Hockey Injuries

 

 

 

Hockey is a family of team sports with the common goal of moving a puck or ball across a surface with a hockey stick in order to maneuver it into the opponents goal. Of ice hockey, field hockey, roller hockey, street hockey, beach hockey, unicycle hockey, and the many other forms of hockey, ice hockey is usually considered the most popular and most dangerous.

Since the invention of indoor artificial ice, the sport of ice hockey has transitioned from a sport only able to be seasonally enjoyed by those in colder climates to a sport enjoyed yearlong and worldwide. In fact, ice hockey has one of the fastest growing participation rates of any sport in the U.S., with more than 500,000 boys and girls participating in organized youth hockey alone. Even though the rules of organized play are now more safety-friendly, there’s better enforcement of rules, and better safety equipment, players are still at a tremendous risk of injury.

How Do Ice Hockey Injuries Happen?

Hockey is a full-contact collision sport. It’s also a sport played by making 20 to 30 km/hr skating sprints across the hard ice. As such, players will always be at risk for traumatic injuries. Incidences like colliding with another player, the boards, or the ice; rough body checks; getting hit by a puck traveling at 80 to 190 km/hr; a player falling after their skate catches the ice the wrong way; and being struck during the swing of another player’s hockey stick are all common sources of traumatic injuries. While it’s been estimated that about 80% of hockey injuries are traumatic in nature, the vigorous play and countless hours of practice to hone technical and skating skills can lead to overuse injuries to the ligaments, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Overuse injuries most often occur when a player suddenly increases the frequency, duration, or intensity of their play or practice schedule.

What Are Some Common Ice Hockey Injuries?

Knee Sprain

A knee sprain occurs when one of the knee ligaments become stretched or torn. Ligaments are tough connective bands of tissue that stabilize the knee joint by connecting bone to bone across it. Of the four main knee ligaments, most knee sprains in ice hockey involve either the medial collateral ligament (MCL), which is located on the medial side of the knee, or the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which crosses the center of the knee.

The ACL prevents the tibia bone from moving too far over the femur bone and is commonly sprained when a player suffers a direct blow to the front of the knee or as the result of the twisting motion the knee undergoes as a player makes frequent sudden stops and starts during skating.

On the other hand, the MCL is commonly sprained when a player suffers a blow to the outside of the knee that causes it too move too far inwardly. Susceptibility is increased when the player’s foot (skate) is planted into the ice during the hit.

Sprains are graded based on the degree of injury:

Grade I - stretching or microscopic tearing of one or more of the knee ligaments. This doesn’t impede the normal functioning of the knee joint.

Grade II - moderate tearing of one or more of one or more of the knee ligaments. The knee joint may feel somewhat lax and weak. There may also be mild to moderate localized tenderness, bruising, heat, swelling, and pain.

Grade III - significant to complete tearing of one or more of the knee ligaments that results in the joint being extremely lax, unstable, and weak - often to the point of immobility. Significant swelling, bruising, and pain are usually present.

Pulled Groin

A pulled groin is also known as a groin strain or adductor strain. Some studies have shown that pulled groins account for 10% of all ice hockey-related injuries. It occurs when one of the adductor muscles (adductor brevis, adductor magnus, adductor longus, iliopsoas, pectineus and gracilis) in the groin become abnormally stretched or torn. These muscles are used whenever a player brings his/her legs together, a movement called adduction. The strain is usually due to adductor muscles suddenly and/or violently tensing, such as during sudden directional changes and sudden decelerations or accelerations during skating.

Like ligament sprains, muscle strains are graded based on the degree of injury:

Grade I - stretching or microscopic tearing of less than 10% of the muscle fibers. A grade one groin strain may involve mild groin tenderness, but it won’t interfere with normal functioning of the muscle.

Grade II - moderate tearing of the muscle fibers that may involve muscle weakness, pain, tenderness, swelling, heat, bruising, tightness, and cramping.

Grade III - significant tearing of the muscle fibers that results in severe muscle weakness, pain, tenderness, swelling, heat, and bruising. Unassisted ambulation may be extremely painful and difficult to completely impossible. Additionally, a palpable gap or lumpy area may be present in the muscle tissue.

Of course, these are just two of the most common soft tissue hockey-related injuries. Players are also at risk for concussions, lacerations, contusions, tendinitis, bursitis, shoulder injuries, neck and spinal injuries, bone fractures, shin splints, shoulder dislocations, and so on.

Products

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Acute Sinew Liniment

Acute Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

Quickly relieves pain, reduces swelling and inflammation, and breaks up clotted blood and stagnant fluids in the injured area. Stimulates circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues, providing rapid pain relief and faster healing. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $39.95
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Chronic Sinew Liniment

Chronic Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

Strongly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles, thereby quickly relieving pain, stiffness and weakness. Sinew Injury Poultice, Sinew Relaxing Soak, and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Herbal Ice

Acute Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

This first-aid ice alternative poultice (balm) is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the recovery and healing process. Reduces redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the injured area. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain normal range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Injury Poultice

Chronic Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This poultice (balm) is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful in cold and damp weather. It significantly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and further promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Relaxing Soak and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $37.95
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Sinew Relaxing Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your injured area. It is used to relax muscles, tendons and ligaments that are in spasm to reduce pain and stiffness and improve range of motion. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Sports Massage Oil

This specially formulated massage oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It penetrates deep into muscle layers to warm and stimulate muscles, increase circulation and relieve tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.
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Our price: $29.95
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Sinew Warming Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. It is used to bring warmth into the injured area to drive coldness out of damaged tissues and increase local circulation, thereby relieving pain and stiffness in cold weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $23.95
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