I had an eleven year old in my clinic – it was his first year of hit hockey, and he was sore. Nothing too major, but he had been noticing back pain since the beginning of the season. He was sore in many places along his spine, but with a few quick adjustments he started to feel better again. It doesn’t take a specific trauma like a cross-check or being tripped to cause problems. Nearly everything about hockey has the potential to cause some pain – even when you don’t actually fall down or get hit! When you start to lose your balance on ice, there is a sudden strong contraction of core muscles to try to keep you upright. That contraction, usually accompanied by some degree of body twisting and flailing limbs, is easily enough to irritate the joints in your spine. You may not notice anything right away, and perhaps only minor muscle soreness in the next few days, but the irritated and restricted joints will create more problems in the future if they are not dealt with. Such was the case with my patient: No specific trauma, but continual soreness in his back, more noticeable with activity. The good news is that occasional chiropractic treatments can make a world of difference in how you feel, and help to prevent worsening symptoms.
But it’s not just hockey PLAYERS that are at risk… Hockey fans are vulnerable too! What could be more uncomfortable than the cold hard wooden bench in the arena with no back support? Even sitting through one game can be enough to start the ache! And those who choose to watch the NHL at home in their living room may also be at risk… jumping up to cheer after being sedentary for a prolonged period can cause injury! So if hockey is hurting you (or your children: hockey moms, I’m speaking to you!), come on in and we’ll get you feeling good again.
In case you think I am against hockey – I’m not. I think it’s great! But no matter how you slice it… hockey hurts!