Playoff Season: 5 Common Sports Injuries in Hockey

 5 Common Sports Injury in Hockey

Ice hockey is a ‘collision sport’, meaning that players sustain numerous contact and non-contact injuries on-ice. With the Stanley Cup 2020 going on full-swing, we decided to list the most common sports injury in hockey.

Whether you play professionally or recreationally, you can sustain these injuries when you are on ice.  Primary causes include accidental player collision, hard body checks, jabs from the hockey sticks to blows from a flying puck. They also suffer from chronic pain caused by repeated falls and forced collisions against the wall/ice. Besides receiving immediate first aid attention, players must visit a specialized physical therapist for long-term treatment.

Here are the most common ice hockey injuries we have treated:

1.    Muscle Strain and Cramps

A muscle strain occurs when your muscle and tendons are either pulled, overstretched, or torn (suddenly and involuntarily). Muscle cramps generally cause throbbing pain.  In both cases, players feel an intense pain shoot around the localized area due to the contracting muscles or undue strain.

Example: Hamstring injury and a groin pull.

2.    Shoulder Injuries

Another common sports injury in hockey is shoulder injuries. They may happen when a player comes into direct contact with the wall, falls, or gets shoved forcibly by another player. Your treatment would depend on the severity of your case.

Most people need a sling and a few weeks of physiotherapy while others might need surgery.

Example: shoulder dislocation, shoulder separation, and broken collarbone.

3.    Back Injuries

Low-back injuries are a high-risk sports injury in hockey. They are typically caused due to hyperextension stress and frequently flexed posture as players stake during play. Muscle strains and long-term soreness is expected after each game. Some may even suffer from chronic lower back pain.

Examples include: lower back pain, herniated disc (i.e. a result of a ruptured, bulged, or misaligned disc)

4.    Wrist and Elbow Injuries

Like any other contact sports, elbow and wrist injuries in hockey are a norm. The target area for elbows is its pointed region that comes into contact with another player during defense and offense movements. Repeated contact can result in bursitis (i.e. scarred and inflamed bursal tissue).

Besides this, players can suffer from correlated wrist injuries received when they come into direct contact with the boards. More often, wrist injuries ensue a sudden fall where an outstretched arm is used to break the fall.

Both injuries can result in fracture and chip bones. It is essential to visit a physical therapist to treat post-surgery pain and retain lost mobility/flexibility around that region.

5.    Knee & Leg Injuries

Knee and leg injuries are unavoidable for hockey players considering the repeated collisions between players and falls received on-ice. These hockey injuries range from minor muscle cramps to severe injuries caused by a torn cartilage or fractured bone. Bruised muscles, a sudden pull or strain can also cause problems.

Examples: Iliotibial band syndrome, hip pointer injury, anterior/posterior cruciate ligament injuries (ACL/PCL)

Parting Words: How to Prevent Sport Injuries in Hockey?

Overall, sports injury in hockey affects every muscle and bone of the body depending on how hard you fall or get hit by the opponent team. Sometimes overtraining can also minimize chances of full recovery due to fatigue. The best way to prevent hockey injuries is by wearing protective gear during practice and playoffs. It would also help if you visit a physiotherapist regularly. We can teach you muscle strength and conditioning exercises that optimize performance and enhance recovery.