Several National Hockey League (NHL) players are said to consume toradol, an anti-inflammatory drug for acute pain that is usually prescribed for up to five days every game day.
This is what it was possible to learn in the documentary The Problem of Pain broadcast Tuesday evening by the TSN channel. Studies have shown that prolonged use can lead to side effects, such as serious liver, kidney or stomach problems.
Several players have openly testified about this, including Ryan Kesler, who claims to have developed many health problems due to his overuse. In particular, he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease last fall.
“I had colon holes and ulcers, and basically my whole gut went into spasms,” the former Vancouver Canucks said on camera. It is very unpleasant. You have to go to the bathroom 30 to 40 times a day. And when you go to the bathroom, it's pure blood. It's exhausting. It is terrible. And all because I was not aware of what this drug could potentially do to me. ”
“Every player in a locker room takes pain medication, anything that can help with the pain and get you to play,” he said.
According to several speakers, it is because the environment is very competitive – just over 700 players play in the NHL each season – that the players make the decision to play despite the injuries and the pain. Additionally, hockey culture prompts people to glorify athletes who stay in the lineup even when injured.
Thus, pain-blocking drugs have made their place in the daily life of athletes. Some continue to consume it after their retirement from sports. This was the case with Derek Boogaard, who died after consuming alcohol while undergoing pain treatment with oxycodone.
“It was part of my routine,” revealed former defenseman Kyle Quincey. I was taking this every day at the end of my career. There was no way to play a whole season without it. When you take toradol, it hides all the pain, no matter how badly you are. And that doesn't take away the lucidity, so you can concentrate and play a game. You can literally run and hit a wall and not feel a thing. ”
“How good did I feel with this medicine?” I felt like Superman. I couldn't hurt myself. ”
Kesler has also confided in this documentary to try to change things.
“I think it's important for doctors and coaches to sit down with the players to explain the risks. I never knew what it could do to me. I feel that if I talk about it, it will help everyone. ”