Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 1, 2015
The temperatures continue to drop here in Minnesota, and soon enough our beloved lakes are going to be coated with a thick sheet of ice. The pontoons have been docked until next year, but winter means it’s time for pond hockey and ice skating. Lacing up your skates and hitting the ice is very popular in Minnesota, but it can be difficult to do if you’re dealing with back pain. Additionally, if you’re not careful, you could injure your back when you’re out on the ice. Today, we share some tips for preventing and managing back pain while ice skating.
Back Pain on the Ice
Ice skaters of all skill levels are prone to back injuries while out on the ice. Some of the more common injuries that occur are:
- Back Strains – Your back is asked to shoulder extra stress when you’re skating, so go easy during your first few times back on the ice this season. Don’t try and play a pick-up hockey game right away. Gradually build up your ice time, and take some time off if you’re really sore the next day.
- Stress Fracture – Stress fractures in your spine can occur a couple different ways when you’re on the ice. Typically they occur from overuse or hyperextension while you’re twisting and turning on the ice. These injuries are more common in average skaters who spend a lot of time on the ice, or figure skaters who torque their bodies in a variety of different ways while skating.
- Disc Fractures – Anybody who has fallen while on skates will tell you that the ice is not a soft surface. If your legs slip out in front of you, you’re likely going to land on your butt or back. Either way, your spinal discs are going to take the brunt of the force. We can’t sit here and say, “try not to fall,” because nobody tries to slip, but do your best to be careful when you’re on the ice.
Preventing Ice Skating Injuries
Here are some tips to keep your back injury-free this skating season:
- Build up your ice time
- Strengthen your core before you start skating
- If you’re not very good on skates, try to find a less-trafficked area to skate
- Practice proper skating position – Don’t lean too far forward!
- Warm up before skating, and stretch afterwards
We’re all looking forward to ice skating season, but it won’t be fun if you end up dealing with back pain. Follow these steps to stay injury-free, and be sure to consult with a back specialist if your back starts hurting this winter!