Common Hockey Injuries and Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Hockey involves intrinsic risk, simply due to the nature of the game. Played on the ice on skates with sticks and a hard puck, players can be hurt in a variety of ways. While injuries are common, playing carefully and with proper gear may help to prevent many mishaps. Some of the most common hockey injuries include shoulder, knee, ankle, neck, and head injuries. In hockey, collisions between players are expected, which increases the likelihood that players will be hurt. Kinetic Sports Medicine specializes in providing non-surgical care for activity-related injuries and concussions. Allow us to help you heal using newer, less invasive technology.

Typical Hockey Injuries

Some of the most common hockey injuries occur when players collide with each other, the boards, or the unforgiving ice. Head injuries in hockey are a significant risk with players either hitting their heads directly or suffering a sudden stop or blow to another part of their body. This type of trauma involves a jolt to the brain inside the skull, and it often results in a concussion. A player who sustains this type of injury must stop playing immediately, and a full physical examination should follow to assess the player's wellbeing. Common concussion symptoms include confusion, memory lapses, nausea, and balance problems. These symptoms might appear immediately, or they could take days or even weeks to appear.

Shoulder and arm injuries can also occur when playing hockey. Shoulder separation and wrist fractures may be sustained as the result of a fall or a collision. Elbow injuries are also common due to overuse, and they typically involve inflammation and pain. Pulled muscles in the lower back are yet another typical injury, and many players experience both hip and knee injuries due to overuse from repetitive skating strides.

Standard Treatment

The standard treatment of many of these injuries is immediate rest, ice, possible immobilization of a joint, and elevation to reduce swelling. Anti-inflammatory medication may also be recommended by a physician. In some cases where an injury is severe, a physician may recommend surgery to repair the damage. Surgical treatment methods meet with varying levels of success, depending on the patient and the nature of the injury.

New Treatment Options

Some hockey players opt to explore newer technology to resolve their injuries related to hockey, neck injury and pain included. Stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma injections are non-surgical treatment two options that involve injecting healing growth factors directly at the injury site to enable the body's own healing cells to hasten healing and jump-start regeneration and regrowth. A patient's own blood or stem cells are used for these therapeutic treatments. Joints, tendons, and muscles often respond favorably to these treatments and patients benefit from the least invasive procedures.

At Kinetic Sports Medicine, Dr. Richard Kim is a primary care sports medicine physician. Dr. Kim has chosen to focus his practice on using non-operative treatments to help with activity-related pain management. Contact us today to make an appointment for a private and confidential consultation with Dr. Kim. We work with athletes of all ages, as well as those interested in leading an active lifestyle, and our goal primary goal is to help you regain your healthy and active lifestyle through newer, non-surgical therapy options.