Best Ways to Protect Yourself from Hockey Injuries
It’s almost all contact, which is why the sport of ice hockey tends to come with a higher chance for injuries. Colliding with other players, the puck, the stick, and the boards can result in everything from sprained ankles and dislocated shoulders to muscle pulls and hip impingements.
Of course, you have to choose properly functional and fitting protective gear which will bear the brunt of hard impacts. They won’t stop all injuries from happening though. If you or your child plays hockey, taking some precautions and preparations may help you minimize the impact of any potential injuries.
– Keep fit
Ideally, you’ll maintain your fitness in in the off season. You should incorporate aerobic exercise, flexibility, and strength training. It’s not wise to start hockey season without preparing, but if you do, go slow and build up your intensity.
– Always warm up
It pays to warm up and stretch every time. Put focus on those calves, knees, thighs, shoulders, and hips. Cold muscles will be more likely to suffer injury. Great warmups off the ice include jumping jacks, running or walking in place for a few minutes, or stationary cycling.
On the ice, skate with low intensity for several minutes. Then do dynamic stretches for your arms, legs, and torso to get your body ready for action.
– Don’t forget a cool down
Just as warming up is essential, so too is the cool down process. Stretching after practice tends to be forgotten, but it can help reduce muscle soreness and keep them flexible. After hockey, hold your stretches for 30 seconds each. You’ll be glad you did!
– Keep hydrated
Dehydration can severely impact your performance, even if you’re only mildly dehydrated. Your body needs plenty of fluids to cool itself down. Keep up with your hydration, choosing 24 ounces of water 2 hours prior to exercise, then follow with an additional 8 ounces. Mid-exercise, have an 8-ounce serving of water every 20 minutes to keep those muscles hydrated.
Whether you sustain any injuries or want to further protect yourself from them, physiotherapy can help you improve your mobility. Massages are also helpful before and after your practices and games to help muscles recover and avoid injuries.
If you need either of those, you don’t have to sit around a waiting room for an appointment. Let it come to you with In Your Home Therapy. Our physiotherapists and massage therapists work with athletes to help them stay in top physical shape all winter long!