< Back to Blog

Tips for preventing ice and roller skating injuries

Do you or your family members have plans to enjoy ice skating or roller skating throughout the current winter or upcoming spring seasons? Take time to review these tips that will help you prevent injuries at the skating rink.

Wear the proper safety gear

In addition to wearing a helmet, strap on wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads — all of which can protect your joints and bones against injury if you happen to fall down, especially if you’re a beginning skater. The helmet should sit on top of your head in a level position, and shouldn’t have the ability to rock from side to side, forward, or backward. You may also want to considering wearing a mouth guard to prevent breaking your teeth in the event of an accident.

Lace up your skates tightly

Rollerblades and skates are designed to provide extra stability for your ankles to help prevent injuries, such as ankle sprains or ankle fractures. To prevent yourself from spraining or twisting your ankle in the event you fall down, lace up your boots tighter than you normally would for regular shoes. To test whether your skates are laced up tightly enough, make sure you can fit no more than two fingers between the tongue of your skate and your ankle.

Learn how to stop and slow down safely

The most ideal way to stop or slow down on skates is to push your foot down firmly and gently push your blades lengthwise out to the side. If you haven’t quite mastered how to safely stop and slow down, avoid skating at fast, high speeds until you get used to the sport. If you’re skating on ice, do not rely on the toe picks at the front of your blades to slow you down. Toe picks are mainly used for jumps during figure skating, and may cause you to fall down directly on your face if you attempt to use them to stop or slow yourself down.

Choose figure skates over hockey skates on the ice

If you rarely go ice skating, or are skating for the first time, wear figure skates instead of hockey skates. Figure skates provide more stability for beginning skaters since the skates help distribute your weight more evenly while you skate. On the other hand, hockey skates have blades that are shorter and more steeply curved than their counterparts so hockey players have the ability to quickly stop and turn.

If you do happen to fall down and injure yourself, use the RICE method. Rest the area of your body that is injured, ice the affected area for 20 minutes at a time to reduce inflammation, use a compression sleeve to reduce swelling, and elevate the affected limb to an area above your heart while using ice to help reduce swelling.

Have you recently suffered a foot or ankle injury as a result of ice or roller skating? Call Kansas City Foot Specialists to schedule an evaluation at (913) 338-4440, or request an appointment online so we can provide you with the proper diagnosis and get you back on your feet.