03 Oct Orthotics for Winter Games
Orthotics for Winter Sports
The weather might be getting cooler but that’s no reason to stop exercising or playing sports. In fact, winter is full of exhilarating exercise options, from snowboarding and skiing to ice hockey, and ice skating. Virginia is close to several ski resorts in West Virginia and Maryland, and also offers plenty of back-country areas for scenic cross-country skiing. Before you lace up your boots, make sure your feet are in the right shape to get you through the ice and snow.
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we see a number of injuries caused by winter sports, and we also know that the best way to prevent or treat those injuries is with the right orthotics. We’ll create custom sports orthotics specifically for winter activities. They’ll help you improve your performance and take away any pain you’re having.
Get Winter Workout Ready
Before you start any winter sports activity, schedule a consultation with a foot doctor. Exercising in cold weather can aggravate foot conditions like blisters, ingrown nails, bunions, and corns.
Dr. Shuman can give your feet a pre-activity assessment that will help you avoid pain and injury. Our professional, certified pedorthist can complete a full assessment of your footwear and socks to make sure the custom orthotics we create allow you to perform at your best level.
Winter Sports Injuries
Any exercise or sport can cause foot and ankle injuries. When it comes to winter sports, here are the most common ones.
ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury. This is a strain or tear of the chief ligament in the knee and is often seen in athletes who make sudden stops and starts or put their weight on one leg.
Talus bone fracture. Also known as “snowboarder’s ankle,” this is a break of the Talus bone just behind the heel. A fracture can take weeks to heal.
Sprained ankle. A sprained ankle will heal after a few days of rest, but it’s important to use a supportive orthotic once you return to physical activity.
Prevent Winter Sports Injuries
Many sports injuries can be prevented by warming up before exercise, regular stretching, and the use of properly-fitting, supportive footwear.
In winter, you should add some extra precautions.
- Add extra time to your warmup, since cold weather means your muscles will take longer to warm up.
- Wear lightweight layers that you can remove if you get too warm.
- Always use protective padding and helmets.
Why You Need Winter Orthotics
Using the same orthotics you use for walking, running or other activities won’t fly when it comes time to hit the slopes, the ice or the cross-country trail. These sports all involve very different movements, angles and impact points on your feet and legs.
The shoes and boots you use also have different requirements. For instance, ski boots need to hold your foot rigidly and the orthotic should maintain that stiffness. It should also extend to cover the whole foot, not just part of it.
The fast, frequent twists and turns of ice skating will put extra pressure on your ankles. Winter sports can also exert tremendous pressure on the ligaments of your knees.
At Shuman Podiatry, we use 3D imaging to cast custom orthotics that fit perfectly. They’ll give your feet and legs the support they need to avoid injury.
While some people prefer to do their exercise in a warm gym, we know that some of you can’t wait to get out in the bracing winter air.
Call Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine and ask about custom orthotics especially designed for winter sports. We’ll keep your feet healthy and make sure you enjoy your snow days to the fullest.