Athletic Training Corner

Welcome to the Athletic Training Corner. Here you will find information on pertinent topics related to athletic injuries and/or performance. This information is updated monthly by Thompson Health's athletic training staff.

Each month’s topic will be relevant to the types of sports going on at the time.

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PREVENTING HOCKEY INJURIES

Ice Hockey requires a unique combination of speed, power, and teamwork.  Due to the large volume of contact, many injuries can occur.  Some of them are avoidable.  


Most Common Hockey Injuries are
  • Concussion – Serious head injury which should result in immediate termination of play.  Must be symptom free for 24 hours, cleared by a physician, and follow the Graduated Return to Play Protocol.  These result from hits to the head and/or body and are commonly seen in hockey.
  • Shoulder Injuries – The most common are shoulder separation and a broken collarbone.  These injuries result from contact, either with another player, the ice, or the boards.  Treatment includes a sling, rest, and in some cases surgery.
  • Elbow Injuries – Bursitis is when the bursa sac becomes inflamed.  This can be prevented by wearing properly fitted elbow pads.
  • Wrist Injuries – These result from a fall on an outstretched hand or a hit into the boards.  To help prevent wrist injuries, brace yourself with your forearms and not your hands.  
  • Back Injuries – These can occur because of the flexed posture of skating and the hyperextension stress.  Low back pain and muscle pulls are common.  Stretching of the lower extremities as well as strengthening exercises can help prevent these injuries.  
  • Hip Injuries – The hips are often injured due to the mechanics of skating.  Groin and hip flexor strains are fairly common.  These can be prevented by taking part in a good off-season strengthening program as well as a good stretching and maintenance program in-season.  Other injuries are hip pointers and bursitis.  These are the result of a direct blow to the hip.  Proper equipment with padding can help prevent these conditions.
  • Knee Injuries – The MCL is the most commonly sprained ligament due to the leg position during skating.  While skating you push off the inside edge of the blade.  In addition, most hits would occur to the outside of the knee.  ACL and meniscus injuries can also occur but are less common in hockey than football, soccer, and basketball.

PREVENTION TIPS

  1. Obtaining a preseason screening by ATC or Physician to identify existing injuries and uncover any weaknesses.
  2. Participation in a sports specific conditioning program
  3. Obtaining quality equipment that is properly fitted and maintained.
  4. Enforcing the rules.  Players and coaches should demonstrate sportsmanship and respect for other players, coaches, and officials.  


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