An internationally unique study will begin in Tampere to monitor hockey players’ injuries and rehabilitation using thermal imaging. Markku Tuominen, sports physician at Medisport, will conduct the study using Thermidas’ thermal imaging system. The study will involve the entire Ilves U18 hockey team.
Thermal imaging has been studied before as a tool for monitoring athletes’ rehabilitation and treatment effectiveness, but the study covering an entire hockey team is reportedly the first in the world.
The 2023-2024 study will focus on collecting data, particularly on upper and lower limb injuries, which are relatively common in hockey. The injuries occur usually only on one side, allowing the physician to also capture a reference image of the healthy limb.
With the Thermidas system, temperature differences can be analyzed instantly and accurately, allowing easy monitoring of the injured area’s metabolism.
In a fast-paced contact sport, injuries are inevitable. The study aims to gain further insight into bone and soft tissue injuries and monitor their rehabilitation. Thermal images taken during rehabilitation provide a clear, visual view of the injured area and its healing process.
The majority of injuries occur during game situations, after which the player is referred to Medisport’s facilities for thermal imaging. If necessary, acute procedures are done first, and thermal images are taken afterward as part of rehabilitation.
Medisport’s Tuominen has been using the Thermidas thermal imaging system for over a year.
– The use of thermal imaging in healthcare will keep increasing in the future, Tuominen says.
Especially for junior players, the methods used in the study must be safe and provide useful information for rehabilitation. Unlike many other imaging methods, thermal imaging is completely risk-free. For example, it does not expose the player to any radiation.
The collaboration provides the U18 team of Ilves with a valuable tool in addition to the methods already in use.
– It is a pleasure to be involved in the thermal imaging study and its follow-up in connection with various injuries and treatments,” says team manager Markku Mikkonen.