When thinking about injuries related to ice hockey, ankle injuries may not be the first thing you think of, and understandably so. But, when examining the amount of games and practices missed amongst Division I College Ice Hockey Players, ankle injuries resulted in the most amount of time missed.
Last week we discussed how prominent knee injuries are in ice hockey and what mechanisms typically result in specific structures being injured within the knee. Today we are going to cover 3 strategies that we implement when helping athletes to reduce the likelihood of knee injuries or when rehabbing current and/or pre-existing injuries.
Knee injuries are the second most common injury suffered in ice hockey, second only to concussions. Knee injuries primarily occur during games and are often times a result of a collision or due to another player falling onto the individual’s leg.
The knee is made up of 2 joints: the tibiofemoral joint which consists of the long bone of the upper leg (femur) and the shin bone of the lower leg (tibia). The patellofemoral joint consists of the knee cap (patella) moving with the femur. Additionally, the knee consists of several passive stabilizing ligaments such as the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), and the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL). For a visual description, check out the video below.
Strength training is a vital component of athletic development. An appropriate training program not only enhances performance by increasing athletic characteristics such as power, strength, speed, endurance etc. but also allows an athlete to develop movement competency in a variety of positions leading to a more resilient and robust athlete. In addition to enhancing athletic qualities, resistance training is pivotal in reducing the likelihood of injury and can even help to accelerate the recovery process if an injury occurs. Below are 3 reasons why an injured athlete should not just “rest” but continue to strength train during the recovery process.