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Response to Injury – The Derby Girl Way

Warning – I’m about to get on my soap box!! I love my derby peeps, but they are the MOST stubborn when it comes to injury response.  How many derby girls do you know that skate through their injuries?  How many take a day off, and then think they are fine?  Sadly, this is most.  Some of it is just plain stubbornness.  These girls love to skate and nothing will stop them from it.

Let’s take a step back for a moment and analyze an injury response.  Let’s say you sprain your ankle.  You should take a few weeks off skates, depending on the severity of your injury.  But you don’t.  A few days later, there you are, back at practice on your skates.  Your ankle is weak, so you wrap it up tight.  Feels good, right?  Nice and stable.  Oops.  If you’ve read most of my website or listened to me talk about joint mobility versus joint stability, you’ve just broken one of my rules just so you could skate.  So your ankle isn’t healed, and now you are putting stress on your knee by wrapping  your ankle tight.  Your knee starts to ache.  Now you compensate for that through a funny hip movement.  Now your lower back hurts a little…

See the progression?  By not allowing your ankle to heal, you’ve just put the rest of your body at risk!!

Let’s look at it another way.  By getting back on your skates too soon, you don’t allow your ankle to heal.  Now you have a chronically weak ankle.  Say you have a job where you are on your feet all day.  Your ankle is sore EVERY day.  You wrap it all the time.  You and your significant other love to go hiking.  You can’t go anymore because of your ankle.  Wait – you’re still skating though….  But your knee hurts, your back hurts, and you’re even starting to get some neck pain.  You now have chronic pain on a regular basis.

This might sound like an exaggeration, but it is all possible!! We all have lives outside of derby.  How active do you want to be?  You need to consider the future consequences of not healing NOW.  Taking a week or more off now means years of derby and active life later.  Not taking that time to heal could mean years of therapy and inactivity AND a shortened derby career.

I know this is tough!! Depending on where you skate and your derby peers, you may get extreme peer pressure to continue to skate.  Be strong and take care of yourself.  Do what is right for your body.  It will thank you later!