If you participate in Winter sports you probably have been excited the last few weeks with our snowfall amounts; however, your body may not be. Participation in winter sports is often infrequent – just a few times a year – leaving your body to overcome stress that it’s not used to. Additionally, over use of muscles in cold weather causes additional tightness and will leave muscles constricted, blocking blood flow and causing more pain.
This time of year, I often see skiers and snowborders come in with knee and hip pain. This isn’t shocking as these sports in particular engage your quadriceps heavily, and when over-used, the tight quads can run down the front fascia lines to include the knees, hip flexors, abdominals, chest and even your neck. My clients often don’t even associate the pain they are feeling with the winter sports activity as delayed muscle soreness is common.
On the opposite side, tight hamstrings – often seen from winter hikers – will run through the back line, leading to pain in the hamstrings, calves, glutes, hips, lower-, mid-, and upper back. Even a slight imbalance in the back line can cause postural and structural imbalances.
Even for those routinely active, changing up the routine or even the temperature you are active in, can cause new muscle pain. Those clients who I see regularly often need different care this time of year than their regular activities. Make sure you are listening to your body and don’t ignore pain… treat it before it travels to other areas of the body.