Common hockey facial injuries and how to avoid them

Hockey is a contact sport and like any other contact sport injuries are common when players play hard and tough throughout the duration of a game. As a result, many players get injured during play whether you’re playing in an amateur league or at the highest professional level.

There are overuse injuries where players injure joints for playing and training hard. However, the most common injuries in hockey are those caused by direct trauma due to physical contact while playing the game.

It is common for hockey players to body check their opponent, collide with other players on the ice, or get hit by the puck or stick when players are trying to win. This is an inherent danger of the sport that underscores the injuries players experience.

Injuries are common on the head, face, hip, back, and shoulders which will receive the brunt of the force from physical contact made. Facial injuries to hockey players are some of the most overlooked injuries in hockey because many players treat it as an inconsequential to performance especially when adrenaline in the body is running high.

Although this is an admirable quality that competitive athletes share. Injury to any athlete’s face can have implications both in player aesthetics and performance which is why hockey players should learn how to protect their face from possible injury as much as they do with other body parts and joints. We have here some of the most common facial injuries in hockey coupled with advice on how to prevent them.

Game Cuts

A cut on the face is commonly seen on hockey players while they play. It can be caused from the impact of getting hit with the head bobbing back, hitting the body of another player or slamming on the cold icy field which can open a nasty cut.

Most players just endure the cut and still go out and play to win. Therefore, many hockey associations advise players to wear a full-faced helmet to shield the face from getting cuts from hits, from falling, or the more unlikely hit from the stick, the puck, or the sharp skate below the shoes.

Black Eye

Black eyes are seen in contact sports most often. It results from the uncontrolled movement of the head where the face hits are hard object. Some players get it because they get into a fight with another player from the other team mostly due to heightened emotions during a physical game.

Players should always remember to wear their protective gear especially the prescribe helmet in their league. It protects the head from direct trauma which is the main cause for black eyes since it is mainly a bruise on the face.

Concussion

Concussions are common in both ice hockey and football due to the whiplash players experience when getting a body check or hitting another player. At times, players get knocked out cold and get extreme headaches after they get hit hard.

First off, players should not keep their condition to themselves. Tell your team doctor the symptoms you’re feeling which is more likely a headache coupled with an uncomfortable feeling inside the head. This is important to prevent the concussion from worsening and taking the player out of the game.

Hockey helmets are equipped with protective padding to prevent the head from moving too far off which causes a concussion. Make sure you have them on as well as a mouth guard. Yes, the mouth guard doesn’t just protect the teeth from getting dislodged from hard contact it also absorbs a lot of the force experienced by athletes that can cause a concussion during a game. Have a trusted dentist custom fit a mouth guard for you to ensure maximum protection.

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