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Falling headfirst into boards

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04-24-2011, 04:28 AM
  #1
KaraLupin
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Falling headfirst into boards

I think I heard on TSN one time that if you do end up falling headfirst towards the boards on your belly, to keep your head up. It would do more damage if you were to bend your neck down...

Is this true? And if so... Then if you were to fall head first heading in on your back, you would want to arch your head back towards the ice instead of tucking it towards your chest?

Just want to know, should the situation ever arise, I can prevent some damage...

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04-24-2011, 04:32 AM
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The Nuge
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I think move your arms in front of you would be a more beneficial first step

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04-24-2011, 09:47 AM
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Thresh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrieresSalary View Post
I think I heard on TSN one time that if you do end up falling headfirst towards the boards on your belly, to keep your head up. It would do more damage if you were to bend your neck down...
Yeah, i heard the exact same thing on a video of dirty hits months ago. It's the first one in the vid:

EDIT: The embedding wasn't working.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaGd_jDkzJY

I'm not sure at all, so please don't take my word for it as i have no medical background, haha, but i think the neck is stronger along the back of the spine, so that if you were to tuck your head in towards your chest (bend your head down) you're more likely to break your neck as there's little resistance to it, because the back of your head will hit the boards and the force pushes your head further towards your chest. Sorry to be so graphic!

I also think it's got something to do with moments. If you bend a stick perpendicular to it's length, it'll break easily, but if you apply force along the length of it, there's little chance it will experience any damage. In this case, the stick is your spine, so experiencing a force along the length of it (by keeping your head up) is much more preferable!

Going back to the first point though, I think it works along the same principal of why you don't tuck your thumb underneath your fingers when you throw a punch - because the thumb is designed to bend that way. So when you do it, the impact forces your fist into your thumb and it bends into the gap left by your muscles and palm, further than it's supposed to go, causing a breakage or other painful injury.

If your thumb is on the outside, your fingers brace the impact. It's all that business of equal and opposite forces and such.

So logically i would say if you were knocked on your back, you'd want to either keep your head straight or tilt it back slightly, but never curl your head towards your chest, for the same reasons mentioned above.

I'd still like to hear a proper professional reasoning for it though. And i kind of wish someone at our club would tell people this stuff, because it's pretty important!


Last edited by Thresh: 04-24-2011 at 10:06 AM.
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04-24-2011, 09:55 AM
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Badger36
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IMO, putting your arms up to brace the impact is going to be your best bet.
Keeping your head up or trying to tuck you head in is going to mess you up either way.

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04-24-2011, 10:21 AM
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Thresh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigchiefwantdacup View Post
IMO, putting your arms up to brace the impact is going to be your best bet.
Keeping your head up or trying to tuck you head in is going to mess you up either way.
Hehe, i think he's aware of that. Though it's definately a good point.

If the video i linked is what Brieres was talking about then the example in question is when you fall at the very last second and you don't have time to move your arms properly into position.

The angle shown from 1:10 in the video shows it best. Or worst depending on your opinion, haha.

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04-24-2011, 11:10 AM
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SuburbanArgyle
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There was a USA Hockey campaign back in the mid-90's that was all about keeping your head up (open ice mostly, I think), but I recall something about being taught to keep your head up going into the boards also. But they did also say something about trying to hit the boards with anything besides the head first.

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04-24-2011, 11:44 AM
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noobman
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If at all possible I try to go feet first, just so that as I'm sliding in I can use my skate blades to dig into the ice and try to slow myself down a bit.

If all else fails I'll just try and hit the boards in a position where I can do sort of a squat to absorb the impact, or let my shin guards take the blunt of it.

Even if you're sliding head first you should be able to use your ab/leg muscles to spin yourself around. Of course, you don't always have much time to think so I'd imagine that getting your forearms up would work too.

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04-24-2011, 11:53 AM
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Thresh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuburbanArgyle View Post
There was a USA Hockey campaign back in the mid-90's that was all about keeping your head up (open ice mostly, I think), but I recall something about being taught to keep your head up going into the boards also. But they did also say something about trying to hit the boards with anything besides the head first.
I think i found what you were talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhO5S0shTs8

It's a bit of a goofy video, but it's really interesting. They don't expand on the medical side of it much, but it turns out my reasoning for preventing a spine injury was completely wrong. Sorry about that!


Quote:
Originally Posted by noobman View Post
If at all possible I try to go feet first, just so that as I'm sliding in I can use my skate blades to dig into the ice and try to slow myself down a bit.

If all else fails I'll just try and hit the boards in a position where I can do sort of a squat to absorb the impact, or let my shin guards take the blunt of it.
Yeah, i fall over all the time because i'm still a beginner and slide for miles on end, haha, and i find the only way to regain control quickly is to dig the blade in. It helps a lot!

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04-24-2011, 01:19 PM
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TheOtter
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USA Hockey's Heads Up Hockey:
http://www.usahockey.com/Template_US...V=ET&id=182214

I'd say even if you're on your back, do everything you can to not hit head first. I can't imagine having your head tilted down towards the ice is much better than tucked in your chin, but maybe it is, but if anything, just curl up and/or twist as fast as you can so you hit something other than your head.

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04-24-2011, 02:34 PM
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backhander
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I'll have to go with that advice...hope this doesn't happen to anyone

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04-26-2011, 06:57 PM
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mbowman
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Again, not a professional here, but I'm fairly highly trained in first aid (Wilderness Advanced First Aid, several years of lifeguarding, yada yada yada). We learned in our Wilderness course that the most vulnerable position for the neck is when your chin is to your chest. When repositioning somebody with a suspected spinal, you definitely want to move the neck into a neutral position. With that in mind, I'd imagine it'd be more damaging to go into the boards with your chin to your chest. However, horrific spinal injuries can result from compression, as in diving into shallow water, so i wouldn't suggest you go in with your spine straight as can be. I guess the best thing to do is to obviously get your hands/arms up, keep your head cushioned, and try your best to protect yourself. The reality is that there isn't any perfectly safe or good way to go headfirst into the boards.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a medical professional, so anything I've said should be taken with a grain of salt. If someone who knows their stuff comes in here contradicting me, follow their advice. I'm trained, but not professionally or anything

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Old
05-01-2011, 03:16 PM
  #12
Placebo Effect
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The Laura Stamm power skating book also says this. If you're sliding on your stomach head first into the boards it says to get your head as high up as you can. It should be the same if you're falling and not sliding.

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