Can We Prevent Injuries in Hockey Players?
It’s fall, which means that school and sports are back in full swing! This often leads to some pain and injuries in athletes, as they are thrown into training, try-outs and games. In youth hockey, we see injuries such as concussions, knee pain, groin injuries and shoulder injuries. See the chart below for a breakdown of these injuries and the top 3 highest percentage of injuries.
|Arms/ shoulders/ wrist||45.2%||39.2%|
|Legs (hips/ knee/ groin/ ankle)||21.4%||23.2%|
(Forward et al., 2014).
With all sports, some injuries happen because we can’t control all aspects of the sport and other players. However, we do know that improved reaction time, muscular strength, muscular endurance and joint range of motion can help us LIMIT the risk of injuries.
For hockey players, some key areas for injury prevention are:
- Shoulder Stability
- Hip strength and Stability
- Lateral Movements
- Core Stability
- Reaction Time
Are Breaks in Activity Beneficial?
In an article looking at the number of injuries in players who took a break mid-season, it showed that winter break caused an increase in injuries by 2.5x as compared to years with no winter break. This article highlights that long periods of rest, followed by full return to sport, causes higher risk of injuries. We want to use this time during winter break to continue to be active, to use prehab exercises to our advantage, and to spend some time doing some cross training (training in another way or with another sport) (Rees et al., 2022).
Can Physio Help?
Overall, it is extremely important to make sure that your athlete’s muscles are working efficiently, are strong enough to support the demands of the sport and that your athlete is familiar with proper warm up and cool down techniques. Physiotherapy can help with injury prevention by improving the strength and mechanics of the most common injury areas for hockey.
If your child is playing hockey this season, are they ready for activity?
At PlayWorks Physio, we offer injury prevention group classes for hockey players! Contact us at email@example.com for more info.
If you would like to schedule a 1 on 1 assessment with one of our paediatric physiotherapists click here.
Written by, Darrien Cantelo, MScPT, BSc, Physiotherapist.
Forward, K. E., Seabrook, J. A., Lynch, T., Lim, R., Poonai, N., & Sangha, G. S. (2014). A comparison of the epidemiology of ice hockey injuries between male and female youth in Canada. Paediatrics & Child Health, 19(8), 418–422. https://doi.org/10.1093/pch/19.8.418
Rees, H., McCarthy Persson, U., Delahunt, E., Boreham, C., & Blake, C. (2022). Winter breaks: How do they affect injuries in field hockey? Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2022.08.004