Is roller skating dangerous?
Roller skating is a fun and exciting hobby loved by thousands of people worldwide. The sport has tons of benefits, including health, physical, and social benefits.
But here’s the kicker:
Roller skating can be dangerous, depending on your skating technique, roller skating gear, and where you go skating. According to a Brainline study, 3.0 roller-skaters were injured for every one injured in-line skater. Another study reveals that wrist injuries account for 23%, shoulder injuries a 20%, elbow injuries for 15%, and ankle injuries for 12%.
Roller skating injuries are primarily caused by collisions with other roller skaters, loss of balance and control, and unfriendly skating surfaces.
I cover details in the rest of this guide, and you don’t want to miss out. So, I urge you to keep reading!
Common Roller Skating Injuries
No doubt, roller skating can be dangerous, especially when you don’t know how to skate or don’t wear protective gear.
Below are the common roller skating injuries, what causes them, how to treat them, and how to prevent them. Let’s jump in!
1. Roller Skating Injury Tailbone
Can you break your tailbone from roller skating? If you’re wondering whether it’s possible or not, the answer is a quick yes.
When roller skating, you can break your tailbone, especially when you fall on a hard surface like concrete. Roller skating tailbone injuries are primarily caused by using the wrong skating technique.
What’s the right skating technique, you ask? The recommended skating techniques involve bending the knees., knees above the toes, and shoulders over the hips.
This technique transfers body weight from your back to your toe balls and prevents losing control and falling on your back.
When roller skating, you risk injuring your tailbone when you don’t use the right posture. This is why you always want to bend properly when roller skating.
Roller skating tailbone injuries can also be caused by falling. If you collide with other skaters and land on your butt, you’ll likely injure your tailbone.
Depending on the severity, roller skating tailbone injuries can last from a week to several months. If the pain persists, you’ll need to consider x-raying that area.
This is where a physician comes in handy. If you don’t have a personal physician, it’ll be best if you visit your nearest health facility for help.
2. Roller Skating Knee Injuries
Roller skating knee injury affects the knees when you fall on your knees or collide with other skaters. It can be as minor as a knee bruise or as complex as a broken knee bone or torn ACL.
While you can roller skate with a torn ACL, it’s daunting to try it with a broken knee. Roller skating knee injuries require medical attention, depending on the severity.
Severe knee injuries may require surgery, so you should consult a physician as soon as possible. You can also take pain killers to take care of the pain.
There are several ways to avoid roller skating knee injuries. You should always wear knee pads as a rule of thumb.
Next, you want to avoid skating fast if you can’t control the speed. This also helps avoid other skaters and possible collisions, especially when using a skate park.
Lastly, it’s crucial to learn how to fall safely when roller skating. Landing on all your knees isn’t a good idea and can hurt bad. So, what’s the right way to fall when roller skating?
Use the knee of the leading foot to the first land on the ground, followed by the second knee. Next, your elbows should land on the ground, and lastly, your palms.
3. Roller Skating Wrist Injuries
Roller skating wrist injuries are more prevalent than other injuries. The common wrist injuries are fractures and sprain, depending on the severity.
Wrist injuries are primarily caused by falls. Many skaters try to avoid the fall by landing on the surface using their hands. Sadly, the wrist takes in all the pressure and can lead to a wrist sprain or fracture.
It’s advisable to wear a wrist guard every time you go out to skate. You should also acquire roller skating gloves to help protect your palms and wrists when you fall.
More importantly, you should learn the safe ways to fall without putting too much pressure on your wrist and palms. This way, you’ll reduce the chances of picking roller skating wrist injuries.
Bruises can occur on any part of your body. This can be the elbows, knees, shins, shoulders, head, or butt. They’re primarily caused by roller skating falls, especially when the surface is hard.
The sure way to prevent roller skating bruises is to wear protective gear like helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, hip pads, or shin pads.
5. Roller skating Blisters
Roller skating blisters affect the feet and are primarily caused by over skating, ill-fitting roller skates, or not wearing socks.
These increase the rate and impact of friction, making your feet rub against the roller skate walls. Skating longer than your feet can take results in roller skating blisters.
6. Ankle injury
Anyone can suffer an ankle injury, regardless of age. But the problem is more common among 15–24-year-old roller skate men.
Ankle fracture, sprain, and inflammation are the primary types of ankle injuries. A fracture occurs when you break one or more of the ankle bones.
On the other hand, a sprain occurs when you overstretch your ankle ligaments. Lastly, ankle inflammation occurs when ankle tendons suffer overuse.
Most roller skating ankle injuries are due to overuse. Falling only causes a few. The first way to avoid these injuries is by not overstretching your skating limits.
Skating unnecessarily longer puts pressure on the ankle ligaments and tendons, making them hurt. Also, always wear properly fitting roller skates with ankle support. Lastly, skate at moderate speed to avoid falling or colliding with other skaters.
Ankle sprain injuries are usually less severe, so the pain should ease after some time. But if it persists, it’s best to see a doctor.
Ankle fractures, on the other hand, require immediate medical attention. Depending on the severity, you may have to go through surgery.
7. Sore Feet
Sore foot injuries occur from over skating, which stretches the feet muscles. It can also be caused by wearing ill-fitting roller skating shoes.
The pain should go away after taking some time to rest. You’ll also want to wear the right roller skates for you. They should be a snug fit—neither too tight nor too loose.
8. Elbow and Shoulder Injuries
Elbow and shoulder injuries occur from fall injuries. The injuries are associated with sharp pain from the elbow or shoulder joints.
The injuries can be minor as a sprain, bruise, or major as a fracture. It’s recommended to wear elbow pads when skating to prevent such injuries.
Also, skating fast isn’t a good idea yet when you can’t control the speed or stop fast during emergencies. So, it’s best to skate at moderate speed to avoid falling and hurting your elbows or shoulders.
9. Roller Skating Head Injuries
Roller skating head injuries occur when you fall and bash your head on the ground. It can be severe or not, depending on the impact.
Severe head injuries are the last thing you want because they sometimes trigger internal bleeding. It’s advisable to seek medical attention ASAP after bashing your head on the ground while skating.
The preventive way would be to wear a high-quality helmet to absorb the shock when you fall. Some skaters don’t use helmets, which is a bad idea. You don’t want to be one of them!
Death is highly unlikely, but it can occur sometimes. There are a few ways this can happen. You can fall on your head and suffer internal damage or be hit by a car while skating on the roads.
This is why you always want to wear a helmet whenever skating. More importantly, you want to choose the roller skating venue wisely. It should be safe and away from cars.
Other Ways to Keep Safe when Roller Skating
Roller skating is fun. But when you have a roller skating injury to nurse, it ceases to be exciting. Other than the above tips, below are more ways to keep safe when roller skating.
- Avoid Wet Surfaces or Skating in the Rain
- Keep Distractions Like Headphones Away
- Go Roller Skating with more Experienced Skaters
- Avoid the Urge to Roller Skate
- Only Skate when Time is Appropriate
- Stay on Alert when Roller Skating in Busy Environments
- Shun Reckless Habits like Truck Surfing
- Avoid Complex Roller Skating Tricks when You aren’t Ready
- Choose Roller Skating Venues Wisely
- Always Warm-up, Warm down, and Stretch Before and After Roller Skating
Is Roller Skating Dangerous? Wrapping Up
Is roller skating dangerous? No doubt, roller skating can be dangerous if you fall, collide with other skaters, or wear ill-fitting roller skates. The rule of thumb is to wear protective gear like helmets and pads and skate responsibly.
That’s it for today. I hope you found this guide helpful. Stay safe and happy roller skating!