Peter Miller’s tips for protecting your back this ski season

Peter Miller Blog #7Twisting and turning down some fresh fallen powder can make me feel like I’m flying on air. But one wrong move in any direction can quickly put an end to one of my favorite winter sports — skiing. As someone who’s struggled with chronic back pain for years, getting injured doing something I love is the last thing I want. But sports injuries happen more than you think.

In fact, I recently learned that back pain is prevalent even among ski instructors. Who would have thought that the best of the best struggle with the very same thing I battled? My debilitating aches and chronic pains seemed to show up during the most inconvenient times, like on family vacations at our favorite ski resort. And that’s why I now take several key steps to protect my back before, during and after hitting the slopes. Whether I’m warming up or stretching out, I’ve discovered some little things I do today can make the biggest difference in how I feel tomorrow.

Here are some simple ways to prevent back pain and avoid injuries so you can stay active in the winter like me:

  • Prepare for some air. Gearing up to soar down the slopes and feel that fresh cool air on your face doesn’t come without dedicating some serious time to getting in shape. But not everyone has time to run a marathon or power lift. Start about three to six months before your trip with low-impact cardio like swimming, walking and long stretches to maintain flexibility and agility.
  • Learn how to fall. If you find yourself in the midst of a fall, knowing how to land could make the difference between a minor muscle strain and something far more serious. Remember to bend your arms and knees and tuck your head. Doing so prevents you from breaking the fall with your hands when taking a tumble. 
  • Proceed with caution. From dodging the most difficult moguls on the double blacks to navigating the nice and easy paths on the greens, knowing which run to take isn’t always apparent. When in doubt, start slow and ease your way into the more challenging runs. Remember, you can always try something harder once you feel comfortable on the easier ones.

Thanks to Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive spine surgery, I no longer suffer from the pain I once knew. If you or someone you know is seeking relief from chronic neck or back pain, contact Laser Spine Institute today and see how they can help you get your life back.

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