NHL doctors and trainers are training their minds to think about how to best treat and heal a knee issue before they even have symptoms, as evidenced by a study released Wednesday by the American Academy of Sports Medicine.
“What we’re seeing is a lot of really interesting research that’s showing that a lot more research needs to be done,” said Dr. Joseph M. Rechtshaid, chairman of the American Board of Sports Mediators and an assistant professor at the University of Washington.
“We need to know that we have the right techniques and how to use them to treat the symptoms before they get to a knee that’s going to be a lifelong, chronic injury.”
The new study, conducted by a team of sports medicine experts at the school, is based on data collected over a decade of training and observation of more than 700 NHL players.
In the study, researchers also looked at the effects of specific techniques and treatments for various knee injuries, such as ACL surgery, hip replacement, arthroscopic knee reconstruction, and even knee reconstructive surgery.
While the findings were interesting, they’re not as promising as the one that emerged from an earlier study done in 2016.
That study found that the majority of NHL players who suffered a knee reconstruction had problems with knee joint pain, joint instability and/or stiffness, pain in the knee itself and other knee problems.
It’s important to note that the new study found no correlation between injury severity and the amount of knee surgery a player had undergone.
The study’s authors, Dr. Steven M. Janssen and Dr. Michael A. Peltier, both from the University at Buffalo, examined data collected from over 100 NHL players over a three-year period.
They found that a large majority of the players in their study had symptoms of a knee pain, but that most of those problems did not result in injury.
“The data that we had looked at was a relatively small sample size, so the data is not that definitive,” said Peltiers.
But they did find that a significant number of NHL athletes with knee problems had significant knee issues.
In other words, a lot.
In the study’s first year of analysis, there were nearly 7,000 injuries that took place.
Of those, 6,000 were concussions, while 1,300 were ACLs, 1,500 were hip replacement procedures, 1 and a half were arthroplasty operations, and a whopping 8,000 patients had knee pain.
And that’s just the injuries that happened during the season.
The vast majority of injuries were not severe enough to require ACL surgery.
Most players suffered minor knee problems, such, a minor dislocation or a mild flexion, while most were diagnosed with other knee issues, such hip replacement or knee reconstructing.
The most common knee problems that occurred were:1.
Tension headaches (the pain in your knee is often accompanied by pain in other areas of your body, such a thigh, hip or shin)2.
Stiffness in the kneecap, called patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFP)3.
Muscle pain (muscle stiffness can be related to pain or injury in the muscles, such knee)4.
Tightness in your ankle (tightness can cause a problem with knee ligaments or tendons)5.
Joint pain, such arthritis, tendinitis, and patellar tendinosis6.
Joint inflammation, such swelling, bruising, or inflammation7.
Pain in your groin, buttocks, groin joint, and other areas, such tightness or numbness8.
Tight knee ligament and Achilles tendon9.
Joint stiffness, such stiffness that makes it difficult to move, or pain in and around your knee10.
Injuries to the knee tendons or cartilage of the knee11.
Joint discomfort, such pain in or around your kneecaps or the inside of your kneepads, especially the knee in or on the inside12.
Pain with an increased range of motion of the kneepad13.
Pain during or after running or other activities, such discomfort or aching13.
Inadequate mobility of the lower extremity14.
Pain around the knee, particularly around the ankle15.
Patellofeminar pain syndrome, pain or discomfort around the kneebap or in or near the kneelock16.
Knee pain and inflammation that increases in intensity17.
Pain when performing an athlete’s routine movement18.
Pain at the joint in front of the ankle19.
Pain near the ankle20.
Pain from compression of the joint21.
Pain or pain with the kneepad22.
Pain that is more intense than usual23.
Pain along the knee that increases to a point that it makes you feel like you’re floating24.
Pain on or near a knee joint25.
Pain after a fall26.
Pain following a fall27.
Pain caused by a fall28.
Pain due to the impact of a fall29.
Pain because of an accident30.