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KIDS AND SPORT Stay injury free on the ice
Physiotherapists share tips to prevent injury, alleviate pain and keep British Columbians moving for life
Vancouver — Hockey is back. The Canucks are on the ice, as are lots of B.C. kids, both young and the young at heart. When lacing up for early
morning or late night practices and games, safety needs to be a priority for everyone. The Physiotherapy Association of BC has compiled four tips to help players stay in- jury and pain free while playing
Canada’s game. “Before you or your child even step on to the ice, make sure you are well equipped,” says Rebecca B.Tunnacliffe, CEO of the Physiotherapy Association of B.C. “Getting fitted with the right equipment helps to prevent injury from muscle imbalance, flying pucks, body contact and accidental collisions.”
And, with all the attention on concussions, it is important to be mindful about how to prevent giving or receiving one.“If you or a member of your family gets a concussion,” she continues, “your physiotherapist can de- sign a program to ensure a safe return to the ice.” Physiotherapists have exten-
sive knowledge and experience when it comes to designing a
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safe and effective pre- and post- ice warm-up program to keep players pain and injury free. Here are some of their top tips: Prepare to play. A dynamic
warm up has been shown to be a powerful factor in reducing in- jury. Start with 5 to 10 minutes of large muscle activity such as a few slow laps of the rink, stair climbing or some spins on a sta- tionary bike. Keep muscles in balance. Muscles used repetitively in hockey create large imbalances in strength and tightness. Stretch tight muscles and strengthen weak ones.You can reduce muscle strain by wear- ing properly fitted equipment, especially the helmet and shoul- der pads.An
d, be sure that your stick is the right length.
Train your body for hockey.
Hockey specific off-ice training exercises will improve control of your neck, spine and pelvis, and will help with skating, puck skills and safe body contact. Prevent giving or receiving a concussion. Always ap- proach the boards on an angle not straight on.Avoid the danger zone by being on the boards or 3-4 feet away from them.Ne
ver check from behind or make sui- cide passes. If you get hurt, your physiotherapist can help you get back on the ice safely. To learn more about how
physiotherapists keep British Columbians moving for life, vis- it movingforlife.ca
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