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Common hockey injuries and how to avoid them

As a strength and conditioning coach specializing in hockey, I have seen my fair share of injuries occurring on the ice. Hockey is a contact sport that requires speed, agility, and physical strength, making it a high-risk activity for injury. In this article, I will discuss the most common hockey injuries and how to assess and avoid them if possible.

  1. Concussion: Concussions are a common injury in hockey due to the high-speed and physical nature of the game. Symptoms of a concussion can range from mild to severe and include headache, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. It is important to assess players for signs of a concussion and have them removed from play immediately. To avoid concussions, players should wear proper protective gear, avoid headfirst collisions, and practice safe playing techniques. Keep in mind that some concussions happen even if you do everything right. Consult specialist for treatment.

  2. Shoulder injuries: Shoulder injuries are common in hockey due to the frequent use of the shoulder for body checking and stick handling. The most common shoulder injuries include rotator cuff tears, labral tears, and shoulder dislocations.

  3. Knee injuries: Knee injuries are also common in hockey, with the most common being anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. These injuries can occur due to sudden stops or changes in direction, as well as direct hits to the knee.

  4. Lower back injuries: Lower back injuries are common in hockey due to the physical demands of the game, which include bending and twisting. The most common lower back injuries include muscle strains and herniated discs.

  5. Ankle injuries: Ankle injuries are common in hockey due to the frequent use of the ankle for skating and quick changes in direction. The most common ankle injuries include sprains and fractures.

Hockey is a high-risk sport for injury, but many injuries can be avoided with proper assessment and technique. Players should be assessed for mobility and strength in areas prone to injury, and proper warm-up techniques should be practiced to avoid injury.

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  1. Tator, C. H. (2014). Concussions and their consequences: current diagnosis, management and prevention. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 186(11), 825-832.

  2. Mall, N. A., Chalmers, P. N., Moric, M., Tanaka, M. J., Cole, B. J., & Bach Jr, B. R. (2014). Incidence and trends of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in the United States. The American journal of sports medicine, 42(10), 2363-2370.

  3. Foss, K. D., & Myer, G. D. (2016). Injury prevention in the young athlete: considerations for sports specialization and injury prevention programs. Translational pediatrics, 5(4), 231-238.

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