Exercise Guide
7 Common Jump Rope Injuries and How to Avoid Them

7 Common Jump Rope Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Skipping rope is a great aerobic exercise because it exercises the entire body – the upper and lower body. It puts stress on your knees, ankles and hips. Skipping rope can be an easy way to lose weight and tone your arms and calf muscles.

It also strengthens your bones. According to the United Kingdom Osteoporosis Society, jumping rope slows down your bones’ decaying as you age, thereby reducing your chances of getting osteoporosis.

Skipping is a much more effective form of exercise than jogging, running and swimming. If you skip for 10 minutes, you will get the same benefits as someone who has jogged for 30 minutes, ran for 15 minutes or swum for 12 minutes.

According to Cardiology/Pulmonary Medicine associate professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington Peter Schulman, MD, skipping rope is good for the heart.

“It strengthens the upper and lower body and burns a lot of calories in a short time, but other considerations will determine if it’s appropriate for an individual,” Dr Schulman says.

Though jumping rope is good for your physical health, occasionally, one can get common jump rope injuries. Therefore, it is good to understand some of the common jump rope injuries so that you can know how to avoid them.

7  COMMON JUMP ROPE INJURIES

7 Common Jump Rope Injuries and How to Avoid Them

1. SHIN SPLINTS

This is one of the most common jump rope injuries which affects the areas surrounding the shinbone. The pain affects the area between the knee and ankle.

These injuries occur mostly among football, basketball, tennis and racquetball players who do moderate to intense physical exercises.

Some of the signs and symptoms of shin splints are pain after exercising, muscle pain, shinbone pain, numb or frail feet and pain on the lower part of your leg.

HOW TO AVOID SHIN SPLINTS

To avoid shin splints, you have to take precautions like wearing fitting shoes when jumping rope.

Before jumping rope, do some stretches or warm-up exercises to boot your muscles. Do not jump rope very frequently or jump too high.

2. ANKLE PAIN

Another common jump rope injury is ankle pain. Ankle pain is likely to arise if you dislocate your ankle. If your ankle happens to get twisted, the ligaments tear as well. This may result in swelling and bruising.

If you decide to jump rope in this condition, you will likely feel a lot of discomforts.

Some of the ankle pain symptoms include swelling on your knee, skin discolouration, some pain when standing or jumping on one leg.

HOW TO AVOID ANKLE PAIN

Do not skip rope with high-heeled shoes or on a concrete surface. Avoid jumping rope while tired, and remember to do some warm-up exercises before skipping rope.

3. BUNIONS

Bunions are some of the most common jump rope injuries. They manifest in the form of a swelling on the side of the bigger toe.

Bunions occur when you jump rope with too tight or small shoes or shoes that are very worn out. Bunions also occur when you stand for too long.

They are extremely painful and can cause permanent toe deformation. Some of the symptoms of bunions include the inability to move your feet and excruciating pain on your feet that comes and goes.

The side of your big toe also turns red, and some thick skin develops on the underside of your bigger toe.

HOW TO AVOID BUNIONS

If you want to prevent bunions, wear shoes with padded soles when jumping rope. Position your feet in a straight position when jumping rope.

Note that if you develop a large lump under your big toe, that is your cue to go and see a doctor.

4. HEEL SPURS

Another common jump rope injury is heel spurs. They do not occur immediately after a workout but develop over a long period.

You could also develop heel spurs from walking or running on hard or irregular surfaces other than jumping rope. Wearing shoes that are not well-fitting or worn out could also trigger heel spurs.

HOW TO AVOID HEEL SPURS

To offer ankle support when skipping rope, you can wear orthotic shoe inserts. For inflammation and pain, take anti-inflammatory injections.

You could also use cold compressions on the painful area and relax your feet after jumping rope or standing. Do some stretches at night to fasten your recovery.

Avoid wearing flip-flops very often.

5. TURF TOE

Turf toe is another common jump rope injury. It occurs when someone accidentally bends their big toe forward when jumping rope.

Other athletes that experience this injury include football players, wrestlers, basketball players and dancers, especially ballet. This is because they mostly perform their activities on hard surfaces and often exert their weight on their big toe.

If you have a turf toe injury, your big toe will swell, and you will be unable to move your big toe and its joint.

HOW TO AVOID TURF TOE

To manage the pain and inflammation, apply some cold compression in the affected area. If you have this injury, avoid jumping rope until the injured part completely heals.

6. CALF STRAIN (EXCESSIVE SORENESS)

Your calf is located at the back of your leg just below your knee. It is possible to have a calf strain as you jump rope or sprint.

When you have a calf strain, you will experience a sudden sharp or tearing sensation. If the calf strain is severe, you will develop some swelling and bruising.

HOW TO AVOID A CALF STRAIN

Before you start jumping rope, remember to warm up, for example, doing some jogging.  Then stretch your calf muscles.

Slow down for about 10 minutes before you completely stop jumping rope.

7. STRESS FRACTURES

Stress fractures are also common jump injuries. They are small cracks in a bone.

Stress fractures mostly occur on those weight-bearing bones on the lower leg and foot. They result from continuous force and overuse like jumping repetitively or running for long, long distances.

You may also experience stress fractures if your bones are weak from conditions like osteoporosis. An easy way to get stress fractures is starting a new exercise like jumping rope and doing too much too soon.

If you have a stress fracture, you will experience some tenderness, swelling and pain around the affected area.

HOW TO AVOID STRESS FRACTURES

Once you begin jumping rope, increase the intensity slowly and also ensure your shoes fit perfectly. Incorporate low impact exercises like cross-training to avoid stressing your muscles too much.

Take a proper diet that contains nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D.

HOW DO YOU PREVENT JUMP ROPE INJURIES?

1.      PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY

 if you are experiencing some sharp pain when exercising that makes it hard to move, it is time to stop exercising.

 

2.      USE THE RIGHT SURFACE

 avoid jumping rope on a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt. This is because your muscles and ligaments endure the most pressure when you land on the ground, making you prone to injuries.

Personal boxing and fitness trainer Onur Basaran, therefore, advises that you jump rope on a wooden floor, rubber or jump rope mat to reduce injury risk.

3.      WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES

 jumping rope barefoot is not recommended. Therefore, skip rope using well-fitting running shoes that support your ankles and cushion your feet.

Shoes with shock-absorbing materials are highly recommended to prevent injuries and increase performance.

4.      USE THE RIGHT TECHNIQUE

to prevent jumping rope injuries, ensure you land on the ground with the balls of your feet. This will put less pressure on your joints, such as your knees and ankles.

5.      WARM-UP

before you begin jumping rope, do some warm-up exercises to transition your body from rest to activity.

You can make some jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, lunges, and stretches until your heart starts beating fast and muscles are warm.

6.      DON’T JUMP TOO HIGH

 jumping too high causes double the pressure on your body than a low-impact jump. This is likely to cause your ligaments to tear or other bigger injuries.

Keep your bounces one to two inches off the ground so that you can easily maintain the right form.

7.      SET THE RIGHT FREQUENCY

do not jump rope every day, especially if you have just begun this type of exercise. Take a day off for your muscles and joints to adjust.

During your rest day, do some stretching and stay active by doing some walking.

CONCLUSION

Jumping rope is a great way to burn calories and build muscle. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, jumping rope will help you keep fit and keep your overall health in check.

However, if you have any health condition such as a terminal illness or pregnant, consult your doctor before you begin the jumping rope exercises.

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