Inline skating has been for the past few years very popular sport activity, and it doesn’t really matter whether we talk about ice skating or rollerblading. There are many aspects which affect both ice skaters as well inline skaters. If we look at the single disciplines (figure skating, ice hockey, speed skating) we see a clear distinctions in the skate models, different braking etc.
Therefore we can also find clear distinctions between the health problems, which are complicating the life of the athletes. Of course we can expect higher percentage of health risks by professional athletes where the pressure on the musculoskeletal system is enormous due to the heavy training and competitions. But even recreational skaters often feel pain, which can even restrict them from further skating.
In following sentences we will try to explain you, why these problems occur, how can we prevent them, and how can we treat them.
SAFETY ON THE FIRST PLACE
From our experience we can say that injuries which happen on the inline skates are of those more complicated ones. Unfortunately many people come to us for rehabilitation after operation of broken elbow, wrist or patella, which occurred to them while they were inline skating. Therefore a helmet, knee and elbows pads are a must during any ride.
BODY POSTURE AND SKATING TECHNIQUE
Skating is a specific form of movement. Posture and movement of the body on the skates is very different from the normal posture. Let’s imagine a speed skater in a bending position, with head turned upwards in order to see the track ahead of him, which creates problems in the area of the cervical spine of most skaters. Important factor in this area is the sacroiliac muscle (musculus iliopsoas), which is in constant action. Its shortening and increased tension along with insufficient function of the deep stabilizing system of the spine is one of the very frequent causes of back pain. Head position leads to overload in the upper part of the trapezius and deep neck muscles, which are a common source of pain, this time time around the neck.
So if we are not aiming for high performance results, and we keep the ideal aerodynamic position, which should help us to keep a small wind resistance, we should try to ride in a straight position, and regularly stretch the exercised muscles.
Another problem in this sport is the skate itself. It is very firm in comparison to a classic shoe. It does not enable you to move in the ankle joint, and what is most important - during skating is absent the normal walking motion of the foot. We should have an increased awareness of this problematics when it comes to children, because as many specialist warn, the feet of the children are developing till the age of 6 years. Therefore if for example 4 years old children spend 2 hours or more daily skating, we should pay attention to their feet.
The pain can also occur after wearing new skates. Always be careful that the back side of the skate wouldn’t irritate your achilles tendon. The skate should not be very narrow and unpleasant from the first try. However tightening the skate should be sufficient enough otherwise the ankle joint and afterwards also knee joint and hip joints are affected by the valgus deformity (X position) from which flow other problems.
GROIN PAIN DURING SKATING
Given to the specific movement, the adductor muscles of the hip is one of the most exercised muscle group. If we overload these muscles, you will sense pain on the pubis bone, the pain can also occur in belly or inner side of the knees.
PAIN ON THE OUTER AND INNER SIDE OF THE THIGH
This pain is usually joined with shooting pain and decreased sensitivity on the outer and inner side of the thigh. It forms when we overload our muscle while skating. That leads to pressured nerves in the groin area.
Before inline skating we should do a thorough stretching of the muscles. Slower jogging joined with dynamic stretching will ensure sufficient warming of the tissue and secure the preparation of the organism on the following physical activity.
During the skating we should not forget on the technique, ideally we should not slouch and keep all the joints in the axis of the movement (avoiding the deflection of the knees and ankles). In case we are tired and can’t keep this setting, it is better to avoid the ride. These signals can indicate that our organism is tired and there is a risk of overload. After the ride we should calm down and stretch again the muscle groups we mentioned above, and you can also do several compensational exercises for the parts that are problematic.
OPTIONS OF SOLVING THE PROBLEMS
Shockwave therapy is ideal option in treating the traumatic damages. You can read more informations about the effects here: Description and effects of the shock wave therapy.
It is possible to treat specific injuries within complexive rehabilitation with use of physiotherapeutic methods and kinesio taping and shockwave therapy.
Author: FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic