The knees during roller skating may hurt because of repetitive knee-flex motion, prior ankle or hip problems, lack of roller skating practice, lack of warm-up, poorly fitting roller skates, taking sharp turns, and having a poorly aligned patella. Learning the basics of roller skating, and having a good posture may prevent chronic knee pain.
First, Is Roller Skating Bad For Your Knees?
No. But this is subjective. You must take into account that there is no definitive answer to this question since everyone’s knees are different and roller skating involves different movements and intensity levels.
However, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, roller skating can be a healthy activity if done correctly. They recommend taking breaks often, stretching before and after skating, and using knee pads to help protect your knees. If you experience any pain while skating, stop immediately and consult a doctor.
“The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) believes that recreational in-line skating and skateboarding can be effective ways for youths, adolescents and adults to stay fit and active. However, AAOS strongly urges skaters to use proper precautions and safety equipment to prevent and minimize injuries.”
Roller skating can be a fun way to get exercise, but it’s important to take precautions to protect your knees.
In fact, some Medical Professionals tend to believe that “Skateboarding-related injuries are more severe and have more serious consequences than roller skating or in-line skating injuries”. This was extracted from the journal: More Dangerous Than Roller Skating or In-line Skating.
List of Factors Why Knees Hurt During Roller Skating
Here is a quick list of the most common factors that can cause you knees problems.
Repetitive Knee-Flexion Motion
One of the major causes of knee pain is repetitive knee-flexion motion. It can result in several types of severe injuries, including meniscus and torn ligaments. Knee ligament tears due to the constant pulling of muscles during roller skating. This leads to sharp and extreme pain in the knees if not taken care of. In addition to torn ligaments, damage to cartilage can cause knee pain as well. Hence, you need to avoid pulling your muscles excessively in order to protect your ligaments and cartilage from damage.
Ankle or Hip Problems
Sometimes, knees are not directly responsible for knee pain after skating. Any issues in the hip and ankle joints can cause your knee joints to become loose and painful. This is why you have to be careful about the placement of your ankles and hips. An issue in the hips or ankles can hinder the back and forth movement of the knees too, making it difficult to maintain a stable knee joint. Hence, if you find it difficult to maintain this motion while skating, you should get it checked.
Poorly Aligned Patella
A disturbance in the patella alignment can also be a reason for intense pain in your knees. The patella has to move in a particular way to keep the knees functioning properly. Any disruption in this alignment can lead to severe knee injuries. Thus, you should have your patella checked to see if it is misaligned when your knees hurt.
Lack of Practice
If you are new to skating and start trying complex movements, then you are more likely to hurt your knees. Initially, the muscles are not flexible enough, and doing extra stretches can lead to a torn ligament. It is better to start slow and gradually build your stamina. Increasing the flexibility of knee muscles over time can be a great way of ensuring you avoid bad knees. If you wish to practice rollerblading, then you will have to develop some physical stamina and core muscles and maybe do some strength training.
Not Warming Up
Another common reason for your knees hurting because of roller skating is not warming up. Roller skating is a physically taxing sport, so all the muscles – especially hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles – need a little push before performing complex movements. Just like you make sure to do some stretches before working out, you need to warm up before roller skating. Make sure you especially focus on quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles. Making these muscle groups active before starting roller skating takes the major pressure away from the knees to these muscles.
Poorly Fitting Shoes
It is common knowledge that one should always buy perfectly fitting shoes. However, it is even more important to buy good-fitting shoes for roller skating. Trying to balance the skates and navigating different roads is hard in itself. But, it gets even more difficult when you have poorly fitting shoes. You have to balance both your feet on the skates and the skates on the road in case of a poor fit. This causes your knees to take on extra load, so they start hurting. So, make sure you have the perfect shoe size when you go roller skating.
Skating in Crowded Places
People tend to overlook a crucial cause of knee injuries while they go roller skating. When you skate in crowded areas, you will have to take sharp turns to avoid collisions with others. This can cause the knees to buckle, which can be very painful. You might also fall while trying to avoid bumping into people. This, too, causes the knees to hurt, so it is advised to avoid roller skating in crowded places.
Hurting knees can lead you to wonder: is roller skating good for your knees? Well, roller skating as a sport is not painful for your knees in itself. But several factors can lead to knee injuries if you are not careful enough. This is why we have summarized some key points that you need to bear in mind to avoid hurting your knees while roller skating.
Learn the Basics of Roller Skating
Not knowing the basics of roller skating can be one of the key factors that cause your knees to hurt. The importance of knowing the right way of roller skating is important to avoid knee injuries or serious risks. You should go through YouTube tutorials and learn the basic techniques of roller skating. You should also read blogs of professional roller skaters to be better equipped for skating. If you are a beginner, you should also ask expert skaters in your social circle to teach them the basics. You must also know how to break your fall to prevent injuries if the fall is inevitable. This helps you keep the damage to a minimum.
Straight Knees and Bending Forward
Maintaining the correct posture is also vital when it comes to roller skating. People tend to bend their knees to try to balance their weight on the skates. Do your knees track over? This is malpractice that all roller skaters need to put a stop to. The best posture is maintained when you bend forward while keeping the knees in a straight posture.
Wear Safety Gear
Wearing knee pads, elbow pads, a helmet, and wrist guards is an essential practice to ensure a safe roller skating experience. When you fall during roller skating, the knees are quite often the first to come in contact with your body. This can cause serious knee injuries, so it is better to have protective gear in place to stay safe. Knee pads are crucial for protecting your knees when falling.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Having an excessive body weight can also cause your knees to hurt. When your knees have to carry extra weight, they have to overdo themselves to prevent falls. This is why experts suggest maintaining the ideal weight for your health if you are into roller skating.
To wrap up, roller skating is undoubtedly fun, but it can cause knee injuries if you are not careful. So, you should learn all the basics of roller skating and avoid any malpractices that we have mentioned above.