common injuries of hockey
Injuries occur most during games rather than practices. Direct traumas account for about 80% of all injuries. Most of these injuries are caused by player contact (checking and collision), falls, and contact with a puck, high stick, and occasionally, a skate blade.
Cuts to the head, scalp, and face are the most common types of injury. However, the use of helmets and face shields has reduced the incidence of injuries to the face and head. You should remember that helmets and face shields may reduce the incidence of injury, but it does not make you invincible.
Concussions can and do occur. Players should report symptoms such as prolonged headache, confusion, visual disturbance, and loss of memory or concentration. Concussions do not always involve loss of consciousness (fainting). After a concussion, the chance of getting a 2nd concussion is four times higher.
But, in the past decade there has been in increase in neck and spine injuries. Some players adopt a false sense of security when they have protective gear. Usually, injuries happen when you least expect them.
The knee is also commonly injured. Mostly, the injuries are sprains to the medial collateral and capsular ligaments. Cruciate ligament tears are infrequent in hockey.
You could also injure your shoulder. Joint separation, Acromioclavicular, or AC, or separated shoulder is a common injury that occurs both with checking to the boards and falls onto the ice.
Some other arm injuries are shoulder dislocations, gamekeeper’s thumb (tear of the ulnar collateral ligament), and fractures of the hand and wrist.
Gloves protect the hands from injury. But, when the gloves are removed, the hand is vulnerable.
It is estimated that one-third of injuries are caused by foul play.
- wear appropriate tire and equipment, helmet, face mask, shin guards, gloves, etc.
- do not hit anybody
- when learning new skills, make sure you have proper instruction
- wear proper fitting equipment
- have good sportsmanship, just have fun
- drink plenty of water so that you won’t be dehydrated
- always warm up and stretch thoroughly
- have a first aid kit on hand at facilities and be able to use it
- remember that even though the protective equipment helps protect you, you are not invincible