact, without having to sift through all the mumbo-jumbo. I believe you'll find value. To maintain relevancy to you, please, email me with suggestions for future topics. Thank you and make today count, because it only happens once!

- Dr. RJ Burr
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