He shoots. He scores. And sometimes he gets hurt…
As hockey fans everywhere are tuned into the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs right now, Texas Orthopedics is most often tuned into our hometown hockey heroes – the Texas Stars.
Hockey players are vulnerable to a whole host of injuries on the ice due to the extremely fast pace of the sport, frequent and typically forceful contact with other players, and wayward pucks.
Here are the most common injuries we see:
- Head trauma/concussions
- Shoulder separations or other shoulder injuries
- Broken or fractured wrists and elbows, or overuse injuries to either due the constant stick handling
Others are hip joint or groin injuries, strained back muscles, and knee injuries or ACL tears. Mouth injuries are also common in hockey often resulting in a chipped or lost tooth.
As with any sport, proper preparation before play can help reduce risk of injury. Ways to prevent a hockey injury include:
- Ample warm up and stretching to ready muscles and joints, especially since you’re playing in an extremely cold environment.
- Wearing high-quality, appropriately-fitted equipment that is not used or damaged–the most important being a helmet, mouth guard, and knee/elbow pads.
- Maintaining good care of skates ensuring they fit well and edges are kept clean and sharp.
- Knowing how to properly receive the blow of a ‘body check’ or how to fall safely on the ice.
- Keeping your head in the game and an acute awareness of all the players in your immediate surroundings.
If you’ve suffered an injury while on the ice, especially to the head, a serious cut or laceration, or you suspect a broken bone, seek medical help immediately.
For less serious injuries, Texas Orthopedics recommends ice therapy for minor bumps, bruises and strains/sprains, and sufficient time off the ice to allow it to heal.
(Adapted from STOP Sports Injuries)
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