The Weekend Hockey Player

The Weekend Hockey Player

0

Adults still enjoy the things they did when they were younger. We're here in Tampa Bay and we have a great Lightning team but it turns out we have a lot of northern transplants who still enjoy their hockey, and it's very common that I'll see some of these northern transplants in my office. Because they have complaints of neck pain or back and shoulder pain or knee pain from their game of hockey. The truth is as you get older, you're just not as flexible and as strong as you are when you're younger. I would still encourage you to do the activities you enjoy but do a few things that will also make sure you enjoy the game and not get injured in the process. Number one, make sure you stretch. Stretching the muscles and tendons and ligaments will ensure that they're stretched out to the point that you will not cause a major injury when you do that rapid skate down the ice. Number two, do some weight training. Lightweights, actually significantly help the endurance and allow you to be strong enough to take the blows when that buddy of yours checks you when you don't expect it. And number three, work on your cardiovascular fitness doing your exercises to improve your heart muscles and increase your endurance is very important. So that, one, you can enjoy the game. And number two, have the ability to play long without being excessively sore on the day afterwards. Please enjoy your activities. Please do it safely.

The Weekend  Hockey Player


As a native born Canadian, I grew up watching, cheering, and
occasionally participating in hockey (I was terrible but two of my sisters were
great, and still play). We see all these articles about herniated discs and athletes,
but what of those who only dream of the NHL?

Let’s talk…

First of all let’s talk about what a herniated disc is. The
disc is the “shock absorber” between the vertebrae of the spine. They have a
tough “rubbery” outer covering and the interior is the consistency of crabmeat.
They have a fair amount of water in them that decreases as we age. This causes
“disc degeneration”. Smoking, obesity and un-natural “wear and tear” on the
spine can speed up the degeneration which makes the discs much more likely to
herniate. A symptomatic herniation is when a piece of the disc comes out of
the hard outer covering and pushes up against the spinal cord or a nerve root.

Anyone who has watched a game of hockey, especially the NHL,
can see you have to be young, in great shape and talented, to play it well. Any
hockey trainer worth their salt knows that constant conditioning, core training
and resting the injured, are all necessities. Hockey players, themselves, hardly
ever agree with the last one. They are playing with blood dripping down their
faces, broken bones, concussions and herniated discs. They are the toughest of
athletes and are often marketed as such. “Sitting out” is unacceptable and the
elite can often play three periods with an injury that would hospitalize the rest
of us. Because of their youth and conditioning, most players recover quickly
from injury and are likely playing again in a few games.

But what of the week-end players? This is often the only
exercise they get all week, and these people work for a living, not train 3-5
hours a day. We’ve all seen the “gentlemen’s league” participants with an extra
twenty pounds around the middle and a “good knee” and a “bad knee” instead of
right and left. These are the people that end up in an orthopedic office with a
neck or, most often, back injury.

Most of the injuries are strains and sprains but there will
often be, that hit, that fall, or that twist, leading to a herniated disc. The
original symptom will probably be back pain, but the one that will stay with
you will be pain radiating into the buttock, leg and foot on one side or the
other. There may be some numbness and tingling with this but if there is any
sign of bowel or bladder control issues, foot drop or paralysis, an emergency
room visit is a must. This could be a sign of “cauda equina” syndrome or a disc
pressing straight back into the spinal cord and usually needs emergency surgery
to remove the herniated disc.

 For the other patients with a herniated disc, time is your
friend. 95% of these injuries get better with conservative care and do not
require surgery. Conservative care does not mean lying in bed. It means
stretching, walking, ant-inflammatories and ice or heat (not rink ice; you are
out of there until you are better). It can take up to 3 months for the disc to
heal and you want it to heal so there is no re-herniation.

If you are a “weekend warrior”, or live with one, please
encourage, or practice, prevention over cure. Stretching, conditioning and, most
of all, core strengthening are important to avoid having to be out of your sport
for several months. Hopefully you can continue to play as long as you can tie
your skates.

 

 

 

 

 

Citations

  • Miwa S, Yokogawa A, Kobayashi T, Nishimura T, Igarashi K, Inatani H, Tsuchiya H. Risk factors of recurrent lumbar disk herniation: a single center study and review of the literature. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2015 Jun;28(5):E265-9. PubMed PMID: 23249886
  • Schroeder GD, McCarthy KJ, Micev AJ, Terry MA, Hsu WK. Performance-based outcomes after nonoperative treatment, discectomy, and/or fusion for a lumbar disc herniation in National Hockey League athletes. Am J Sports Med. 2013 Nov;41(11):2604-8. PubMed PMID: 23956134

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Disclosure Statement

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
Please note all articles, blogs and Q&A’s on this site are general information and are not to be used as medical advice for individuals. No specific diagnosis or treatment should be made based on this information. Only a physician can provide you with advice specific to your situation. Please followup with your physician if you would like to discuss your individual condition.

If you are having a medical emergency,  contact your Doctor immediately,  or go to the Emergency Room.
ShimSpine and ShimSpine.com is committed to honoring and respecting the privacy and anonymity of the individuals using its website(s) and/or services. The purpose of this Privacy Policy is to inform the individuals about the collection, processing and protection of information done by ShimSpine what information we collect, why we collect this information and how we use this information.

This Privacy Policy will be reviewed regularly to reflect the up-to-date practices of ShimSpine.