Hockey player’s groin injury

Sport physiotherapist

When preparing for physical activity, hockey players must perform specific sport related exercises in order to increase his performance and reduce risks of injuries. A fairly frequent and common injury in this sport is to the groin. Due to this, it is important to take note that researchers have developed effective methods to help prevent these types of injuries.

Studies with NHL players have shown a very important factor to help avoid injuries to the groin. When in skating motion, the movements of the abductor and adductor muscles in the hips allow a hockey player to create a pushing motion with their leg then quickly bring the leg back under their body. Due to this, the ratio of force between the adductor and abductor muscles is a deciding factor that relates to the incidents of groin injuries.

Researchers have gotten the idea to compare the ratio of force of the adductor/abductor muscles in preseason. After this, they analyzed their results of the players with groin injuries during the season with the players who were healthy. The average force of the adductor muscles in preseason was 18% lower compared to the average of the healthy players. The ratio of force from the adductor/abductor muscles was significantly different between both groups. The ratio for the healthy players was, on average, 95%. The ratio for the injured players was 78% on average. Plus the injured players had an average ratio of a healthy groin that was 86% whereas those with an injured groin were 70%.

The ratio of force for the adductor/abductor muscles is an excellent projection of an injury to the groin. In the end, players with an inferior ratio of 80% are 17 times more at risk to have a groin related injury.

It is now possible to diminish the risk of having this injury by normalizing the ratio of force between your adductors and abductors in the hip. It is recommended to consult a professional who could precisely evaluate your force and consult you by exercise reports that may limit the risk.

Written by Maxime Provencher, M. Physiotherapy

References :
Tyler TF, Nicholas SJ, Campbell RJ, McHugh MP. The association of hip strength and flexibility on the incidence of groin strains in professional ice hockey players. Am J Sports Med. 2001;29(2):124-128.

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