CSA Physio Blog

Dealing with figure skating Injuries

Posted on: March 19th, 2018 by Leanne Jacobs

The recipe of a great figure skater

Watching the Olympics these last two weeks has made me fall in love with figure skating again while re-living some of my past figure skating injuries.  What I love about it, is that figure skating is a sport that combines power and grace, artistry and athleticism.  It’s the combination of these two worlds that makes it so exciting to watch, and it’s the mastery of these two worlds that makes a great figure skater.

The athletic side requires core control, awareness of your body in space, flexibility, and most of all – controlling power through a range of movement with the right technique. Reaching your athletic potential takes a lot of hard work and effort from multiple parties.

When figure skating injuries get in your way, physio can help

The most common figure skating injuries affect the foot and ankle, knee, hip and lower back.  The bumps and bruises can be nasty but are relatively straightforward.  It’s those nagging, more long-term injuries that can really get in the way of training, and require a bit more attention.  We have been reminded of that through the story of Kaetlyn Osmond at the 2018 Olympics.

Figure Skating and related injuries

Skating injuries keep you away from ‘your best’.

This is where you need to identify the underlying movement fault, weakness, or stiffness that is leading to the overload and stress/strain on your injured area.  Our bodies can only tolerate so much stress before it starts to react, cause pain, and hinder performance.  It’s important to minimize the stresses before they become a larger issue.

Even though I skated for over 10 years, I never truly understood the movements until studying kinesiology, and physiotherapy.  My greater appreciation of the positions we get into that lead to injury is a benefit when helping get you back on track.  I’ve dealt with a number of injuries myself.  I understand how frustrating it is when you can’t do what you want to do.

Finish physio by having a solid off-ice routine

Off-ice training should involve building core control, balance, agility, power and strength through range. Put in your sweat equity to help prevent figure skating injuries.  Skaters must excel in multiple areas to do their best.   Having a therapist that understands this complexity will put you a step ahead.  The performance is what the public sees, but the off-ice training is what sets you up for success.  It is only those us that love the sport that get to enjoy this part.


“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses- behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”-  Muhammad Ali

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