Many sports fans have been glued to the TV this week watching the NHL hockey playoffs and cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks as they try winning their third Stanley Cup since 2010.
As a result of living so close to a championship-winning team, many kids across Lemont and beyond may have been prompted to pick up the sport in recent years.
Hockey has exploded in popularity. According to USA Hockey – the national governing body for youth ice hockey in the U.S. -- national membership stood at 195,125 players in 1990-91. Last season, its membership jumped to 510,270.
According to Podiatry Today, hockey injuries fall into two categories -- high speed, low mass injuries from by a puck or stick that lead to contusions, lacerations and concussions. Then there are the low speed, high mass injuries caused by collisions with bodies or boards that usually result in sprains and fractures.
Injuries to the lower extremities account for roughly 27 percent of all hockey injuries, with 11 percent of those happening in the foot.
Meanwhile, among kids between the ages of 11 and 14, the injury rate is about one per 100 hours of playing time. Among players aged 18 to 21, the rate of injury is one per 11 hours of play. And in case you were wondering, pro players suffer injuries at a rate of one per seven hours of play – likely because of the intensity.
When it comes to hockey, sprains and strains are the most common type of injuries. In many cases, the best immediate treatment consists of R.I.C.E., which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
In addition, hockey can lead to the following:
- Achilles tendinitis (When the tendon that connects the back of the leg to the heel becomes swollen and painful.)
- Achilles tendon rupture (An injury to the back of the lower leg. If overstretched, the Achilles tendon can tear completely or partially. )
If you or someone in your family is suffering from a sports injury, call of office get started on your way back to health. Pain is never normal, and we can get many patients into our office within a day or two.
Stay safe as you play, and go Hawks!
By Michelle Kim