5 Most Common Figure Skating Injuries
What are the common figure skating injuries?
- Lace Bite
- Ankle Sprains
- Jumper's Knee
- Hip Injury
- Wrist Injury
1. Lace Bite
Lace bite occurs frequently in figure skaters as they tend to experience sharp pains down the front of their lower leg to the toes. This condition happens when the muscle tendons that cross the ankle joint underneath the figure skates become inflamed and irritated. It is the result of pressure from the tongue of the skate onto the ankle or foot. Lace bite usually occurs if the skater ties the skates too tight. It can also occur if the skater is wearing skates that are too old and not supportive or new skates that aren't broken into yet.
2. Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains account for many injuries seen in skaters. The constant jumping and turning makes the ankles susceptible to injury. However, the craziest part is that ankles are rarely rolled inside the skate or on the ice. Figure skates have the necessary inside support for skaters to feel comfortable on the ice making those extravagant aerial jumps. The support in these skates have proven to weaken the muscles on the outside of ankles known as the peroneus muscles. Therefore, skaters often twist their ankle during off-ice training due to the instability of these peroneus foot muscles.
3. Jumper's Knee
Figure skaters are constantly using their knees to generate power and momentum to prepare for impact from large jumps. Patellar tendinitis, also known as Jumper's Knee, is a common injury to athletes that constantly jump and land on hard surfaces such as an ice rink. Jumper's knee is the most common overuse injury in figure skating. The constant landing and pounding on the ice can irritate the kneecap and weaken tendons in the knee. It is important skaters take injury prevention and strengthening exercises seriously due to the high risk of knee injuries. Always jump and land with caution.
4. Hip Injury
Hip flexor tendon pain is frequently experienced with figure skaters due to overuse and intense repetitive training. Figure skaters typically have skeletal and muscular imbalances, which can be found in the hip and pelvis areas of the body. The tendon pain stems here due to differences in strength and flexibility in the lower limbs and muscles of the body. Figure skaters are constantly jumping, rotating, and landing in their sport. This causes strain on muscles in the body and may result in hip tendons becoming irritated. It is typically treated with rest, icing, and specific strength exercises.
5. Wrist Injury
Every figure skater has taken a tumble on the ice. Even Olympic skaters have fallen on the ice countless times in their successful careers. It is the natural instinct of skaters to brace for impact while falling and outstretch their hands on the ground. Therefore, falling on an outstretched hand is the main type of upper extremity injury for these athletes. These injuries are typical when a skater accidentally falls on the ice. These skaters tend to sprain or fracture the radius and scaphoid bones in their hands during these instances.