The effectiveness of a preseason exercise program to prevent adductor muscle strains in professional ice hockey players

Am J Sports Med. 2002 Sep-Oct;30(5):680-3. doi: 10.1177/03635465020300050801.


Background: Adductor strains are among the most common injuries in ice hockey. Hip adductor weakness has been identified as a strong risk factor.

Hypothesis: An intervention program including muscle strengthening can reduce the incidence of adductor strains in professional ice hockey players.

Study design: Prospective risk factor prevention study.

Methods: Thirty-three of 58 players from the same National Hockey League team were identified as "at risk" on the basis of preseason hip adductor strength and participated in an intervention program. The program consisted of 6 weeks of exercises aimed at functional strengthening of the adductor muscles. Injury and individual exposure data were recorded for all players.

Results: There were 3 adductor strains in the 2 seasons subsequent to the intervention, compared with 11 in the previous 2 seasons (0.71 versus 3.2 per 1000 player-game exposures). All adductor strains were first-degree strains and occurred during games.

Conclusions: A therapeutic intervention of strengthening the adductor muscle group appears to be an effective method for preventing adductor strains in professional ice hockey players.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Hip Injuries / epidemiology
  • Hip Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Hockey / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sprains and Strains / epidemiology
  • Sprains and Strains / prevention & control*