Injuries affect all sports, and they are of different types. Injuries affecting NHL players and all ice hockey players in general are no exception. One of the most serious and annoying injuries involves cervical spine. This is explained in the study Cervical Spine Injuries in the Ice Hockey Player: Current Concepts in Epidemiology, Management and Prevention, published on the Global spine journal.
The research analyzes: "Ice hockey is a sport played by over 77 nations with greater than 350,000 players under the age of 18 registered with USA hockey alone. Hockey is the national sport of Canada and it is quickly becoming one of the most popular sports played in all of North America.
However, some of the most exciting aspects of hockey, including the speed and aggression of players, also generate the potential for serious injury. This review article examines the biomechanics that underly hockey-related cervical spine injuries, the preventative measures to curtail them, optimal management strategies for the injured player and return to play criteria."
Cervical Spine Injuries in the NHL Player
The research also analyzed: "Hockey is a sport with one of the highest rates of cervical spine injury, but by understanding the underlying pathophysiology and context in which these injuries can occur, it is possible to reduce their incidence and successfully manage the injured player.
Multiple online databases including PubMed, Google Scholar, Columbia Libraries Catalog, Cochrane Library and Ovid MEDLINE were queried for original articles concerning spinal injuries in ice hockey. All relevant papers were screened and subsequently organized for discussion in our subtopics.
Over the past decade efforts have increased to track, address and prevent cervical spine injuries in ice hockey. Fundamental to this process is a more precise and in-depth method of tracking of these injuries. An important recent development was the establishment of the Mayo Injury Registry for Ice Hockey.
This registry was formed by the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and USA hockey to track injury data in the United States. Cervical fractures in ice hockey most often occur due to an increased axial load, with a check from behind the most common precipitating event.
Despite the recognized risk for cervical spine trauma in ice hockey, further research is still needed to optimize protocols for both mitigating injury risk and managing injured players. "