Anyone who has watched a girl’s field hockey game knows that it is brimming with action, excitement, drama and sometimes injuries.
According to physioworks.com.au, “Field hockey is played in 132 countries and is the second most played team sport after soccer. It is estimated that 15% of hockey players are injured during a single season, and that injuries cause players to spend 11% of the total hockey season training and playing at less than full capacity.
Players aged 10 to 19 years accounted for 50% of injuries, mostly in the 15-19 year age group. Of all presentations, 5% are admitted to hospital for further treatment.”
Those are statistics that will get your attention.
If you have sustained an injury, the informative site hockeyperformanceacademy.com has a suggestion. “No-one knows your body better than you. Rest when you have been advised to even if you feel like you can play and stop if something doesn’t feel right. There is a difference between pain and discomfort, so learn to manage it and take responsibility for what feels right and what doesn’t.”
There is more to learn. We have a guest female writer with some exceptional insights.
Five Common Sports Injuries for Field Hockey Players
The fastest swing in sports cannot be found in competition of golf or baseball. This swing is specific to athletes engaging in the sport of field hockey. Players are known to produce speeds up to 100 mph when striking the rubber ball with a mixed compound stick. This popular, high-speed game sometimes involves players wearing inadequate equipment, which may result in many injuries.
Field hockey has been around since the Middle Ages and has adapted its style and resources throughout time. This growing sport has become a popular passion for many young people. In the U.S. is it a particularly popular sport for females. The game has been altered into a current format of 11 players on both teams, including a goalie with one ball in use at all times.
Field hockey is played on several different surface types including turf, grass, and tile, producing a range of speeds to the game. Field hockey has different time requirements based upon the level of play, yet the equipment used is the same throughout.
Field players are required to use a stick, mouth guard, and shin guards. The goalie has more equipment, making them less susceptible to injury during times of direct attack. Goalies must wear helmets, mouth guards, arm and leg pads, and a groin protector. These foam pads are used to help take away the direct force of the shot, yet the goalies are not always protected from sports injuries in this fast paced game.
Because the popularity of this sport is growing, a discussion about common injuries in the game may be particularly important. Here are five common sports injuries found in the sport of field hockey.
- Bruises come and go with this sport, but they are inevitable. Bruises are caused by impact which ruptures blood vessels under your skin. Even with the required equipment and protection, there are many opportunities to be struck with the ball or sticks during this intense game.
- Cuts that often begin as small scratches which can turn into bleeding wounds are a real issue when players engage at high speeds and competitive levels.
- Ankle sprains are the result of the footwork and agility constantly used in this sport. There is a lot of shuffling and finesse in this game and when a player’s body goes one way and their feet go the other, an ankle sprain may occur. Games played on uneven, grassy surfaces may also facilitate an ankle sprain.
- Broken noses are a part of this sport at every level. The height of the stick can cause this injury, as well as the force of the ball when hit indirectly. Wearing a caged mask for field play may be one option for avoiding this injury.
- Strained muscles may be the most common sports injury for field hockey players. This sport requires a lot of leg power, body rotation, and arm movements. At times, athletes overwork these muscles by straining them, or sometimes pulling them from constant overuse.
Because field hockey has become a popular sport played all around the world, it is important to understand the common injuries associated with this activity, as well as learning ways to prevent them. By using the right equipment, following the rules, and engaging in healthy training and conditioning, you can greatly reduce your risk of injury while enjoying the exciting game of field hockey. To understand more and to seek treatment for field hockey injuries, click here[adToAppearHere]
Dr. Stacie L. Grossfeld is a board certified Orthopedic Doctor practicing orthopedic and sports medicine in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Grossfeld graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Fowler-Kennedy Sports Medicine Center. Dr. Grossfeld currently works as a Louisville orthopedic surgeon in private practice at Orthopedic Specialists. Dr. Grossfeld also serves as a clinical instructor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Louisville. Her special interests are in knee and shoulder reconstruction and sports medicine. She works with athletes engaged in many different sports including football, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, cycling, running, swimming, body-building, and more. Learn more about Orthopedic Specialists and orthopedic medicine in Louisville, Kentucky.[adToAppearHere]
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OPENING PHOTO New Trier’s Alison Denby tangles with Glenbard West’s Tessa Erickson during the Illinois Field Hockey State Championships . Photography by Joel Lerner/JWC Media
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