16 Jan Orthotics for Ice Skates?
Stay Safe on the Ice
Winter sports are in full swing as we go into a new year, and all over Northern Virginia, hockey players and figure skaters are lacing up and hitting the ice. If your kids are enjoying these sports, make sure they’re staying safe from injuries.
Learn how custom orthotics can improve the safety and performance of ice skates, and be sure to call Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine for a consultation.
Common Ice Skating Injuries
Hockey is a fast-paced, contact sport that requires speed, agility, and quick turns. It can also lead to injuries, especially among young players who haven’t yet developed the experience to take falls, checks, and trips correctly.
Figure skaters are also at serious risk of injury. In previous decades, figure skaters were expected to perform graceful, gliding maneuvers that kept the risk of injury low. Now, competitive figure skaters must perform flying jumps and other maneuvers that put enormous strain on their muscles and ligaments.
Hip injuries. The bent-over skating stride that hockey players use can lead to groin strains and hip flexor strains if these muscles are overstressed.
Ankle sprains. Skating puts a lot of pressure on the ankles. Even the slightest tip can throw a skater out of alignment and force the shins over the ankles. This can cause sprains and even fractures.
Leg fractures. The sudden twisting and high speed of ice skating mean that any fall on the hard ice is a potential fracture.
ACL ruptures. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the knee to the shin. Skaters tend to twist their knees hard, putting them at risk for these injuries.
Patella misalignment. This is when the kneecap gets knocked out of proper alignment. It happens when the skater’s knee lands on the ice during a jump or a fall. In hockey, it can also happen if a stick hits the player in the knee.
Preventing Skating Injuries
- Practice sport-specific training and conditioning during the off-season.
- Always check with a coach or instructor before attempting an advanced skating move.
- Warm up thoroughly before every practice, game or competition.
- Wear properly-fitted skates with custom orthotics.
How Custom Orthotics Can Help
Figure skaters and hockey players frequently wear skates that are too small or wear them without socks. Ice skates are supposed to fit tightly. Looseness in an ice skate can result in blisters, injuries, and loss of control.
Skaters use these tricks to improve their speed and control on the ice. Research has shown, however, that custom orthotics in skates can do more to improve skating performance than these techniques. They can also help reduce injuries.
Orthotics in skates work differently than orthotics in other types of athletic shoes. In skates, they keep the foot flat to the skate rather than letting it lift in the arch. The orthotic keeps the foot from rolling and keeps it flat to the ice. The result is better speed, control and turning ability.
Custom orthotics provide other benefits to skaters.
- They can help the feet stay warm.
- They provide the stability that can prevent some ligament injuries.
- They prevent loose spots in the soles, which in ice skates can lead to blisters and loss of control.
Hit the Ice in Custom Orthotics
If your child is involved in figure skating or ice hockey, they’re enjoying sports that are great for their physical and mental health. Keep them safe by making sure that they’re using good form, warming up properly and using the right equipment.
Make an appointment to get their skates fitted for custom orthotics that will improve their performance and protect them from injury. Call Shuman Podiatry & Sports MedicineContact and get them ready to hit the ice.