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Injury Prevention 101

Preventative Maintenance is the Best Cure for Skating Injuries


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If you don't break it, you will not need to fix it. This is a simple solution, but one that is well worth investigating, if you are a new, returning or current skater who is concerned about getting skating injuries. Many of the skating injuries that many people seem to worry about can easily be prevented by using protective gear while skating. Other injuries and medical problems associated with skating can be prevented by knowing the correct way to skate, awareness of road rules, use of safe equipment and knowing when and where to skate.

Every skater is a human vehicle - and their skating bodies need regular inspections (checkups) and must do preventive maintenance to avoid the need for expensive repairs and service at the doctors office, in an emergency clinic or even at a hospital. The road to good inline skating should definitely not be a painful one, so we must plan in advance and set aside a little extra time to keep ourselves in good skating order. Even professional skaters with a lot of miles on their skates take the time to warm up slowly before increasing speed, adding tricks and stunts or performing difficult technical maneuvers for their inline sports discipline. A good roller sports conditioning program must become an important part of your injury prevention plan before you go to the rink, road, arena, park or track to skate.

Make Sure You Are Fit to Skate

Whether you are a beginner, advanced or a skating professional, inline skating activities require fitness preparation including strength, endurance and flexibility as well as a clean bill of health from your primary healthcare provider.

Develop Your Balance Skills

The inline roller sports need good balance skills, and any activity that requires movement on your feet is good for building balance and proprioception. Balance boards, other balance training products and off-season balance training will help you develop and maintain balance skills.

Use Jogging or Running to Warmup

A short run or even a little stationary jogging prior to skating is a good first step in getting your body road-ready just before you skate. Even if the best that you can do now is grab your skates and jog from your car to the beginning of a trail or the door of your favorite rink, that's a good beginning for a productive skating session.

Have a Good Stretch

This next option for a warm-up happens on the sidelines and can be done with or without skates. A good stretching routine will lengthen the muscles to prevent injuries and involves movements that include every body part from the head on down to the toes.

Warm Up On Skates

No matter what skating discipline you are involved in, you should always warm up on skates before your main skating activity. You can begin by skating back and forth or circling the rink or track at a slow pace for a few minutes. Then begin to increase speed, add scissors or swizzles, do forward crossovers, test your stopping and maneuvering skills and then skate backward - if you can. New skaters should do any of these things that is possible with current skills. Your basic skills and drills are a good starter warmup.

Serious runners plan a warm-up and cool-down into their activities to make sure that muscles are supplied with enough oxygen - and skaters need this, too. Once you've got your skating legs moving and the body tuned up, you can start your start your skating activities. Remember that taking care of your body and maintaining your skate gear may improve your chances of staying injury-free this season.

Learn About Sports Injuries

Unfortunately, skating injuries are always lurking on the horizon. Some may be overuse injuries and others may be acute or traumatic. Learn about the things you can do to prevent, identify or get professional treatment for some common inline skating injuries:

If you have somehow already managed to get hurt in an inline skating related activity or have a roller sports related medical issue, find out how to identify and treat some simple skating injuries. Once you are all patched up, come back to this article to make sure you cure as many future injuries as possible through prevention.

This document was reviewed by our Medical Review Board in 2012 and is considered medically accurate.

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