Injuries in synchronized skating

S. Dubravcic-Simunjak*, H. Kuipers, J. Moran, B. Simunjak, M. Pecina

*Corresponding author for this work

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Synchronized skating is a relatively new competitive sport and data about injuries in this discipline are lacking. Therefore the purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency and pattern of acute and overuse injuries in synchronized skaters. Before and during the World Synchronized Skating Championship 2004, a questionnaire inquiring about the frequency of injuries in this skating discipline was given to 23 participating teams. A total of 514 women and 14 men senior skaters completed the questionnaires (100 % response). Two hundred and eighteen (42.4 %) female and 6 (42.9 %) male skaters had suffered from acute injuries during their synchronized skating career. As some skaters had suffered from more than one injury, the total number of acute injuries in females was 398 and in males 14. In female skaters 19.8 % of acute injuries were head injuries, 7.1 % trunk, 33.2 % upper, and 39.9 % lower extremity injuries. In male skaters 14.3 % were head injuries, 28.6 % upper, and 57.1 % lower extremity injuries, with no report of trunk injuries. Sixty-nine female and 2 male skaters had low back problems and 112 female and 2 male skaters had one or more overuse syndromes during their skating career. Of 155 overuse injuries in female skaters, 102 (65.8 %) occurred during their figure skating career, while 53 injuries (34.2 %) only occurred when they skated in synchronized skating teams. In male skaters, out of 5 overuse injuries, 4 (80 %) occurred in their figure skating career, while 1 (20 %) occurred during their synchronized skating career. Out of the total of 412 injuries, 338 (82 %) occurred during on-ice practice, while 74 (18 %) happened during off-ice training. Ninety-one (26.9 %) acute injures occurred while practicing individual elements, and 247 (73.1 %) on-ice injuries occurred while practicing different team elements. We conclude that injuries in synchronized skating should be of medical concern due to an increasing number of acute injuries, especially those that go beyond the soft tissue and include head injuries and fractures. We feel that these more significant injuries MAY TO SOME EXTENT BE attributable to the increasing physical demands and technical difficulty required of the teams now participating in a more competitive environment over the last four years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-499
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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