Anyone who has spent a substantial amount of time skating will tell you that at some point you are going to fall, and it is going to hurt. Even the pros hit the ice sometimes, and if the impact is forceful enough, suffer injury. The following is meant to help you identify skate injuries, their treatments, and how you can avoid them from happening in the first place.
The most common way in which an ice skater is injured is by falling on the ice. This is inevitable when you think about the mechanics of skating. Thin blades carrying your full weight over slippery ice does not necessarily make for the safest environment.
Collisions are also common, especially with inexperienced skaters. These can be with other skaters or with stationary objects like the side boards of an indoor skating rink. This type of impact can cause serious injury depending on the speed of the skater before the collision.
Since humans have a natural instinct to brace when falling, bruising and swelling of the knees and wrists are one of the most common injuries seen, especially after a fall. Even if you think that the injury is minor, you should still see a doctor to make sure that the knee was not injured or the wrist did not suffer a fracture. This is common as during the brace the full weight of a skater’s body is forced onto the small joint.
How Are Skater Injuries Diagnosed?
Because of the nature of the sport, doctors will usually first perform a physical exam to check the extent of any injury, and then order imaging tests to ensure that the bones, ligaments and tendons in the affected area were not damaged. This is most often accomplished with an ultrasound, as this is a non-invasive and safe method for medical imaging.
The ultrasound is an easy procedure where an ultrasound technician gently moves a lubricated wand over the injury. Using sound waves, an image of the anatomy is formed and then transferred to a screen attached to the wand. The ultrasound technician has been specially trained at school to read the subsequent image and identify abnormalities in the anatomy. They then share the results with your physician who will recommend treatment.
Head trauma is also prevalent in skating accidents if skater impacts with a standing object. In this case the physician will be concerned with concussion and order the same type of imaging exam to rule it out. A concussion can be serious if not treated immediately, so be sure that if you do bang your head in a skating accident that you consult with a doctor immediately.
While skating is a fun and healthy sport to partake in, it does come with a certain level of risk for injury. Always practice safe skating measures and stay within your expertise to avoid being benched from the ice because of an injury.