Is Skateboarding Bad For Your Knees – Detailed Explanation
Is skateboarding bad for your knees? You might have this question in mind while considering getting into the sport. Skateboarding causes no harm to your knees or other body parts per se. It’s quite the opposite since it helps strengthen your muscles, improve coordination between them and the whole body’s flexibility.
However, your knees may suffer from mild to severe injuries by improper landing or techniques, unwanted falls, and collisions depending on your skating style and the preferred obstacles.
See also: Top 11 Best Skateboard Knee Pads in 2021
How Does Skateboarding Affect Your Body?
Positive Health Effects
Skateboarding is a rigorous workout that can improve several muscle groups in your body. The sport helps you strengthen the lower back, abdominal muscles, joints, abs, extremities, and more simultaneously.
Also, skateboarders have to work on their balance and learn how to fall properly to skate safely. These abilities aid them in better dealing with unexpected falls than normal people.
Since skateboarding is quite physically demanding, there are some potential risks that skateboarders should be aware of. The most common issue that faces most beginners skateboarders is pelvis misalignment resulting from continuous pushing.
Depending on your skating styles, the levels of negative impacts might be different. Street skating, in general, is more strenuous and intense. Those repeated slams can take a toll on your body; in fact, chronic pain is not uncommon among street skateboarders.
Transition skateboarding or tranny, on the other hand, is riskier and harsher for your joints. You risk throwing your knees downstairs, rails and gaps. It is why most old skateboarders prefer tranny to street skating.
Is Skating Bad For Your Knees?
Skateboarding is unharmful for your knees. In contrast, your knees are highly engaged when you ride the board. You constantly flex your knees while crouching down to maintain a lower center of gravity, thus enhancing the mobility of the joints.
However, skateboarding does carry some potential risks for your knees. So, how bad is skateboarding for your knees?
You’re likely to suffer from early arthritis and knee degradation. We see some skateboarders who prefer intense movements and tricky obstacles like big stairs are diagnosed with arthritis at a young age.
Another side effect of the sport is tendonitis and sprains in the knees due to skaters abusing their feet while skateboarding.
In addition, when you fall, your knees are more likely to suffer. If you’ve braced yourself with knee and wrist pads, there are less severe consequences like just cuts or scrapes. Without safety gear or with a more serious fall from greater heights, your knees will hurt severely.
It does not deny that skateboarding is not bad for your knees, but the possibility of facing severe major knee injuries does exist.
P-Rod’s case perhaps is a vivid example of the risks involved to the knees alone in skateboarding. He tore his ACL, MCL, and meniscus all at once, which is an incredibly terrible accident that caused early retirements for several pro skaters.
Twisting and turning movements in skateboarding can tear meniscus, which results in swelling and pain in your knees along with painful catching.
Since meniscus and MCL are connected, it isn’t rare to hurt them at once. Torn MCL causes pain and swelling, too. You’ll also notice bruises inside the knees, feel the pain when straightening them, and feel unstable at times.
Finally, when you stop or twist your knee all of a sudden, you’ll risk tearing the ACL. Common symptoms of torn ACL are swelling, pain, and feeling of instability.
What To Do If You Experience Knee Pain?
If you feel pain in your knees while riding the board, here are a few things you should do:
Stop skating immediately! Persisting riding only increases the pain and might lead to irreparable damage to your knees.
Get off the road and seek help.
If you’re unable to walk, visit the ER as soon as possible.
Apply ice to alleviate the pain. Unless you have an open wound, you can use ice for days after the accident to help you recover faster.
If you still experience knee pain after several days, it’s time for a checkup.
How To Prevent Injury To Your Knees While Skateboarding?
The simplest thing you can do to protect your knees is to put on protective gear such as a helmet, wrist and elbow pads, and knee pads. Knowing how to fall is also an important skill in skateboarding which can make them fall more tolerable.
Keep in mind to squat down upon the fall, as doing so will reduce the distance from your body to the ground. Also, try to land on fleshy parts and tuck in your elbows. When you feel like a trick or move is going wrong, you can run off the board to avoid losing control and falling.
Warming up and stretching are also key in knee injury prevention. You'd better get your cold muscles slightly engaged in preparing the body for the tricks or moves it will perform.
In addition, doing some skateboard workouts can further set yourself up for tricks and stunts and lower the chance of your knees getting hurt. Choose a few training exercises you’re into, especially for the back area and abs, and make it a habit to workout 2 to 3 times per week, and your body will thank you later.
How Do I Strengthen My Knees For Skateboarding?
When your muscles are poorly prepared for the movements that they’re about to do, you’re at higher risk of knee injuries and accidents. Here are some exercises you should perform before skating:
Rotate your toes clockwise and anti-clockwise. You can either lift the foot off the ground or keep the toe’s tip connected to the ground.
Stand with one foot while keeping the toe’s tip of the other touching the ground. Start placing the foot down until you feel the ball of the foot reaches the floor. Repeat a few times before switching your feet.
Simply skating for around 5 minutes with big pushes can warm your body up for what comes next. It’s great if your house is near your skating spot, so you finish this part of the warm-up once you get there. Other options are rope jumping, jogging, or any cardio exercise that you like.
Stretching enhances your muscle performance and your strength but is usually overlooked by a lot of skateboarders. Its importance to a safer and better skating session cannot be overrated.
Make sure to do enough stretching for the neck, shoulders, hip, calf muscles, pelvis, and thighs before shredding the skate park.
What Are Other Common Skateboarding Injuries?
In addition to knee injuries, some of the most common injuries that you might experience in the sport are:
Ankle, Shin Bruises, And Scratches
Ankles and shins are most likely to be hit by the deck when you’re attempting tricks. Bruises and scratches on these parts are pretty common, and you can apply ice to the spots to alleviate the pain.
Heel bruises appear when the heel is the part of your body that first lands on the ground or deck once you lose balance in the air. You might feel a sharp pain in the heel, and the injury takes quite a long time to recover. In addition to applying ice to the bruises, rest and compression are required to get you back on the board soon.
Hot pockets happen when you suddenly and forcefully bend the foot towards your shin. Hot pockets can keep you away from the board for around 2-3 weeks until your leg entirely heals.
Sprained ankles are a trauma that almost any skateboarder has experienced in their life. The main cause is an incorrect landing which leads to a blow to your ankles. It is advisable to see a doctor when you’ve got sprained ankles.
Back discomfort or pain might be a frequent visitor when you skate. If the back pain persists, we recommend consulting with a physician to see how serious it is.
Skateboarding injuries happen quite often, and if you’ve been skating for a while, we bet you’ve come to realize pain is part of the fun of rolling. Is skateboarding bad for your knees? It is not bad for your knees per se, but falls during skateboarding can take a toll on this body part.
So never underestimate the importance of protective gear, warm-up exercises, prep movements before shredding the park.