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1994 Publications

Hip Flexor Tightness In Professional Ice Hockey T. Tyler, L. Zook*, G.W. Gleim, FACSM.NISMAT, Lenox Hill Hospital, N.Y., N.Y. and LIU Physical Therapy, Brooklyn, N.Y. - last modified 2013-02-09 00:00
Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 26(5):s14, 1994.


Hip flexor strains and low back pain occur frequently in ice hockey players and may be related to chronically shortened iliopsoas muscles. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the hip extension range of motion of professional ice hockey players (n=14) as compared to age matched controls (n=25).

All participants were screened for leg length discrepancy, recent history of low back pain, and lower extremity injury. Objective data was obtained using a modified thomas test with an electrical sensing devise to ensure the maintenance of a posterior pelvic tilt during testing. The coefficient of variation for this test was found to range from 0.5% to 1.6%. Mean ROM in degrees +/- SEM.

Hockey players had significantly less hip extension range of motion than controls (p < 01). There was no significant effect for side of the body nor any significant interaction term. The results indicate a significant bilateral reduction in hip extension range of motion in professional hockey players.

Thus, measured hip flexion tightness may be related to the epidemiology of injury in ice hockey. Instruction in stretching techniques of the iliopsoas muscle, while avoiding anterior pelvic tilt, may be recommended for hockey players.