Primary objective: To examine the relationship between the occurrence of whiplash-associated disorders and concussion symptoms in hockey players.
Research design: Prospective cohort observational study to examine the relationship between whiplash associated disorders and concussion in actual hockey play.
Methods and procedures: Twenty hockey teams were followed prospectively for one season. Team therapists completed acute and 7-10 day follow-up evaluation questionnaires for all of the players who received either a whiplash mechanism or a concussion.
Main outcomes and results: 183 players were registered for this study; 13 received either a whiplash mechanistic injury or a concussion injury. Initial injuries ranged from WAD I to WAD III and all subjects reported concussion symptoms. Only three subjects reported full resolution of both WAD and concussion symptoms at the 7-10 day follow-up evaluation.
Conclusions: There is a strong association between whiplash induced neck injuries and the symptoms of concussion in hockey injuries. Both should be evaluated when dealing with athletes/patients suffering from either injury.