Hockey injuries are common to many sports, but to to the stop-start action in the game, the rate of injury is often higher. Hockey is one of the oldest forms of team sport and is played by both adults and adolescents alike. This article features five of the most common hockey injuries and how they can be treated at home using the P.R.I.C.E. therapy method – Protection | Rest | Ice | Compression | Elevation
Ankle injuries are quite common in hockey due to the foot rolling inwards or, less commonly, outwards. These injuries are called sprains and could range from grade 1 (most serious) to grade 3 (less serious). Due to the ankle rolling to one side, ligaments are often injured during this motion and thus a sprain occurs. It is very important to apply P.R.I.C.E. principles once a sprain occurs – this can be done without medical assistance. However, if pain and swelling persist for more than a few days, you should consult your physiotherapist or doctor. If you wish to read more, have a look at our Spotlight on Ankle Injuries article.
ACL or anterior cruciate ligament injuries are common knee injuries caused by sudden stop-and-twist movements on a stationary knee. This type of hockey injury is usually non-contact related. If the ACL is completely torn surgery will be required, but if not, apply P.R.I.C.E. principles as well as booking a visit to your physiotherapist.
A strain is described as an injury to the muscle or tendon. The hamstring is located at the back of the upper thigh. These hockey injuries are usually caused by quick bursts of speed, so often required of the athlete during a vigorous hockey game. Healing can be quite slow and the potential for a repeat injury is quite common. If you’d like to read more about this injury, also have a look at our Spotlight on Hamstring Injuries article.
Shin splints can be described as pain down the front part of your lower leg. This injury is generally caused by running on hard surfaces such as a hockey pitch. Basketball players and road runners also experience this discomfort. Providing it is not too severe, treatment with sports massage and anti-inflammatory medication does help. Read this article about exercises for shin splints.
Strains caused to the groin area occur from making side-to-side movements, such as when running with a hockey stick and ball. This injury is generally experienced by hockey players who have inner thigh (adductor) muscles that are weaker than the outer (abductor) muscles. Football is another game where the incidence of similar injury takes place. Watch a video on stretches and exercises for groin strains.
What can you do to prevent hockey injuries?
Warming up before a match is fundamental to reducing injury, as this activity increases the blood flow to your muscles. Stretching as many lower body muscles as possible will also reduce the risk of injury. The result is that flexibility is improved before a quick and prolonged response is demanded from your body.
2. Once injured
P.R.I.C.E. principles should be applied:
See your physiotherapist if you have any persisting pain or swelling post-injury. Should you be experiencing any of the injuries mentioned above, use our handy appointment form to make a booking at one of the Lamberti Physiotherapy practices.