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Skiing– Injuries, and How Acupuncture can help

Skiing is but one example of how TCM – Traditional Chinese Medicine- can keep all winter athletes in medal winning shape! The Olympic dreams of even the recreational skier have been made, and lost due to untimely injuries on the slopes.

Without question skiing is a very popular winter sport. Coupled with all that schussing down the slopes comes the very real possibility of impairment.  As practitioners we already know one of the most common injuries is a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).


Here’s my 7-Year old Zach— 1st time down the mountain and killing it!


Zach Skiing


ACL injuries are caused by traumatic force applied to the knee with a twisting motion, causing forceful hyperextension. Skiers are susceptible to ACL sprains due to landing jumps, twisting falls, as well as being hit from the anterior or lateral aspect of the body with contact force. The skier typically hears an audible “pop” upon impact, which is immediately followed by acute pain; instability of the knee with swelling; difficultly bearing weight. And the feeling that the knee will give out.

In sports medicine the initial treatment of an acute ACL sprain includes ice, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. This is directed at restoring the range of motion and strengthening the injured knee. A complete tear will require surgical reconstruction of the ACL, typically using a patellar tendon and a bone block at each end of the tendon graft. This surgery is a common procedure with extremely high success rates, returning the skier to the slopes within the year.

At Acupuncture RemediesTM we use a combination of Traditional TCM treatment protocol for ACL repairs by integrating Acupuncture, Cupping, Gui Sha and Tuina to augment the recovery rate, and to restore the integrity of the ACL repair and overall rehabilitation process.  Understanding the mechanism behind the most common sports injury associated with skiing, enables an integrated perspective in providing treatment. During the rehabilitation process, acupuncture can also offer holistic benefits in treating stress and associated anxieties.  For the last decades, TCM has proven to be an invaluable tool, helping to get Winter Athletes back on their skis and out on the slopes.


–  Iris Netzer-Greenfield