Typical Hockey Injuries And How To Treat Them With The Help Of Physical Therapy

Typical Hockey Injuries And How To Treat Them With The Help Of Physical Therapy

There is no doubt that when it comes to sports, hockey is unarguably the most favourite and most played game. Outdoor sports are good for health but have an increased number of injury chances. Injuries with less than 2 fractures and minor dislocations can be treated with physical therapy non-surgically.

Shoulder Dislocation
This is the most common injury caused in the game of hockey. Due to shock from a bad fall or collision, there are high chances that the shoulder ball may pop out of the socket causing the shoulder to get dislocated. When a dislocation occurs, a player must be immediately moved to the emergency room for instant reposition of the shoulder.



Treatment:
The treatment for shoulder dislocation depends on various factors like the severity of the injury or recurrence. The first step of treatment is immobilisation of the arm with an arm sling for anywhere between 1-3 weeks. When the injured hand is in a sling, hand, wrist and elbow movements are recommended to strengthen the arm. Exercises are performed on the parascapular muscles.  As compared to other exercises, these can be performed with the arm sling on and are carried on even after the sling is removed. Patients get about 10% improvement in their motion per week, as shocking your shoulder with quick movements can be harmful. Repetitive collarbone injury may require surgical treatment.

Fractured Collarbone (Clavicle)
During a game of hockey, it is common to get checked into the boards which might result in a fractured collarbone or clavicle. The treatment of this injury solely depends on the severity of the fracture, displacement and shortening (overlapping of broken bone ends). The rehabilitation program includes surgery and physical therapy.

Treatment:
The injured arm is placed in a sling to restrict movement and help the clavicle heal. The physical therapy routine for fractured clavicle includes a number of daily exercises like the pendulum exercise which concentrates on hand and shoulder movements, grip strength exercises like squeezing a racquet ball and isometric shoulder exercises. The therapist also takes care of soft tissue injuries and structural imbalances caused by the collarbone fracture.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury
An outdoor sport like hockey involves sudden stopping or deceleration in speed causing Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury.  Another cause of this injury could be a blow to the knee with a stick (in hockey) when the foot is firmly planted on the ground. A characteristic of this injury is the popping sound heard when the ligament gets torn. Women are at a much greater risk than men for ACL because of less tightening of thigh muscles in women during rigorous activity.

Treatment:
The first part of the treatment involves reduction of pain through medication and the physiotherapist working on the injury. The physical treatment involves electrical stimulation, treatment of swelling with ice and rest period with the limb suspended at an elevation. With improvement, gentle exercises are introduced in the routine like gentle stretching, stationary bike and pressure techniques. An ACL brace also might be recommended to supplement knee stability.
Injuries during the game are common but players should choose the right physician for quick recovery.