4 Tips to Avoid Common Skating Injuries

As the temperatures drop, both beginner and experienced skaters take to the ice at some of central Ohio’s seasonal outdoor skating rinks. While this is a great winter activity to enjoy with family and friends, it’s not without some risk. Research suggests that 1 in 700 skaters will experience an injury while ice skating.

Here are a few tips to stay safe on the ice and avoid injury:

  • Make sure your skates fit properly. Whether you plan to purchase, borrow or rent skates – make sure they fit well. A good-fitting boot will allow your toes a little wiggle room, but will otherwise fit snugly around your foot and ankle. A poorly-fitting boot can cause imbalance leading to falls, and over time can lead to other foot and ankle conditions such as calluses, bunions and blisters.
  • Pack proper equipment. Proper-fitting skates are a great start, but don’t forget padding and a helmet. Community ice rinks are often crowded – and full of beginners.The very best skaters can’t always avoid a collision. If you’re a new or casual skater, consider wearing padded pants to soften your fall (snow pants work great)! Most importantly, pack a helmet to protect you and your loved ones from head injuries.
  • Start slow. Even the most experienced skater takes time to warm up on the ice. Like in any sport, it’s a good idea to do a little off-ice stretching and take a few slow laps around the rink to warm and loosen your body. Cold and stiff muscles and ligaments can lead to injuries like strains, sprains and even fractures.
  • Learn how to fall and get back up (correctly). For most skaters, falling is inevitable. Knowing this, it’s valuable to learn how to fall safely and stand back up safely. We love this quick video tutorial from our friends at Chiller Ice Rinks. The basics? Practice off the ice first. Try to avoid falling forward, instead attempt to fall on your backside. After a fall, get on all fours, lift up on one knee placing one hand firmly on your lifted knee and use the other to push yourself up off the ice. Make sure you’re steady before skating again.

Ice skating is a fun, aerobic activity for the whole family! Understanding how to stay safe on the ice can limit your chances of injury and help prevent pain and soreness. If an injury does happen, know when to seek the advice and treatment of a qualified physician. You can request an appointment online or by phone with any Orthopedic ONE physician without a referral (unless mandated by your insurance provider).