Skates Are Tough on Feet

December 14th, 2018 in Coaches Resources, News Tags: , , ,

Hockey Skates can be tough on feet.

What can you do to change that?

The flat surface and small base of support on the blade means the foot may have to work overtime to get good contact which can lead to a change in foot shape and position. This can also throw off the joints and muscles above. A simple over the counter orthotic can provide a better position for the foot and allow the entire leg to work more efficiently and powerfully. Strengthening exercises that incorporate the foot and hip can also go a long way to making sure you stay strong and supported. Speak with a professional about how to up your game with some lower extremity specific training.

Exercises coming soon!

Hockey players have strong hips. True or False?

The answer can be both! The real question is whether you have balanced strength. Because of the skating motion, lots of hockey players are strong in one direction. However, the hip joint requires a balance among stabilizing muscles to ensure the ball stays centered in the socket. If an imbalance exists, the ball can migrate in the socket causing pinching, soreness and restricted range of motion. This is why cross training can be so important. Cross training can work different muscles which not only improves your overall strength but keeps you in the game and helps you avoid injury. Speak to a professional about assessing your strength and setting cross training goals.

High Ankle Sprain

Typical ankle sprains are relatively uncommon in hockey due to the ankle being fixated in the skate. However, forceful outward rotation of the foot (skate catching on ice or the boards for example) can result in a high ankle sprain. A high ankle sprain will commonly present with pain and swelling in the front and inside of the ankle. High ankle sprains can be treated well with a conservative management approach of relative rest, and gradual progression of loading, range of motion and balance exercises. Severe high ankle sprains may require X-ray to rule out a fracture. It is best to seek the advice of a health care professional if you think you may have a high ankle sprain.

One of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of injury is getting enough sleep. A 2014 study of 160 adolescent athletes between grades 7-12 showed that those sleeping less than 8 hours per night were 1.7x more likely to be injured compared to those sleeping 8 hours or more. It is recommended that teens 13-18 years old get between 8-10 hours of sleep per night.

One effective but unpopular tip to improve your sleep is to limit screen use an hour before bed. Screens emit blue light which put the breaks on the release of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin helps the healthy timing of our sleep.

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