Sports Performance – Hockey

Hockey is one of the most popular team sports in the country. It’s known for high skating speeds, and fast furious action. Injuries are an unfortunate, but all too common, occurrence. Understanding hockey injuries is key to preventing future injuries and receiving effective treatment. Here you will find common problems and information about types of treatment for common hockey injuries.

Shoulder & Back Injuries

Separated Shoulder

A shoulder separation is almost always the result of a sudden, traumatic event usually caused by a direct blow to the shoulder (often seen in hockey), or a fall on to an outstretched hand.  A shoulder separation occurs where the clavicle and the scapula come together and is often called an acromioclavicular joint separation, or AC separation. A separated shoulder is not the same as a dislocated shoulder and are very different. In a shoulder separation, the junction of the clavicle and scapula is disrupted. In a shoulder dislocation, the humerus (arm bone) is displaced from the socket. Not only are the injuries different in anatomic terms, but the implications for treatment, recovery, and complications are also different.

Back Injury

We all know the history of the great Mario Lemeiux and his years of struggling with back problems. Mike Bossy and Stan Makita were both forced to retire due to back injuries. These are just a few of dozens of players that have suffered from this very common, yet debilitating injury. How often have you heard the media say that a certain player will be out due to back spasms? There are three basic things you can do to help prevent back injuries in hockey; develop a strong core (abdominals), proper hitting habits that reduce the strain placed on the back and maintaining flexibility.

If you are currently suffering from a back injury, it could be one of many things. It may be a minor muscle strain to a more serious disc herniation. A back left untreated can go on for years. I was always very frustrated when I heard Mike Bossy say in an interview one time, that "once you have had back pain, you will have it for the rest of your life". I have never heard anything more incorrect. In only a very few circumstances is this true, but the majority of all back injuries can be resolved. See a Chiropractors ASAP to get it assessed and treated. They are specialists in back pain and you will be surprised how a nagging problem may be fixed in one treatment.

Hip & Thigh Injuries

Hip Pointer (contusion)

A direct blow to the outside of the hip causes an injury to one of the large bones of the pelvis, the ileum. When someone sustains a hip pointer injury, the bone and overlying muscle can be bruised and the pain can be felt along the waist line. When a contusion is sustained in an athlete over the outside of the hip, the injury is called a hip pointer.

Groin Pull

A groin pull is an injury to the muscles of the inner thigh. The groin muscles, called the "adductor muscle" group, consists of six muscles that span the distance from the inner pelvis to the inner part of the femur (thigh bone). These muscles pull the legs together, and also help with other movements of the hip joint. Groin pulls are often seen in athletics who participate in sports such as ice hockey and soccer. The injury appears to be related to factors including hip muscle strength, preseason conditioning, and previous injury. Because of this, proper conditioning is of utmost importance to prevent the occurrence of a groin strain injury.

Hip Bursitis

Inflammation of the bursa over the outside of the hip joint, so-called trochanteric bursitis, can cause pain with hip movement. Treatment of hip bursitis is often effective, but the condition has a problem of coming back and sometimes becoming a persistent problem.

Snapping Hip Syndrome

Snapping hip syndrome is a word used to describe three distinct hip problems. The first is when the IT band snaps over the outside of the thigh. The second occurs when the deep hip flexor snaps over the front of the hip joint. Finally, tears of the cartilage, or labrum, around the hip socket can cause a snapping sensation.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

The iliotibial band is a thick, fibrous band that spans from the hip to the shin; it lends stability to the knee joint, and is attached to muscles of the thigh. ITBS is caused when the band becomes inflamed and tender.

Pulled Hamstring

A pulled hamstring is a common sports injury, seen most commonly in hockey players. A pulled hamstring is a injury to the muscle called a hamstring strain. Treatment of a pulled hamstring is important for a speedy recovery.

Knee Injuries

Patellofemoral Syndrome

Also called "Runner’s Knee," problems associated with the patella, or kneecap, are occasionally seen in hockey players. The term runner’s knee may refer to several common injuries such as chondromalacia, patellar tendonitis, or generalized knee pain.

Dislocating Kneecap

A dislocating kneecap causes acute symptoms during the dislocation, but can also lead to chronic knee pain. Patients who have a dislocating kneecap may improve with some specific rehabilitative therapy strengthening exercises.

Plica Syndrome

Plica syndrome occurs when there is irritation of the lining of the knee joint. Part of the lining of the knee joint is more prominent in some individuals, and can form a so-called plica shelf. If this tissue becomes inflamed, it can cause knee pain.

Leg Injuries

Shin Splints

The term shin splints is a name often given to any pain at the front of the lower leg. However, true shin splints symptoms occur at the front inside of the shin bone and can arise from a number of causes. Shin splints, like runner’s knee, is a term that describes a set of symptoms, not an actual diagnosis. Shin splint pain can be due to problems with the muscles, bone, or the attachment of the muscle to the bone. Loosen your skates and you’ll be sure to find temporary relief.  More chronic conditions respond well to ultrasound and conservative therapies.

Ankle Injuries

Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains are common injuries that skaters experience. Ensuring that ankle ligament injuries receive proper rehab therapy is crucial for preventing future sprains. If you are experiencing recurrent ankle sprains, your running days are not over. We have developed a program of care that will get you back in your running shoes and back on track. Remember, early recognition and treatment will help speed your recovery from ankle ligament injuries.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition of the tendon in the back of the ankle. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to the heel of your foot. Left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can lead to an increased risk of Achilles tendon rupture.

Foot Injuries

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a syndrome of heel pain due to inflammation of the thick ligament of the base of the foot. A tight, inflamed plantar fascia can cause pain when walking or running, and lead to the formation of a heel spur. Try freezing water bottle and rolling your foot over it before going to bed. This will provide some relief from the inflammation and reduce the pain you feel in the morning.


Pronation is a normal movement of the foot through the gait cycle. When this motion becomes excessive, overpronation can cause a variety by altering the normal mechanics of the gait cycle. Orthotics will control excess foot motion which will be beneficial for overpronators.

Arch Pain

Arch pain is a common foot complaint. Arch pain, also sometimes called a strain, often causes inflammation and a burning sensation under the arch of the foot. Treatment of arch pain often consists of adaptive footwear, inserts and treatments with ultrasound.

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