Hockey is a fast-paced game that combines players of different sizes together with high speeds and fast, furious action. It is a team sport played on ice in which two teams of skaters use sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent’s net to score points. Hockey is also referred to as field hockey, a sport played on gravel, natural grass or sand-based artificial turf, with a small hard ball.
Like every other sports, hockey is not without risk of injuries. Bumps and bruises, or sprains and strains are no strangers to hockey players.
Common Problems in Hockey Players
Hockey is a full contact sport. Although hockey players wear protective equipment, they are still prone to injuries due to accidents or rage between players.
Hockey players are next to solid ice, razor sharp blades, sticks, a puck that can exceed speeds of 160 km/h, hitting and collisions that are happening every second.
Most hockey injuries happen due to high impact hits and occur while in the middle of a game. Common injuries in hockey include lacerations, ankle ligament sprains, knee internal derangements, concussions, facial injuries and finger fractures. Studies show that most hockey injuries occur during games rather than practices.
How to Prevent Hockey Injuries
For most players, preparing for season and good warm up routine before entering the ice field, pre-season assessment and complementary exercises throughout the season help prevent injury.
Stretching hip flexor muscles with lunges can help prevent back and hip injuries. Dynamic stretching such as high knees engages the muscles.
If you have pre-existing injuries, visiting a physiotherapist for specific exercises prior to the season will strengthen muscles and prevent injuries from coming back.
During season, it helps to do conditioning exercises that will assist with hop mobility and strengthening pelvis stability.
During game or practice, complete gear is a must. Wear protective gear that is right for you. The right equipment should be comfortable, yet should minimise injury during your practices and games.
How Physiotherapy Helps
Physiotherapists have the ability to create specific rehabilitation/strength and conditioning programmes for an athlete in his/her sport.
They understand your sport and its biomechanics. They have good understanding and awareness of optimal performance nutrition and supplementation in a particular sport, including hockey.
Physiotherapy is like getting treatments of all sorts provided by one healthcare professional. A physiotherapist is trained to perform techniques used by most hands-on professionals such as chiropractors, osteopaths, massage therapists and kinesiologists.
Hands-on techniques used in physiotherapy may include joint mobilisation, joint manipulation, physiotherapy instrument mobilisation, minimal energy techniques, muscle stretching, neurodynamics, and massage and soft tissue techniques.
Strapping and taping may be used to prevent injuries. Acupuncture and dry needling helps in pain relief and muscle function. You will also be given exercise therapy to strengthen your muscles and improve your function. Biomechanical assessments will help prevent injuries from coming back.
Our Perth physiotherapists at Happy Physio incorporate these principles to ensure you will get optimum health and performance.
If you have pain or injuries, we can help bring you into action without the pain stopping you. Call us at 9272 7359 today!