Ice Skating Injuries and how to Prevent Skating on Thin Ice

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The number of people ice skating in England has been gradually increasing over recent years. In 2020, approximately 62,500 people participated in ice skating in England.1 The rise in ice skating’s popularity could be due to more ice rinks popping up during the festive season and tempting people to try and glide across the ice in a charming venue.

Ice skating is such a lot of fun for people of all ages. It can be enjoyed with a partner, with a group of friends, or alone. However, injuries can happen. We offer some top tips to prevent ice skating injuries, from skating in the right direction to getting the right ice-skating gear, so you can enjoy your time on the ice.


What are the most common ice skating injuries?

Due to the nature of ice skating, falling on the ice is the main danger. This brings the risk of acute injuries such as fractures, abrasions, and sprains.

In an article researching ‘Orthopaedic Injury Patterns Related to Ice Skating, Inline Skating, and Roller Skating’, fractures were the most common type of injury for all types of skating and particularly of the upper extremity, with shoulder, arm, and elbow fractures being the most common.2

Wrists and ankles are often sprained while skating and concussion is a greater risk in ice skating than other forms of skating.

People who ice skate regularly are at risk of chronic and overuse injuries such as tendonitis, stress fractures (most commonly the foot or spine), muscle strains of the hip, Jumper’s knee, ankle bursitis, shin splints and medial tibial stress syndrome.


Tips to prevent ice skating accidents

Here we recommend some tips to minimise your risk of injury whilst ice skating:

·       Skate in the same direction as the other skaters. You don’t want to bump into them going the wrong way!

·       Make sure your rental skates are the proper size to prevent blisters and poor blood circulation.

·       Maintain your own skates by adjusting and sharpening the blades as required.

·       Check the ice surface for any chips, gauges, holes, and debris that could cause you to have a fall and avoid them.

·       Get into shape and condition your muscles before participating in ice skating.

·       Warm up beforehand. Cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.

·       Wear warm gloves to protect your hands should you fall and prevent them from getting too cold. 

·       Manage your speed when ice skating.

·       Drink plenty of water. This will ensure you are optimally alert and not dehydrated.

·       Don’t continue to skate if you are in pain or exhausted.

·       Carefully navigate around other ice-skaters to prevent collisions.

·       Consider wearing protective gear such as knee pads and wrist splints.


Your local Ramsay Hospital is here to help should you need it

If you have an accident whilst ice skating that requires medical attention, you can see one of our experienced orthopaedic surgeons or qualified physiotherapists without waiting. You can also arrange a convenient time for a CT scan or diagnostic test to understand any symptoms of an ice skating injury better.





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