June 2017

NHL study adds to evidence linking concussion, lower body injury risks

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

A study of National Hockey League (NHL) injuries adds to the evidence suggesting concussion significantly increases the risk of lower body injury in athletes, and vice-versa.

Researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor compiled time-loss injury information for four NHL regular seasons from hockey-reference.com and public news reports. These included 141 reported concussions and 900 lower body injuries.

Players whose first injury during the study period involved the lower body had a three times higher risk of a concussion during the same season than players without lower body injuries. Players whose first injury was a concussion had a 2.25-times higher risk of a lower body injury during the same season than those with no concussions.

By comparison, players whose first injury involved the lower body had a 1.5-times higher risk of a second lower body injury during the same season, according to Kathryn L. O’Connor, a doctoral student in the university’s NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory, who presented the findings in early June at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in Denver.

Source:

O’Connor KL, Bhargava T, Lapointe AL, Broglio SP. National Hockey League players’ concussion and lower-body injury risk across the 2012-2015 seasons. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2017;49(5 Suppl 1):S644.

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