Hockey Injuries


Article by John Miller


Field Hockey

Enhancing Safety and Performance

Field hockey is a widely played team sports enthusiasts in 132 countries enjoy. It holds the distinction of being the second most popular team sport globally, right after soccer. However, the game’s physical nature carries a risk of injuries, with an estimated 15% of hockey players experiencing injuries during a single season. These injuries often result in players spending approximately 11% of the hockey season training and competing at less than their total capacity.

To ensure the safety and well-being of field hockey players and enhance their performance on the field, stakeholders can implement several measures.

Demographics of Injuries:

A significant portion of hockey injuries occur among players aged 10 to 19, with the 15-19 age group experiencing the most injuries. Approximately 5% of all injuries require hospitalisation for further treatment.

Types of Hockey Injuries:

The most severe hockey injuries typically arise from being struck by a stick or the ball. Hospital presentations commonly involve open wounds, fractures, sprains, strains, bruising, and lacerations. Injuries to the upper limb, particularly the hand and forearm, and the face and lower limb (including ankle, foot, and knee injuries) are the most prevalent. While head and eye injuries are relatively infrequent, they tend to be more severe, often requiring hospitalisation. Dental injuries, although uncommon, can cause significant and irreversible damage. Moreover, field hockey players frequently report overuse injuries to the ankles and lower back.

Safety Tips for Hockey Players:

  1. Fitness Testing: Before the season starts, players must undergo fitness testing. This assessment helps identify individual strengths and weaknesses, allowing for personalised training programs and injury prevention strategies.
  2. Warm-Up and Cool-Down: Players should make it a routine to warm up adequately before games and cool down afterwards. These exercises include performing appropriate stretches to prepare the body for physical activity and aid recovery. Field hockey players should give particular attention to thoroughly warming up and stretching the ankles, hips, and lower back, as these areas are especially prone to injuries in the sport.
  3. Protective Equipment: Wearing appropriate protective equipment is crucial to minimise the risk of injuries. Goalkeepers, in particular, should always wear a helmet and face guard during training and competition. Additionally, all players should wear shock-absorbent shin guards during training, informal play, and official matches.
  4. Mouth Guards: All players should wear properly fitted mouthguards to prevent dental injuries. Although dental injuries are infrequent, their potential severity and irreversible damage make protective mouthguards essential.
  5. Technique and Skill Development: Coaches should prioritise teaching proper technique and skills to players. Emphasising correct tackling, shooting, and stick-handling techniques can significantly reduce the risk of injuries during gameplay.
  6. Regular Conditioning: Incorporating strength and conditioning exercises into training programs can enhance players’ physical fitness, agility, and endurance. A well-conditioned body is less prone to injuries and can perform optimally throughout the season.
  7. Hydration and Nutrition: Proper hydration and nutrition are vital for overall performance and injury prevention. Players should maintain adequate fluid intake before, during, and after matches and consume a balanced diet that supports their energy needs and promotes optimal recovery.

By implementing these safety tips and fostering a culture of injury prevention within the field hockey community, we can ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience for players of all ages. Moreover, these practices will enhance performance on the field, allowing players to reach their full potential in the sport they love.

For optimal outcomes, field hockey players are advised to actively seek the professional guidance of a physiotherapist who possesses a comprehensive understanding of the game.


Article by Zoe Russell

Sports Physiotherapy FAQs

Sports Physiotherapist Brisbane

Sports Physiotherapy is the specialised branch of physiotherapy which deals with injuries and issues related to spokespeople. Practitioners with additional formal training within Australia are Sports & Exercise Physiotherapists.

What is Sports Physiotherapy?

Sports injuries do differ from common everyday injuries. Athletes usually require high-level performance and demands placed upon their bodies, which stresses their muscles, joints and bones to the limit. Sports physiotherapists help athletes recover from sporting injuries and provide education and resources to prevent problems. Each sports physiotherapist usually has sport-specific knowledge that addresses acute, chronic and overuse injuries. Their services are generally available to sportsmen and women of all ages engaged in sports at any level of competition.

Members of Sports Physiotherapy Australia (SPA) have experience and knowledge of the latest evidence-based practice, professional assessment and diagnosis of sports injuries, and effective hands-on management techniques and exercise protocols to assist recovery and prevent future damage. SPA members have access to the most recent advances in sports physiotherapy. You'll be pleased to know that most PhysioWorks physiotherapists and massage therapists are particularly interested in sports injury management.

General Sports Physio FAQs

Injury Management

Sports Massage

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Understanding Common Muscle Injuries: A Comprehensive Guide

Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, can result from various causes and can affect different areas of the body. Managing and preventing discomfort requires a clear understanding of these common muscle injuries. This comprehensive guide aims to explore several sources of muscle pain, including injuries in the neck and back, strains in the lower limbs, conditions in the upper limbs, systemic causes, and more.

To provide valuable insights into the management of common muscle injuries, this guide offers answers to frequently asked questions and suggests products that can aid in your recovery. Access additional information about each specific injury by clicking the provided links.

Neck & Back Muscle Injuries

Lower Limb Muscle Injuries

Upper Limb Muscle Injuries

Haematoma-Related Myalgia

Fatigue-Related Myalgia

Systemic Causes of Myalgia

More Information: Myalgia

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Common Ligament Injuries

Ligament injuries are common in the human body, often causing pain, discomfort, and limitations in mobility.

Various body parts are prone to ligament injuries, such as the knee, ankle, shoulder, wrist, hand, and spine. Among the most prevalent are knee ligament injuries, which include ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) injuries, as well as MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) and LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) sprains.

In addition, ligament injuries can affect other areas, such as the shoulder, leading to AC (Acromioclavicular) joint injuries and dislocated shoulders. Wrist and hand ligament injuries, including thumb and finger sprains, are also common. Furthermore, ligament injuries can occur in the spine, resulting in back and neck sprains and conditions like "text neck" and whiplash. Understanding these common ligament injuries is essential for prevention, early diagnosis, and effective treatment, enabling individuals to regain their functionality and resume their daily activities.

Knee Ligament Injuries

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Shoulder Ligament Injuries

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Spinal Ligament Injuries

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