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.
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.