Is there a relationship between whiplash-associated disorders and concussion in hockey? A preliminary study

Brain Inj. 2006 Feb;20(2):179-88. doi: 10.1080/02699050500443707.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Hockey / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recovery of Function
  • Whiplash Injuries / epidemiology*