Methods: All conditions presenting were recorded. Diagnosis was recorded along with clinical parameters of injury: injury type, severity, mechanism and whether referral or advanced imaging was required. All treatment provided was continuously recorded, including information on the number of treatments required and the reason, duration, type and location of treatment.
Results: Players presented for diagnosis of injury 50 times. Muscle (34%), joint (24%) and tendon injuries (18%) were most common. Players presented with a new injury 76% of the time. Most injuries had been present for less than one week (84%), with 53% occurring through a contact mechanism. Injuries were common at training and match locations. Only two injuries required the player to stop playing or training, both of which were referred for advanced imaging. During the study, 134 treatment consultations were rendered to 45 player injuries. Eighty per-cent of injuries were managed with four or less treatments. Three quarters of treatment was provided at training locations with treatment duration predominantly being between 11-15 minutes (71%) and 16-20 minutes (27%). Most treatment delivered was passive in nature (71%) although combination active and passive care was provided (27%). Treatment typically involved joint (81%) and soft tissue based therapies (81%) and was delivered in a full body manner.
Conclusions: This study documented the injury profile of ice hockey at an international level of competition. It documented the conditions presenting to a chiropractor for diagnosis and the treatment provided. Treatment was consistent with that recommended for chiropractic management of athletic injuries. This documentation of sports chiropractic scope of practice fills a void in the literature and assists in determining a role for sports chiropractors as primary health providers or in multidisciplinary sports management teams.
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