By Andy Wood
View From the Training Room
for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine¢â
One NHL trainer¡¯s approach
to treating the challenges
presented by a professional
Professional hockey presents unique challenges
to the modern athletic trainer. Defined as a ¡°collision
sport,¡± it features highly conditioned athletes
traveling at speed on narrow blades across
a hard, unforgiving surface. Add long sticks and
a puck traveling at speeds of up to 100 mph and
you have a unique blend of circumstances that
combine to create numerous injuries.
Advances in protective equipment design and
higher standards of refereeing have reduced the
severity of injuries, but they are unfortunately still
a daily occurrence.
We asked the trainer for the NHL¡¯s Buffalo
Sabres, Tim Macre, ATC, CSCS, what all this
means for someone trying to keep these athletes
healthy. Macre started in 1996 as the athletic
trainer for the New York Rangers¡¯ top affiliate in
the American Hockey League, and in 2005 made
the move to the Sabres.
You are the first NHL trainer to use a Litecure
Class IV laser in the locker room. How has that
helped you and would you recommend it for
other teams and/or sports?
Macre: The Litecure has been great this past
season. The effectiveness of this laser in reducing
pain levels of foot and ankle contusions,
AC joint sprains and wrist sprains surprised
even me. The deep penetration of this unit even
allowed for use on hip flexor and groin strains
with excellent results.
What other modalities do you use?
Macre: I try to not use a lot of modalities, and prefer
a hands-on approach. That being said, when
indicated, I use ultrasound, and have a variety
of electrical stimulation units that we may use.
To me one of the biggest indicators of the value
of a modality is feedback. NHL athletes are very
¡°in tune¡± with their bodies and will provide
feedback throughout any treatment. Many of my
players have identified the Litecure as a modality
that truly helps them feel better and ask for
it by name.
How do you keep up to date on the latest trends
Macre: I read journals and attend educational
symposiums in the offseason. I also talk to my
peers, not only in the NHL, but also in the NFL,
NBA and MLB, as to the latest techniques and
equipment they have been using. ¡á
Andy Wood is international sales director for Litecure LLC.