Besides obvious accidents such as falls and crashes, what are the physical damages that slowly build up for recreational figure skaters (less than 8 hours of skating weekly) and how can they be minimized? I heard that arthritis is very common, and would think knee / ankle / back problems are extremely likely after getting into more advanced jumps and layback positions.
When I first started the small jumps (waltz, half-flip), even 30-minute exercises would result in minor knee pains. I started to panic that maybe figure skating is wearing me down too much, and someone advised the following:
Looking back a year later while knees are reasonably happy with single jumps, I think the technique was fine, the pains mainly came from 1) lack of warm up and 2) not balancing jumps with gliding maneuvers and spins. Jumping non-stop for long periods of time was just not the way to go.You should watch out for getting older. Many adults that try a new sport after they've hit 22 have this problem. To date, there has been no cure found. Your knee pain will simply get worse and worse until you tear an ACL, and then there goes 9 month of your life to surgery and physical therapy!
What safety tips do you have to minimize injuries that will catch up with you some day? (grrr I must be one of the most risk-averse skaters in this forum! But better cut the potential occupational therapy time and spend it on ice, non? )