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It’s Hockey time..!

February holds an exciting line up of events at PhysioXpert. We would like to take the time to mention our first event for the year - the SA Indoor Hockey Championships running from 5 - 11 February 2023.


Quite a notable event in the world of hockey, which sees our very own SA team go up against the best in the world, with countries such as New Zealand, Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, USA & Australia take to the indoor court for some mouth-watering matches.

This year, PhysioXpert will be running field side with team SA to manage and deal with any niggles, injuries and rehabilitation needed in order to keep our stars soaring high all the way to the final!!

Because lower limb injuries will most likely be the main type of injuries occurring at an event like this, we thought it would be useful mentioning some of the injuries our skilled therapists will be treating and managing across the tournament.


So, what about hockey injuries, are there really injuries specific just to Hockey…???

The quick answer to this is yes. All sport comes with their own specific range of injuries, depending on which structures of the body will mostly be put under stress during participation.


More specifically, hockey players often have to make a series of quick movements and abrupt changes in direction which puts a lot of strain on their lower extremities and predispose them to injury. Research has shown that most hockey injuries occurs around the pelvis and thigh regions, while most hockey players report experiencing frequent low back discomfort and hamstring cramping. In fact up to 53% of hockey players experience some sort of lower back pain during a season (Reilly and Heaton, 1990). The distribution and frequency of hockey injuries are illustrated in the figure below. Understanding what kind of injuries we can expect helps us as Physiotherapists to prepare for a hockey tournament.





Interestingly, the playing position of a hockey player can also affect the types and frequency of injuries because different positions require the use of different tactics and approaches. For instance, studies have shown that defenders and midfielders sustain more injuries than goalkeepers and attackers. Again research guides practice, and we now know which players to keep a close eye on considering they are at a higher risk of getting injured.



What can we do for you?

Our skilled therapist will be busy monitoring and making sure that no SA player has a niggle or any sort of injury that’ll keep them away from what they enjoy doing most. According to research, there are three essential areas to concentrate on when attempting to reduce lower back discomfort in hockey players:

- Expand the range of motion in the hip and lumbosacral joints

- Boost trunk capacity and strength

- Strengthen the glutes and the posterior chain

When targeting the ankle, the main focus are:

- Increasing lower limb muscle capacity via strengthening & endurance

- Increasing and maintaining good range & mobility of the hip, knee and ankle

- Increasing spatial awareness with balance & proprioceptive techniques



These are just a few of the topics that our therapists will be concentrating on throughout the competition so If you're in the area and want to stop by and say hey, please do!

We won't be restricted to the competition and will be available at the practice the entire time, so schedule a session and stop by if you need assistance with advice & guidance on getting your injury sorted, preventing injuries or improving your performance! We look forward to seeing you!


References

- Badr, M. A. M. A. A., Gaballah, A. M. A. (2015) Common Injuries among Male Field Hockey Players According to Playing Positions. Journal of Applied Sports Science: March 2015, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 19-26.

- Ryan, J., DeBurca, N., Creesh, K. M. (2014) Risk Factors for Groin/Hip Injuries in Field-based Sports: A Systematic Review. British Journal of Sports Medicine: May 2014, Vol. 48, No. 14. DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092263

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