How can you prevent injuries during skating?
The lure of gliding on ice is hard to resist and it is but natural that you want to try to do a figure eight in the heat of the moment. While we agree that it is hard to negate the emotion, the euphoria, and the adrenaline rush during skating it is also a fact that these three factors mask rationality and can lead to injuries. Most casual ice skaters do not have any idea about the technique or the required measures to remain safe when on ice. So, before you embark on the skating journey it is better to be equipped with some do’s and don’ts to prevent any serious injury that can keep you away from the rink you love for a long time.
What are the common skating injuries?
Repeated and frequent moves and maneuvers in skating take a toll on your muscles, bones, and ligaments and lead to their early wear and tear. In severe cases, the twists and spins can lead to severe sprains, strains, inflammation, tears and in some cases debilitating fractures. We can list out the common injuries as below: 1. Fractures: Skating places a lot of pressure on the ankles making them very susceptible to fractures, sprains and other stress-related injuries like medial tibia stress syndrome. 2. Head Injury: It is common to lose balance when on the ice and this paves way for head injuries and concussions because ice is very hard without any cushioning effect on it. 3. Tears: It is very common to sustain anterior cruciate ligament tear which will affect your knee. 4. Lacerations: When you are surrounded by hard ice, sharp blades and speed, lacerations are bound to result should you miss a step and have a fall. The severity will depend on the degree of injury. 5. Wrist injury: It is common to seek the support of one’s hands and arms during a fall but this can also lead to hurting the wrist and hands should you land in an awkward position given the fact that you will land with a lot of force.
How can you prevent these injuries?
Most of the injuries occur due to the poor landing technique which generates enough force to affect your spine. 1. Warm up before each session: Stiff muscles are subject to injuries, therefore, always make sure that you stretch and warm up before each session to loosen your tendons, ligaments, and muscles. 2. Do not over train: While it is frustrating to not know a certain move, trying to learn it at one stretch is not safe as this will put greater strain on your body and muscles and lead to fatigued muscles which will take a longer time to recover. 3. Take the guidance of a coach: Patience and perseverance will help you achieve your skating goals along with the correct guidance from a trained coach who can correct your posture and technique. 4. Don’t neglect your nutrition: Yes, injuries can result from poor nutrition and bad exercise routines. Hence it is important that you stay physically fit by eating right and doing the right exercises which will balance the muscle mass in your body and keep you skating fit. 5. Use correct fitting boots and skates: Make sure your boots are the right fit, neither too loose nor too tight. Ensure that the skating blades are properly sharpened. The right gear will provide the necessary support and flexibility without putting any additional strain on the knees and ankles. 6. Fall the right way: If there is no alternative to falling then you might as well do it the right way by falling on the side of your gluteus. Keep your arms close to your body and not flaying wildly which will injure your arms and wrist. 7. Avoid extreme temperature: Always dress appropriately when in the cold clime of the ice skating rink or outdoors. Neglecting this aspect will lead to hypothermia which will drain your body of its heat and automatically you become a candidate for accident and injury.
How to take care of injuries
When your best efforts fail to protect you from injuries you must adopt the RICE method of treatment where R is for Rest. Stop skating and give your body and the injured part complete rest. I is for Ice. Icing the inflammation is the best solution; do it for a minimum 20 minutes. C is for compression. Use a compressive sleeve to reduce the swelling and inflammation. E is for elevation. It is important to prevent edema or water retention in the injured part; hence keep the part elevated above heart level. This is the immediate first aid you must do should you get injured on the rink. If you do not find relief consult a physician to rule out more serious fractures and tears.