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Common Water Skiing Injuries

By Sara Butler

Whether you enjoy snow skiing in the winter or water skiing in the summer, this fun activity can be the culprit behind some serious injuries. Don’t let a water skiing injury take you out this summer! Here are some of the most common injuries sustained during water skiing and how your chiropractor may be able to help.


Falling down is a part of water skiing – pretty much everyone does it! This is because when you know you’re ready to go down you tense up as your body readies to protect itself. When you do this, your arms will naturally move forward to help absorb the impact and that leads to a lot of shoulder injuries, including shoulder dislocation.

If you ever experience a dislocated shoulder when water skiing it’s really important to perform first aid until you can get in to see a medical professional and get the joint put back into place. First aid for shoulder dislocation includes:

  • Keep the arm immobile.
  • Put a rolled towel between the injured arm and chest.
  • Immobilize the arm by then wrapping it with another towel or bandage.
  • Place an ice pack on the area to help with swelling

After the joint has been put back in place, you will likely need to seek the care of a physical therapist or chiropractor to help the joint fully heal.


You use your feet to support you in the water while water skiing and all that pressure can cause a sprain or strain in your ankle. The ligaments can be torn or stretched out, resulting in a weakened joint. If you injure your ankle during water skiing, you need to make sure you:

  • Use compression and ice – Wrap a cloth around the ankle and place ice on the impacted joint. Never put ice directly on the skin, always make sure you place a cloth between the ice and skin.
  • Rest the ankle – if you keep the joint immobilized as it's healing it will help it to heal faster.
  • Use crutches or splints as needed – The ligaments will heal correctly and faster if you don’t place the pressure of your body weight on the joint, so crutches may be needed to help speed up the healing process. Keep the injured ankle propped up too, in order to keep swelling under control.

Don’t forget after you deal with the immediate aftermath of an injury while water skiing to consult with your chiropractor!

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