Field hockey is an intense and very enjoyable sport. It can be an aggressive game, requiring quick action and plenty of sudden stops and starts. When these sudden stresses are put on the body repeatedly, injury can occur. Here are 5 of the most common field hockey injuries.
Knee injury – The two most common hockey knee injuries are a damaged (torn) ACL or cartilage damage. An anterior cruciate ligament injury is usually incurred through a sudden start/stop motion with the knee, or a sharp twist. If it’s completely torn, surgery is commonly required to repair the damage. Cartilage damage typically occurs over time, through twisting pressure on the knee joints while changing direction on the field.
Shin splints – You’ll know if you’ve had shin splints before – they can be really painful, and a little confusing because the cause is sometimes ambiguous. Shin splint pain occurs along the length of the shin, the lower legs. There’s not much to do but rest. Sometimes it’s caused by running too often on concrete or road surfaces, so try to switch to laps on grass if you do suffer from them.
Ankle sprain – Rolled ankles are painful and quite common hockey injuries. If the ankle bends out and the sole of the foot faces inward, it can damage the ligaments, causing the sprain. This can happen if your foot is caught in a divot or you change direction unsteadily. Recovery requires restrengthening the muscles around the injury for support.
Groin pull – Sometimes a quick sideways movement is required to get in front of the ball (or block it from goal). When that happens, occasionally the inner leg (groin) muscles are called on, and because they are uncommonly used or strengthened, an unexpected movement can strain them.
Hamstring strain – Hamstring injuries are quite painful and typically have a long recovery period. Because players are usually anxious to get back on the field, there is a higher rate of re-injury. The hamstrings are muscles in the upper leg. Hamstrings are ‘pulled’ or strained when a quick burst of speed is used and the body isn’t properly warmed up first.
Help avoid hockey injuries by:
• warming up adequately before training or matches
• have patience and increase training gradually
• use training specific to the physical demands of hockey
• continue to strengthen injured muscles long after the injury has healed
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site
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