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Why Skiing Causes Foot / Knee Pain

By October 21, 2016 October 10th, 2019 Theta Orthotics News
biomechanical alignment causes pain

Foot and knee pain: The real reason people quit skiing.

Significant forces applied to the feet then transferred through the ankles and knees as we ski stress the limits of our anatomy.  Anything less than optimal alignment between the foot and knee, results in pain or catching an edge. The mechanics of skiing result in foot / knee pain over time. Ultimately this problem in anatomical alignment causes most to stop skiing.

Over the last 50 years experts have understood the problem with pain in skiers to be an alignment issue.  They tried to improve lower extremity  alignment using equipment and wedges placed between the ski and binding. These wedges are referred to as cants and change the angle of the surface that we ski on. The intent of the cant is to improve the alignment of our foot and leg, with a decrease in foot and knee pain as we ski.

skiing causes foot knee pain

Unfortunately there is much controversy as to the proper placement and angulation of the wedge  within the ski industry.  Many experts use a 5 to 10 degree wedge placed with the thick part on the inside of the ski, and report a decrease in pain with use of this modification. Ironically just as many experts use a 5 to 10 degree wedge placed with the thick part on the outside of the ski. These researchers also report a decrease in foot and leg pain with their wedge placement.

Where many biomechanical experts have completely opposite thoughts on how to improve alignment and stop pain, most skiers can only hope that new equipment / boots, with better design and or support will resolve the performance limiting foot and knee pain.  Unless you can stop this pain, your equipment is soon destined to become a trophy to the days when you used to ski.

Anatomical flaw : Skiing causes foot/knee pain.

measuretibialvarum_copyInteresting new research in human biomechanics, has defined an angular flaw in human anatomy, believed to be responsible for improper alignment, both when we walk and as we ski.  The basic science supporting this research even explains why the “cants” placed  in two opposite directions, can both decrease foot and ankle pain as we ski.

When this angular flaw is not compensated for, stress on our anatomy results in both foot and knee pain. Empirical studies at  Theta Orthotics suggest that proper compensation for this alignment flaw can stop foot and knee pain during all weight bearing activities, including skiing.

When foot and knee pain stops you on the hill…and makes you want to stop  skiing forever…try this simple biomechanical “alignment trick” and enjoy the rest of your day.





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