Why don’t ice skaters get swollen hands? An hypothesis

If you were to take part in a prolonged inline roller-skate street journey involving the rhythmic swaying and waving of your outstretched arms in a circular arc, you might end up suffering from oedema (a.k.a. edema). As did Doctor Sody Naimer [pictured] of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Neve Dekalim, Goosh Katif, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

Leading the doctor to wonder, en passant, why ice skaters – who are also prone to a lot of arm rotation – don’t as a rule seem to get oedema as a result. His hypothesis is :

“Possible reasons why this problem does not occur during ice skating are the fact that long distances without any stops are uncommon and the cold environment may provide protection through peripheral vasoconstriction.”

See: Centripetal skater’s manual oedema, British Journal of Sports Medicine, vol 36, issue 4.

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