Disclaimer: all the information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor for personalized guidance.
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How our back works – quick review
A person’s spine is made up of many bones that work together to support the weight of the body. The spine is a column that connects to the skull, ribs, and pelvis and provides protection for major organs like the heart, stomach, and lungs. The spine consists of 24 vertebrae, which are separated into four sections: cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back), lumbar (lower back), and sacral (pelvic).
Each section has its own function in order to provide balance, stability, and movement. When an individual participates in an activity like roller skating, the back muscles must work to help the body balance. The muscles help support the spine while it moves.
Can Roller Skating Cause Back Pain?
The answer to this question is yes, and there are a number of reasons why. You may not be aware of it, but when you roller skate your body is in a similar position as when you are standing or sitting with poor posture.
This means that all the pressure on your spine is going to be concentrated in one area and this can lead to back pain. The good news is that there are ways that you can prevent this from happening!
The Main Reason for Back Pain While Roller Skating
Between 5 -10% of all injuries involve the lower back and are often due to inadequate muscle development in the waist area. It can also be because of extreme stress on core muscles from prolonged use, or because you’ve recently been going through a lot.
If you are a beginner at roller skating, you may not have the most-perfect form to skate. Many new skaters will have a straight back from what they were taught as exercises such as deadlifts, rather than an arched back as with proper technique.
If you want to improve this form, start by creating a slight bend in the spine and engaging your core muscles. Tense your stomach and keep your knees slightly bent.
You’re not alone if you’re a new skater and are noticing this pain. When new to different sports, our core muscles are often weaker than that of experienced athletes. In such cases, integrate exercises like the plank or crunches into your routine, You should also see improvement as you continue skating.
If you are experiencing ongoing pain, it is important to stop roller skating for a while and speak with a medical professional to rule out any potential causes. It’s also worth discussing treatment options with your doctor and discussing their pros and cons.
If you’re a more professional skater, it could be for the same reasons as those who are beginner skaters. A possible solution is an exercise program to help build your core muscles so that your spine is kept stable when you skate.
How to Reduce the Impact Of Roller Skating On Your Back
Please keep in mind that all the recommendations below are from our experience and if you experience back pain from roller skating we advise you to stop roller skating for a while and consult with your doctor.
There are a few things you can do to reduce the impact of roller skating on your back:
1. Skate more often to adapt your back muscles to roller skating
It’s necessary to skate more to strengthen your lower back. Roller skaters get the opportunity to develop their muscles and body coordination, which is one of the benefits that can come with it.
So, if you skate often enough, there will be a positive outcome for your back muscles in the end.
It can take some time to get used to skating. If you power through it and skate at least 3 times a week for up to an hour, your back muscles should evolve and get stronger.
2. Master the correct posture for roller skating
Poor skating posture is a major cause of back pain when roller skating. Fortunately, this is one issue you can rectify with the correct roller-skating technique. As we’ve seen, good posture entails staying low by bending.
When this posture, your shoulders should be over the hips, your knees above your toes, and your lower back slightly arched.
This position is best for weight transfer, as all your weight will be concentrated on the balls of your feet. This should reduce any strain on your back and waist and allow you to maintain stability during roller skating.
3. Maintain a Regular Exercise Routine (Off skates)
Finding time for a regular off-skate workout can help stop lower back pain before it starts. Exercising prevents muscle strain and keeps your whole body fit, meaning that your lower back will be safer.
For this reason, it’s best to alternate the type of exercises that you do, for example running, jogging, swimming or doing sports like soccer, baseball, tennis, etc.
While you’re doing these exercises, think about doing some warm-up and cool-down exercises beforehand and afterward. This can help with preventing injuries in the lower back region that may occur after roller skating.
There are a few exercises you can do to help with your posture even before you start skating. Bridges, knee-to-chest stretches, cat stretch, and supermans can all help prepare your back for the correct skating posture.
Credit to Adriano Fiore for this video – 3 easy stretches for lower back pain
The Benefits of Roller Skating Outweigh the Risks of Back Pain
There are many benefits to roller skating and the risks of back pain are not as high as you might think. Roller skating is a low-impact exercise, so it won’t place too much pressure on your spine.
In fact, roller skating can be more beneficial for your back than running because it will help improve your balance, coordination, and stability.
Can roller skating cause back pain? the answer is yes but, we should not let the risks of back pain discourage us from getting out there and having fun. There are many benefits to roller skating that outweigh the risks of back pain.
Keep working on good posture to keep your back safe and have fun while roller skating!