Saturday, May 31, 2008

Skating Injuries: The Ever Inevitable Concern

Figure skating accidents, while infrequent, are among the most memorable. Figure Skating can be potentially dangerous, just like anything else. Injuries can happen to the feet, ankles, heels, knees, shins, quads, back, hips, groin area, shoulders, arms, wrists, and head, basically anywhere. Common injuries include bruises, cuts, sprains, strains, muscle tears, tendinitis, joint injuries, sometimes fractures or even a concussion.

Some ways to prevent injuries are as follows:

*Warm up - jog in place and then do stretches. It'd be better if you did that daily instead of just when you go skating.
*Stay warm.
*Don't wear tight clothing that can restrict your movement or loose clothing that can get caught on the blades.
*Make sure you have good equipment, skates that fit and that contains good padding. Make sure the laces aren't dangling on the ice. It can make you trip.
*Learn how to fall.
*Follow rink rules. The rules are there for your safety.
*Don't try "tricks" that are way beyond your level, or dangerous.
*Don't skate when you're sick too tired.

Figure skating accidents, while infrequent, are among the most memorable.It is hard to actually count how many ice skating injuries that have occurred. However, there have been some serious ones that are worth mentioning. To name a few, some of the most serious injuries I can think of would be the one involving one of the pair skating team Tatiana Totmianina and her skating partner Maxim Marinin. In November 2004, during the free skate of Skate America in Pittsburgh, Marinin lost his balance while attempting a difficult lasso lift and Tatiana slammed to the ice head first. She had suffered a concussion, and spent the night in a local hospital. Totmianina recovered from her injuries rapidly and was able to return to the ice within days. She often stated that she has no memory of the incident and this made it easy for her to return to the ice. Marinin, however, had to start seeing a sport psychologist to overcome his fears. According to them, Marinin's fears were so great that it was nearly impossible for them to continue skating.

Another one was during the ‘06 Olympics when Dan Zhang had sustained a fall during their free skate. She was very brave but obviously in pain. She and her partner were able to finish their routine en route to claiming the silver medal.

Jessica Dube underwent surgery to repair a laceration on her left cheek and nose after being hit by partner Bryce Davison's skate in the free skate competition at Four Continents during the 07/08 season. They were doing a rotation of a side-by-side camel, where one leg is parallel to the ice as they spin. You can hurt any part of your body during practice.

While some injuries are unavoidable, there are some injuries that can be prevented. You might experience fewer injuries if you do off-ice training. Your trainer can help you work up a stretching routine to keep your muscles limber. Warm up off the ice each and every time before you get on the ice and afterwards. Eat a healthy diet that promotes stronger bones and muscles. Be sure you get enough rest, being tired on the ice can cause lack of focus and may cause you to slip and fall as a result. With skating, falling is just inevitable, make sure you learn to fall in the safest way possible.

Do get over the fear of falling, or your progress may be impeded. Sometimes trying too hard to prevent injuries can actually cause injury because your body gets too tense. Relax when you skate. In most cases, you fall and then you get right back up again. Check with your doctor. Make sure you are ready to skate again. Go ahead and step out onto the ice. Take it slowly. It’s ok to be nervous - that's normal. Just stroke around the ice - there is no need to do more, at least not in that initial first session. You may feel a bit tense and nervous if you are new to skating however. The feeling will go away as you get reacquainted with the ice. Skate with your coach. Having a coach there with you on the ice gives you additional confidence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
Simple but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one.
A must read post!
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