Hockey is an intense sport that requires agility and focus. Both field and ice hockey can lead to knee injuries that cause pain, swelling and other uncomfortable symptoms. Knee pain resulting from injury or other causes can also impair your ability to play hockey. Understanding the nature of knee pain in hockey players can help you take steps to prevent injury and treat the underlying cause.
Causes and Risk Factors
Knee pain can arise in hockey players for a variety of reasons. In many instances, injury is to blame for pain in athletes. The medial collateral ligament is the most common location for knee injury. Bursitis, torn meniscus and ACL injuries may also occur due to excessive joint stress caused by sports like hockey. Previous knee injury is also a risk factor for knee injury. In some cases, pain may stem from underlying conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Knee pain is often accompanied by other symptoms, some of which may give clues about its underlying cause. The severity, duration and location of knee pain can vary greatly depending on its origin. Redness, swelling and warmth around the joint may signal rheumatoid arthritis or infection. Pain that is worse with movement can be caused by various injuries, while popping and clicking noises are common in osteoarthritis. Other potential symptoms include joint stiffness, weakness and locking of the knee.
While there’s no way to prevent all risk of injury when playing hockey, you can reduce the risks by following a few simple guidelines. Always wear properly-fitting safety gear such as a mouth guard, helmet, knee pads and shin guards. Avoid aggressive play and give your body time to heal after injury. Minor knee pain may be treated with over-the-counter analgesics like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. For knee pain accompanied by marked swelling, stiffness or weakness, contact a doctor.
Knee pain can interfere with athletic performance as well as everyday activities like walking. In some cases, it can signal a more serious problem like septic arthritis or gout. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, over 63,000 ice hockey injuries requiring medical treatment occur each year in the U.S. These injuries often result in lost productivity, medical expenses and other complications that could often be prevented by observing proper safety precautions.
Note – This information has been taken from different internet sources.