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Knowledge transfer and education
Concussion and strength performance in youth ice hockey players
  1. Nick Reed1,2,3,*,
  2. Tim Taha5,
  3. Michelle L Keightley1,2,3,4,5,6
  1. 1Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
  2. 2Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (University of Toronto)
  3. 3Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science (University of Toronto)
  4. 4Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
  5. 5Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education (University of Toronto)
  6. 6Department of Psychology (University of Toronto)


    Objective To explore the influence of concussion on strength performance within youth ice hockey players.

    Design Athletes were assessed prospectively before and after a sport-related concussion and longitudinally across a 3-year period.

    Setting University research laboratory.

    Participants 178 unique male and female youth ice hockey players (ages 8–14 years). Nineteen of the 178 participants sustained a concussion while enrolled in the study, where three participants sustained repeated concussions for a total of 23 concussive events.

    Intervention Participants completed a pre-season/baseline assessment of strength performance annually for up to 3 years. If a concussion was sustained, follow-up assessment on the same measures was.

    Outcome Measures Lower body and upper body strength performance (leg maximal voluntary contraction, squat jump height, counter movement jump height and hand grip).

    Results Using a linear mixed-effects model, when accounting for severity of post-concussive symptoms, significant average effects were found for jump height (squat jump: Estimate=−0.05; SE=0.02; t=−2.51; P=0.0186; countermovement jump: Estimate=−0.03; SE=0.02; t=−2.20; P=0.0371) during the symptomatic stage post-concussion and for leg maximal voluntary contraction (Estimate=−1.05; SE=0.47; t=−2.27; P=0.0421) during the asymptomatic stage post-concussion, indicating decreased strength performance following concussion.

    Conclusions This study acts as an initial step towards better understanding concussion-related strength performance deficits that may limit the on and off ice performance of the youth ice hockey player population.

    Acknowledgements Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF).

    Competing interests None.

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