Preseason performance on cervical, vestibular and divided attention measures in youth ice hockey players

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ObjectiveTo determine preseason values on cervical, vestibular and divided attention measures in youth ice hockey players aged 10-14 yearsDesignCross-Sectional studySettingSport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Alberta, CanadaParticipantsYouth Ice Hockey players (n=934, age 10-14 years).Outcome measuresNumeric pain rating scores for neck pain, headache, dizziness; Cervical flexor endurance test (CFE), cervical flexion rotation test (CFRT), cervical spine strength, head perturbation test, functional gait assessment (FGA), walking while talking test (WWTT), head thrust test and dynamic visual acuity (DVA).Main resultsSymptoms of neck pain, headaches and dizziness were reported by 17%, 18% and 10% of participants respectively. The median time of CFE was 27.0 seconds (IQR: 19.9, 40.7). CFRT was positive in 52 (6.2%) participants. Median anterolateral cervical spine strength was 8.0 lbs (IQR: 6.1, 10.3) right and 7.8 lbs (IQR: 6.0, 10.1) left. 13% of participants were unable to maintain a stationary head position when an external force was applied. 48% of participants performed less than perfect on the FGA. Time to complete a complex task while walking increased 40 foot walking time by a median of 6.4 seconds (IQR: 4.0, 10.3). Head thrust test was positive in 33 (3.7%) participants. Clinical DVA score was a median of 0.2 logMar (IQR: 0.1, 0.3).ConclusionsSymptoms are common at baseline and outcomes on many commonly used clinical tests may be different for healthy 10-14 year olds compared to the adult literature. These findings form an important reference point for the interpretation of post-injury testing.Competing interestsNone.

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