Figure skating is a popular winter sport that requires the individual to perform a choreographed routine involving jumps, spins, and lifts on ice. Unfortunately, as in any other sport, accidents do happen. Injuries in figure skating are fairly common for both novices and professionals, which makes it important for figure skaters at any level to step onto the ice confident in their own safety.\nAccording to the Stop Sports Injury campaign, about half of all figure skating injuries are caused by overtraining and are thus preventable. Moreover, in the event that you are faced with an injury on the ice, knowing how to handle the situation may help prevent further complications.\nInjuries can happen to anyone—even the most experienced of skaters—and they often occur when you least expect it. Before you head out to the ice rink, make sure to read this guide to ensure you are knowledgeable of potential risks along with the key ways to treat and prevent figure skating injuries.\n*Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. No material in this blog post should be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*\nWhat to Know Before Getting on the Ice\n\n\nMost injuries are caused by inexperience and overtraining.\nThe majority of figure skating injuries happen either to the beginner learning how to skate, or to the experienced skater who skates frequently. An inexperienced skater will likely not yet know all the tips and tricks to preventing injury, which is why it is important to learn as much as you can before stepping onto the ice.\nAn injury can also occur due to overworking your body because of excessive training. For advanced figure skaters, this is an issue to take into concern, as you need to allow your body time to rest and become more flexible before attempting longer and more powerful training intervals.\n\n\nSeveral injuries can be prevented by being knowledgeable, prepared, and aware.\nWhen you step on the ice, being knowledgeable of the injuries that may occur, being prepared to treat them, and then remaining aware of your surroundings can help prevent any serious injury from taking place.\nKnowing the proper ways to prevent injury while skating, as well as the methods to treat them if they do occur, can reduce the amount of injuries that happen while figure skating. Accordingly, understanding the following tips can help you stay safer on the ice.\n\n\nHow to Prevent Figure Skating Injuries\nPreventing figure skating injuries doesn’t have to be complicated. With these simple tips, you can learn several ways to feel more protected while skating.\n1. Warm up for 5-10 minutes before stepping onto the ice\nGiving yourself time to warm up for a few minutes off the ice allows your muscles to loosen before you start moving vigorously. Figure skating uses the whole body, so you’ll want to warm up all the muscles in your body by doing some cardio before stretching.\nStretching prevents injury by reducing muscle stiffness and improving endurance levels. When your muscles are flexible and stretched, you are much less likely to injure yourself in terms of joint pain, muscle damage, or strains.\n2. Lace your skates up tightly\nIf you start skating without ensuring your laces are tied up tight, you may increase the risk of falling. Your laces are there for stability and balance, and when they are too loose, this makes your skate more likely to slip off or trip.\nAt the same time, make sure that you do not tie them so tight that the boot remains stiff around your ankle. Too-tight laces can make it harder for you to bend your knees or move your ankles as you skate. You want your skates’ laces to be at the perfect tightness that allows free movement, but also maintains a firm grip at your ankles.\nA good way of determining the perfect tightness is by placing two fingers between the tongue of the boot and your ankle. If your fingers fit snugly, your laces are done up well.\n3. Improve technique\nPoor skating technique can make you more prone to injury. For instance, a technique that includes too many jumps can be stressful on your joints, and when you are not yet experienced, repetitive jumping can increase the chance of an accident.\nMaintaining proper form is also key to ensuring you are skating in a way that isn’t harmful to your body in the long term. Focus on keeping your posture straight and relaxed while leaning forward with your shoulders even with your toes.\n4. Fall the right way\nBelieve it or not, there is a bad way and a good way to fall on the ice. While the goal is to prevent falling at all, you can still minimise the risk of severe injury if you do fall.\nDespite the age-old advice on falling, you should never fall on the ice with your hands out in front of you. This could result in you injuring your arms, wrists, and shoulders on the ice, or even your hands on another skater’s blade.\nIf you find yourself falling on the ice, the best way to do so is by manoeuvring yourself in a way where you land on the side of your behind. Landing on the area with the most padding, as opposed to a bone, helps to reduce the force of impact.\n5. Wear and maintain proper equipment\nInvesting in quality figure skating equipment is crucial for ensuring that your equipment isn’t the reason you injure yourself. Stiff boots, blade sharpness, and the placement of your blades can all contribute to an increased risk of injury.\nFor example, an injury can occur due to overusing your skates, which can result in a dull blade. When blades become dull from overuse, this can lessen the grip your blades have on the ice, thus making you more susceptible to falls. The more you use your blades, the more often you will need to have them sharpened.\nTreating a Skating Injury\nFor over a century, the traditional method of treating common ice skating injuries has used the RICE acronym: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.\nFollowing this method has proven effective for many skaters with injuries caused by overuse including stress fractures, tendonitis, and jumper’s knee. Resting the affected area gives it time to heal, while ice and compression helps to reduce swelling. Elevation then helps lower blood pressure and minimises bleeding.\nKeep in mind that this method should be used as treatment for non-life-threatening injuries, and skaters should always seek medical attention after a traumatic injury and\/or if they have underlying symptoms of a concussion or another life-threatening condition.\nLooking for the perfect skating equipment?\nFigure Skating Boutique is a shop that houses some of Ontario’s finest figure skating clothing, skates, accessories, and more. With competitive prices, our equipment can help you figure skate with confidence and ease.\nIf you are looking for high-quality skating apparel that is durable and efficient for your training needs, purchasing through our Club Wear Programme can save you 25% off the retail price.\nFor more information on the types of equipment we carry and the Club Wear Programme, visit Figure Skating Boutique located in Markham, ON, or call us at 905-597-6000.