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7.2 Arm injuries


This article is from the Recreational Figure Skating FAQ, by Karen Bryden with numerous contributions by others.

7.2 Arm injuries

Arm injuries in general can mostly be prevented by NOT putting your
arms out to catch your falls. Of course, if it's a choice between your
face and your arm and you must put your arm out, be sure and do it
with a bent elbow. If you fall backwards with an outstretched arm you
are likely to injure your wrist. This is one of the most common
injuries for skaters. With some luck, the injury is just a sprain. A
sprained wrist feels sore, particularly when pressing it, and may
swell somewhat. The pain decreases gradually and is gone after a few
days or a couple of weeks.

If you experience severe pain and the wrist swells up or if you notice
bruising you should get an x-ray to rule out a fracture. Although the
two bones in the forearm (radius and ulna) are the most likely to
break, you can also fracture the small bone in the wrist just behind
the thumb bone (navicula). This is usually a hairline fracture and
hard to see with x-rays.If the pain persists after two weeks have the
wrist x-rayed again (by then the fracture will have started to heal
and will actually be easier to see. A navicular fracture should be
properly diagnosed, because it can lead to chronic pain and disability
in the wrist if untreated.

It is not unusual to find skaters with AOSS back on the ice the day
after an arm injury, even involving broken bones. While skating with
your arm in a cast is not recommended, if you have AOSS you're going
to do it anyway. So, suggestions are to get a light cast, made of
fiberglass and available in a wide variety of bright colors. These
casts are not affected by moisture and are more durable (besides
matching nicely with your skating outfit :-). If you are skating after
injuring a joint such as the knee or ankle, neoprene braces not only
provide support for the injured joint, they also provide warmth
allowing the muscles to function optimally.


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