If you’re a hockey player, there’s a common injury that many of you may have experienced or will experience at some point in your playing time. It’s called lace bite and it’s caused by the pressure between the tongue of your skate and the tendon in your ankle and foot. This pressure can lead to inflammation and pain. Now, we all know the importance of warming up before a game, but it’s also important to ease into skating after extended breaks from the game. That tendon needs to be gradually introduced to the pressure of skating.
Now, the key to overcoming lace bite pain is reducing inflammation in that tendon. One effective way to do this is through icing. We all know the benefits of rest, ice, compression, and elevation, commonly known as RICE. This is a common treatment for many sports injuries, including tendon inflammation.
I personally noticed a significant change in my progress when I began incorporating icing into my treatment plan. Not only did the pain stop getting worse, but the red bump on my ankle above the painful area also began to recede.
Here’s my routine for icing: I bring an ice pack to every game in a cooler to keep it cold. As soon as I take off my equipment, I ice my ankle with lace bite for about 20 minutes, depending on how cold the ice pack is. I also elevate my ankle on a bench or chair and use an ice pack that fits over my ankle like a sock to create some compression. After I drive home, I have a second ice pack waiting in the freezer and ice again. Most studies recommend icing for 20 minutes, taking a 20 minute break, and then icing another 20 minutes, or a similar protocol with breaks in between.
The important thing is consistency. When I forget to ice, I noticed that my lace bite quickly gets worse. It’s like taking three steps back after one game. So, make it a routine and stick to it. It’s simple but effective. And let’s be real, icing where it hurts just makes common sense. The key is just getting yourself to do it. If you’re experiencing pain from lace bite, I recommend giving icing a try. It could make a big difference in your recovery and performance on the ice.