Ice hockey is a fast paced sport often leading to common injuries while playing because the game is physical in nature. Hockey is a collision sport which results in both contact and non-contact injuries in players of all ages and skill levels. Many factors play a role in the severity of injury sustained while playing hockey and they include:
- Player position
- Protective equipment
- Skill level
- Pre-existing injuries
- Style of play
Causes Of Hockey Injuries
Contact injuries are the most obvious and can occur not just between players, but a player's impact with surfaces like the rigid boards, goal posts, skate blades, sticks, and pucks. These types of injures can lead to a sprain or tearing of ligaments, or also more seriously, a head injury such as a concussion.
Non-contact injuries may occur from overuse or rapid movements. For instance, frequent forward bending during skating can put repetitive stress on lower back or pelvic muscles. While a quick burst or push off while skating could lead to a muscle strain.
Prevention of Hockey Related Injuries
To prevent or lower the risk of a hockey injury, several strategies such as education, preparation, strengthening and conditioning training programs must be put in place to properly condition the body and prevent injuries.
Specific strategies include:
- Ensuring protective equipment fits properly
- Adequate knowledge of basic skating skills
- Maintaining fitness level
- Warm up/Cool down before and after practice and games
- Stretching regularly to maintain flexibility
- Maintaining proper nutrition and staying hydrated
- Sufficient and targeted training in the off-season
- Avoiding overuse, or training in ways that prevent repetitive overuse of a muscle or joint, while still improving functional strength
How Physiotherapy Can Help With Hockey Injuries
Physiotherapy can assist with assessment, education, pain management as well as providing advice on safe return to play. We can help build training programs to safely build strength and endurance, targeting specific goals related to hockey performance and injury prevention.
Speak with one of our physiotherapists today at Panther Sports Medicine to learn more about your
hockey injury. Find a location that is convenient for you.
References and Resources: