Rochester, Minn. (KTTC) – If you played contact sports growing up, there’s a chance you’ve experienced or had a close call with a concussion.
On Wednesday, the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Ice Hockey Research Team released a new study that’s in effort to minimize concussion risks. It could change the way the game is played.
The articles published are all about educating the hockey community, especially about treatment, diagnosis and prevention of concussions.
Minnesota: the land of 10,000 lakes.
“We strive to make sports safer across the board,” co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Doctor Michael Stuart said.
But when those lakes freeze over, it becomes the state of Hockey.
“We have a special interest in hockey because we’re in the state of hockey and its a very important part our culture,” Dr. Stuart said. “We’ve been doing research in the sport of ice hockey for 20 some years now.”
On Wednesday, Hockey Researchers at Mayo Clinic released a study that centered around preventing one of the most common sports related injuries: concussions.
Too often, according to experts, concussions go untreated.
Part of that is they may not always result in a loss of consciousness.
“These are real problems that require real solutions,” he added. “We’re proposing ways to better diagnose concussion. We are doing research looking at objective measures so we don’t let athletes go back to play and put themselves at added risk when they’ve had a traumatic brain injury.”
Part of that proposal is making a few rule changes in hockey, like banning body checking in bantam level leagues.
“We know that the two highest forces to the brain is falling from a helmet and from a punch,” Dr. Stuart said. “And that should not be a part of our sport if we have anything to say about it. ”
And eliminating fighting at junior and pro levels.
“There are some young players that emulate that and teaches them behaviors that are dangerous,” Dr. Stuart said.
Lessen the danger, increase the fun.
“There are so many advantages about team sports,” he continued. “I don’t think the goal is to eliminate sports, its to make them safer. And that’s the goal here at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine.”
It’s unclear if or how long it would take for some of these recommendations to be enforced – but Dr. Stuart puts it into perspective by saying at one point it wasn’t required for players 18 and older to wear helmets.
The research team also plans to look these ideas during their USA Hockey Winter meeting.