How to Strengthen Tendons & Ligaments for the Ski Season

December 20, 2020

How to Strengthen Tendons & Ligaments for the Ski Season

In this article:

  • Common ski injuries and how they occur
  • Collagen for injury management & recovery
  • Other must-have supplements for the skiing season

The Most Common Skiing Injuries

Skiing, and snowboarding for that matter, are dangerous sports! Your risk of injury skyrockets when you snap into your skis and get ready for your descent. Professional and beginner skiers alike face many of the same challenges when it comes to injuries. The most common types of risks include:

  • Ligament Injury: This is a wide category of injuries that most commonly affects the soft tissues of the knees. Ligaments in the knee, including the anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) or medial collateral ligaments (MCL), can be torn. These are both extremely painful and serious forms of knee injuries that can require a visit to an orthopedist, physical therapy, ligament reconstruction, and of course, rest. For many competitive skiers, surgery is not uncommon.
  • Shoulder Injury: Shoulder injuries usually result after a fall and can damage the ligaments, muscles, and bones within the shoulder. Injuries of this sort can include shoulder dislocations, broken or fractured bones, or severe soreness and bruising.
  • Skier's Thumb: This is the most common form of soft tissue injury, making up 8-10% of overall skiing-related injuries reported. Skier's thumb occurs when the ligament in the thumb tears, either slightly or completely, usually as the result of falling with the ski pole in hand.
  • Wrist Sprains and Fractures: The wrists can also become sprained or fractured by attempting to catch yourself during a fall.

Using collagen for injury management and recovery

For many, ski season is only a couple of months out of the year, which leaves plenty of time to prioritize joint health and recover from injuries past. Collagen is crucial to the health and longevity of the human body. It is found in the tendons, joints, and connective tissues throughout the body and is responsible for its tensile strength. Collagen production begins to slow with age and the elasticity of our joints decreases along with it. This causes joint pain and inflammation and makes you more susceptible to soft tissue injuries. However, studies in sports medicine are finding that collagen may help to keep your joints healthy to prevent injury and speed up recovery from moderate and severe injuries. Here's how it works.

Hydrolyzed collagen supplements, when taken orally, are broken down into essential amino acids. These acids then encourage the body to increase collagen synthesis in an extracellular matrix, AKA collagen, enzymes, and glycoproteins that make connective tissues strong and flexible. Studies have found that consuming collagen protein powder led to an increased level of collagen and elastin in the Achilles tendon and ligament fibroblasts. When used daily throughout the year, it can help to boost your collagen levels and thus strengthen the connective tissues that often get torn while skiing. Not only do they become stronger, thicker, and healthier, they also become more flexible so they are able to endure more of the "funny angles" that happen during a fall and your ride down the mountain. Additionally, this could potentially speed up wound healing and quicken your return to training.

Collagen peptides alone cannot cure skiing injuries, but they can be used in combination with physical therapy, a healthy diet of natural anti-inflammatory foods, and rest. It also helps to incorporate safe skiing practices when you’re on the slopes.

When it comes to collagen, in order to make the most out of your recovery plan, you'll want to shop for marine collagen paired with liposomal vitamin C. Amandean's premium marine collagen is a more sustainable, and a cleaner alternative to many different collagen types on the market. It is also 1.5x more bioavailable than collagen sourced from cows. Additionally, liposomal vitamin C is the most bioavailable form of vitamin C on the market. It actually helps to boost your body's natural collagen production, making for an ultra-effective supplement. Bonus, you might even notice you get a few skin benefits as a positive side-effect.

Other stellar supplements for ski season

Alongside collagen, glucosamine is another building block of our cartilage. When it wears down, the cartilage that cushions our bones begins to thin as well causing pain and inflammation. Oral supplementation of glucosamine was found to help support cartilage by slowing the rate of collagen breakdown. It was also tested on people with acute knee injuries and found to improve knee flexion and extension to help restore mobility. This could be a great sidekick to collagen to help you get back on your feet so you can strap into your skis again.

Omega 3s can also help to keep you in shape while recovering from injury. Recent studies have shown that omega 3s helped to retain muscle mass during leg immobilization. Omega-3 fatty acids can also enhance ligament fibroblast collagen formation to further support ligaments injured in ski accidents. Taken alone or with collagen supplements, omega-3s can help to keep you moving forward even while recovering!

Don't let skiing injuries or even the threat of them prevent you from doing what you love! Take a complete, holistic approach to injury prevention and healing all year long with glucosamine, vegan omega 3s, and/or by mixing collagen peptides with your favorite warm drinks and meals to protect your body from the inside out.

Summary Points

  • Skier's thumb occurs when the ligament in the thumb tears, either slightly or completely, usually as the result of falling with a ski pole in hand
  • When used daily throughout the year, collagen supports the integrity of your connective tissues that often get torn while skiing
  • Vitamin C helps to boost your body's natural collagen production, and strengthens the effectiveness of your collagen supplements
  • Oral supplementation of glucosamine was found to help support cartilage by slowing the rate of collagen breakdown

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