Skateboarding and similar sports such as scooters and rip sticks all involve an inherent risk of falls. This leads to lower limb, upper limb and spinal or hip injuries.
The chance of a fractured wrist, hip etc increases with height, speed and adventurous challenges that skateboarders enjoy. Luckily, there is a higher change of soft tissue injuries such as bruises and sprains that respond favourably to physiotherapy or massage interventions.
However, if you suspect a fracture (broken bone) or head concussion, it is best to head to hospital for at least a precautionary Xray.
Skateboarding Injury Statistics
Skateboarding injuries have increased in correlation with the rise in popularity of the sport, and the injury pattern can expect to increase with the development of riskier skateboard tricks.
Skateboarding injuries often involve the wrist, ankle or face. Many injuries happen when you lose your balance, fall off the skateboard and land on an outstretched arm.
In a 2001 study, the most common fractures were of the ankle and wrist. Older patients had less severe injuries, mainly sprains and soft tissue injuries.
Most children were injured while skateboarding on ramps and at arenas; only 12 (9%) were injured while skateboarding on roads. Some 37% of the injuries occurred because of a loss of balance, and 26% because of a failed trick attempt. Falls caused by surface irregularities resulted in the highest proportion of the moderate injuries.
Overall, skateboarding is a fun and healthy sport that can give you a low-impact aerobic workout, plus an adrenaline rush!
General Skateboarding Injury Prevention Guidelines
- Practice skateboarding safely and use protective equipment.
- Learn the basic skills of skateboarding, especially how to stop properly.
- Use professionally designed “bowls” and “ramps” or other designated skateboarding areas that are located away from motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
- Don’t perform tricks beyond your ability.
- Use a quality skateboard
- Keep your skateboard in proper working order
- Do not use headphones while skateboarding.
- Never put more than one person on a skateboard.
- Wear proper protective equipment
Skateboarding Protective Equipment
- Wrist guards
- Knee and elbow pads
Young Children Skateboarding
Skateboarding is not recommended for young children because they are still growing and do not yet have the physical skills and thinking ability a person needs to control a skateboard and ride it safely. 60% of skateboard injuries involve Children under age 15. Most of those injured are boys.
- Inexperienced skateboarders. Those who have been skating for less than one week suffer one-third of injuries, usually caused by falls.
- Skateboarders who do not wear protective equipment. Every skateboarder should wear standard safety gear. This includes a helmet, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads and appropriate shoes. Skateboarders who perform tricks should use heavy duty gear.
- Skateboarders who go near traffic or use homemade skateboard ramps. Both activities are particularly dangerous.
- Experienced skateboarders who encounter unexpected surfaces or try risky stunts.
- Irregular riding surfaces, rocks or other debris can cause you to fall. You can stumble over twigs or fall down slopes.
- Wet pavements and rough or uneven surfaces can cause a wipeout.
- Avoid risky behaviour. Don’t skateboard too fast or in dangerous or crowded locations.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- Children under age 5 years old should never ride a skateboard.
- Children aged 6 to 10 years old need close supervision from an adult or trustworthy adolescent whenever they ride a skateboard.
When young children are involved in skateboarding accidents, they are often injured severely. Skateboarding is a special risk for young children because they have:
- A higher centre of gravity, less development and poor balance. These factors make children more likely to fall and hurt their heads.
- Slower reactions and less coordination than adults. Children are less able to break their falls.
- Less skill and ability than they think. Children overestimate their skills and abilities and are inexperienced in judging speed, traffic and other risks.
Leg Pain Causes
Common Youth Leg Injuries
Pelvis & Hip
- Osgood Schlatter's Disease
- Sinding Larsen Johannson Disease
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
- Patella Dislocation
- Meniscus Tear
- Discoid Meniscus
- Juvenile Osteochondritis Dissecans
Heel & Ankle
Arm Pain Causes
Arm pain and injuries are widespread. Arm pain can occur as a result of either sudden, traumatic or repetitive overuse. The causes can be related to sports injuries, work injuries or simply everyday arm use.
Causes of Arm Pain by Region
Causes of Arm Pain by Structure
Neck-Related Arm Pain
Shoulder-Related Arm Pain
- AC Joint Injury
- Biceps Tendinopathy
- Broken Shoulder - Fractured Humerus
- Bursitis Shoulder
- Dislocated Shoulder
- Frozen Shoulder
- Rotator Cuff Calcific Tendinopathy
- Rotator Cuff Syndrome
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Shoulder Arthritis
- Shoulder Impingement
- Shoulder Tendonitis
- Swimmer's Shoulder
Elbow-Related Arm Pain
Wrist-Related Arm Pain
Hand-Related Arm Pain
Muscle-Related Arm Pain
- DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
- Muscle Strain (Muscle Pain)
- RSI - Repetitive Strain Injury
- Overuse Injuries
Other Sources of Arm Pain
Common Causes of Arm Pain
- Your rotator cuff or frozen shoulder most commonly causes shoulder pain.
- Elbow pain is most commonly caused by tennis elbow or golfers elbow.
- Wrist & hand pain can be related to carpal tunnel, wrist arthritis or even a thumb tendon condition known as de Quervain's tenosynovitis.
Referred Arm Pain
As mentioned earlier, arm pain can be referred to from another source. Cervical radiculopathy is a common source of referred arm pain. Cervical radiculopathy will not respond to treatment where you feel the arm pain. However, it will respond positively to treatment at the source of the injury (e.g. your neck joints).
Professional assessment from a health practitioner skilled in diagnosing both spinal-origin and local-origin (muscle and joint) injuries (e.g. your physiotherapist) is recommended to ensure an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment directed at the arm pain source.
Arm Pain has Diverse Causes.
The causes of your arm pain can be extensive and varied. Due to this diversity, your arm pain should be assessed by a suitably qualified health practitioner to attain an accurate diagnosis, treatment plan and implementation specific to your arm pain.
What Arm Pain is Associated with a Heart Attack?
Left-arm pain can be an early sign of a life-threatening cardiac issue. Based on this, a professional medical assessment that involves an accurate history, symptom analysis, physical examination and diagnostic tests to exclude a potential heart attack is important to exclude this potentially life-threatening source of arm pain.
For more information, please consult with your health practitioner, call an ambulance on 000, or visit a hospital emergency department to put your mind at ease.
Good News. Most Arm Pain is NOT Life-Threatening.
Luckily, life-threatening arm pain is far less likely than a local musculoskeletal injury. Arm pain caused by a localised arm muscle, tendon or joint injury should be assessed and confirmed by your health practitioner before commencing treatment.
Arm Pain Prognosis
The good news is that arm pain, and injury will normally respond very favourably to medical or physiotherapy intervention when early professional assessment and treatment is sought. Please do not delay in consulting your healthcare practitioner if you experience arm pain.
Common Arm Pain Treatments
With accurate assessment and early treatment, most arm injuries respond extremely quickly to physiotherapy or medical care, allowing you to resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living quickly.
Please ask your physiotherapist for their professional treatment advice.