Apr 8, 2017
Shoulder the Load

Shoulder-to-head contact is the most common cause of concussions among men’s ice hockey players. However, adding two centimeters of foam to hockey players’ shoulder pads may help in reducing the rate of head injuries.

A recently published study examined the change in acceleration and rotational velocity in shoulder-to-head impacts. A news release from Simon Fraser University explains that the researchers, led by Steve Robinovitch, PhD, Professor in the School of Engineering Science at SFU, asked collegiate men’s ice hockey players to check an instrumented body-checking dummy’s head.

During the study, the hockey players wore baseline and modified shoulder pads. The baseline pads were made of rigid plastic caps, while the modified pads included a two centimeter-thick layer of foam over the caps. The modified pads were shown to reduce peak linear acceleration of the head by 25 percent and reduce the peak rotational velocity by 12 percent.

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