It’s Winter Olympics time and avid fans would be looking forward to the fiercely competitive ice hockey matches to root for their nation. Local ice hockey clubs would also be cheering for USA and some fans would want to give the sport a try themselves, just to get in the mood.
What Makes Ice Hockey Dangerous
“There are only three sports: bull fighting, motor racing and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.” Perhaps, Ernest Hemingway hadn’t bothered to check out ice hockey when he made this overriding statement. Clearly, there is one sport that is as bone crunching, body thumping and nerves-testing as bull fighting, motor racing or mountaineering and it is ice hockey. With the hard cold ice below and strong clubs held by brick body athletes all around, contact is inevitable and sometimes bone crunching.
In fact, broken bones in the feet, legs or neck are not the only kind of injuries ice hockey can give you. Head injury, concussions, black eye, cuts and bruises, tendonitis and spinal cord injury are some of the other damages the sport could cause, not to mention frostbite.
Risk Factors in Ice Hockey
One of the reasons for greater chance of injury in this sport is the fact that professional ice hockey is a contact sport, though in some youth leagues contact is not allowed. Players use their bodies for attacking and defending which brings the risk of injury. And when players come together, so do their clubs which further increases the danger of eyes being struck or bones getting hit, though players are mandated not to use their sticks for contact.
Knees and shoulders are also vulnerable to injury while concussions are a possibility too. According to a survey in 2010, the rate of concussions in the NCAA’s women’s ice hockey category was around 25% of all the injuries. For the NCAA men’s hockey category, it accounted for 9% of the injuries. These figures were even greater than that for other rough contact sports such as football.
There is also the danger of falling on the ice which could cause serious or minor injury depending on the kind of fall.
Reducing Risk of Body Damage
The best way to safeguard yourself from injuries on the ice rink is to be prepared physically through the right training. Training should focus on strengthening your back, increasing flexibility of your posterior muscles and thighs, and keeping your body in good shape overall so that it is able to be better prepared for the injuries which could help minimize the damage. And there’s obviously no telling about the importance of having the right safety gear before you head out to the rink, including helmet and enough padding for the various vulnerable parts of your body. Before you start playing in a game, do a warm up such as some ice skating and stretches.
Treatment for injuries varies based on the kind of damage caused to the body. Bracing, administration of NSAIDs, and physical therapy are some of the common treatment options. Serious injuries may require surgical intervention as well. An experienced and reputed multispecialty healthcare center can provide you effective and customized treatment if you incur injury from ice hockey.
Stay safe and healthy this Winter Olympics season so you’ll be able to root for your country!