Inline Skating Injuries: Prevention and Treatment

Hello Hello. Stephen @Whataspoon here and in this blog we shall look at the risk of injury you may face when inline skating.

Inline skating brings thrill and excitement which in turn can make it dangerous. This has led to the large development of protective gear for our sport and others like it. Let's have a look at the most common injuries, how to avoid them, how to deal with them at the time and then how to get back on your skates afterwards.

Common Inline Skating Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Inline skating involves putting wheels under your feet which can lead to them rolling away from you at times. When your feet go one way and your upper body can't keep up, this can lead to you completely toppling over. As an instructor one of the first things I would teach a first timer is where to put the weight of their upper body to avoid such falls as much as possible. Each student is recommended to wear the full set of protective gear which would be a helmet, elbow/knee pads and wrist guards. The best advice is to lean forward with your knees bent and to stay low. If you feel like you are about to fall over then quickly get down to grab your knees which will force you into a low forward leaning position. Falling from here tends to put you forward onto your knee pads protecting your back and head from hitting the ground if you had to fall backwards.

Knee, elbow and wrist pads are extremely effective at protecting the user from cuts, bruises and bone breakage. Alongside helmets these are the most common pads to wear whilst doing any of the rollersports. Knee pads can also offer you the option to drop down and slide on them in emergencies especially if you get ones that have a flat shape. In our pad selection you will find these pads labelled "ramp' or "heavy duty". These pads can be bought in sets or individually. The sets are great for beginners looking to save some money but if you are looking for something specific for each body part then you may need to buy seperately. This can be helpful for those who have tiny wrists and larger legs as a pad set might not suffice.

First Aid for Inline Skating Injuries

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced skater, understanding first aid basics can help mitigate potential risks and ensure a safer skating experience.

One of the most common injuries in inline skating involves abrasions or road rash due to falls. When encountering such injuries, it's crucial to clean the affected area thoroughly. Begin by gently rinsing the wound with clean water to remove any debris or dirt. Use mild soap to cleanse the area around the abrasion, being careful not to scrub too vigorously, as this might exacerbate the injury. After cleaning, pat the area dry with a clean cloth and apply an antiseptic cream or ointment to prevent infection. Cover the wound with a sterile bandage or gauze pad to shield it from further contamination.

Another frequent injury in inline skating is sprains or strains, particularly in the wrists or ankles. If a skater experiences a sprain, it's essential to employ the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Encourage the individual to rest and avoid putting weight on the injured area. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the affected area for about 15-20 minutes every few hours during the initial 24-48 hours to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Utilize a compression bandage to provide support and minimize swelling, but ensure it's not too tight to impede circulation. Lastly, elevate the injured limb above heart level to further reduce swelling.

For more severe injuries like fractures or dislocations, it's crucial to seek immediate medical attention. While waiting for medical help, immobilize the injured area by using splints or slings to prevent further damage. Apply ice packs if swelling is present, but avoid moving the affected limb to prevent exacerbating the injury. Comfort and reassure the individual while waiting for professional medical assistance to arrive.

In any emergency situation, it's important to remain calm and assess the situation carefully. Always prioritize the individual's safety and well-being. Having a basic understanding of first aid for inline skating injuries empowers skaters and bystanders to provide timely and appropriate assistance, ensuring a safer skating experience for everyone involved. Additionally, consider taking a certified first aid course to gain comprehensive knowledge and confidence in handling various injuries effectively.

Returning to Skating After an Injury

Returning to inline skating after an injury requires a cautious and gradual approach to ensure a safe and successful comeback. Whether you've experienced a sprain, fracture, or any other injury, it's crucial to prioritize your health and follow proper steps to prevent re-injury or complications. Start by gradually reintroducing skating into your routine. Begin with gentle movements and low-impact activities to gauge your body's response and tolerance. Focus on exercises that improve balance, coordination, and range of motion. This might involve practicing basic skating manoeuvres, such as gliding, turning, and stopping, in a controlled and safe environment.

Pay close attention to your body's signals while skating. Listen to any discomfort or pain and avoid pushing yourself too hard or too fast. It's normal to feel some mild discomfort as you reintegrate skating into your routine, but sharp or intense pain could indicate that you're not ready to resume full activity yet.

Wearing proper protective gear, including helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads, is crucial when returning to inline skating after an injury. These safety measures can significantly reduce the risk of further injury and provide added confidence as you regain your skating abilities. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your skating sessions over time as your strength and confidence improve. Focus on proper technique, warm-up adequately before skating, and incorporate cooldown exercises to minimize the risk of injury and aid in recovery. Returning to inline skating after an injury requires a combination of patience, diligence, and attentive self-care. By taking a gradual and cautious approach, prioritizing your health, and listening to your body, you can safely resume enjoying the thrill of inline skating while minimizing the risk of further injury.