Common Foot Problems

Field Hockey Injury Management Innaloo

Field Hockey Injury Management Innaloo

If you play field hockey you will be well aware of the speed, agility and endurance required to play the game. But did you know that when you play hockey your feet get placed heightened stress?

Because of the increased stress, your feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back are at risk of sustaining an injury related to hockey.

What are the Risk Factors for Hockey Related Injuries?

  1. Foot problems such as flat feet or an excessively high arched foot.

    • This is because flat and high arched feet prevent you from absorbing shock and effectively
    • As a result, the shock gets transmitted into the joints in your ankle, knee, hip and lower back
    • This can cause overuse injuries
  2. Not wearing hockey specific footwear

  3. Training errors

    • Increasing your level or duration of play too rapidly
    • Not stretching and warming up prior to play
    • Changing the type of surface you play on
  4. Previous injury to your lower extremity

  5. Prolonged running on artificial turf

Common Lower Extremity Injuries Caused by Hockey

Again, like with many other sporting injuries, hockey injuries can be either be acute or chronic. We frequently see injuries relating to hockey in our clinic which usually stem from the physical demands required to play hockey combined with foot or knee joint misalignment which places increased stress on the surrounding muscles, tendons and bones.

As well as this, prolonged running on artificial turf can further contribute to overuse injuries as this surface has a reduced capacity to absorb shock.

Therefore in order to reduce your risk of injury, its important to wear shoes and insoles with good support and cushioning.

Acute Injuries

  1. Twisting your ankle (inversion ankle sprains): These can result from rapid changes in direction that causes the outside of your ankle joint to become over stretched. People who have had an ankle sprain in the past are more likely to re-injure their ankle. Ankle strapping and bracing can help to reduce the risk of re-injury
  2. Fractures to the foot and ankle
  3. Turf Toe

Chronic (Overuse) Injuries

  1. Shin Splints
    1. Characterised by generalized pain along the course of your shin.
    2. You will notice that the shin will be tender when pressure is applied up and down the shin bone.
    3. Symptoms are more severe at the beginning of activity and the pain may decrease as the muscles in your legs warm up
    4. Shin splints are commonly caused by poor footwear, flat or excessively high arched feet, sudden increases in activity and hard soled shoes such as hockey cleats.
  2. Plantar fasciitis (Heel pain)
    1. You may notice pain during the first few steps when you get out of bed and pain on standing after a period of rest.
    2. The pain may improve after your foot warms up, only to come back towards the end of the day or during and after physical activity.
    3. This is one of the most common causes of foot pain and it is usually the result of poor foot mechanics such as flat or excessively high arched feet.
    4. It can also be the result of tight muscles, sudden increases in the intensity and duration of activity and non supportive footwear.
  3. Achilles Tendinopathy/Tendonitis
    1. Injury to your Achilles tendon can occur as a result of excessively tight calf muscles, poor foot mechanics such as over pronation and flat feet, poor footwear, and repeated quick movements and over training.
    2. Common symptoms experienced include stiffness in the back of your heel in the morning and during activity warm up, tenderness along your Achilles tendon to pressure, thickening and nodular appearance of the tendon that you may be able to feel if you run your finger along the length of the tendon.

In hockey, chronic and over use injuries are far more common than acute injuries and can progressively worsen to the point where you may have to stop playing hockey all together. If you have noticed a problem or an ache or niggle in your feet or ankles when your playing hockey it’s important to get it looked at by a podiatrist as soon as possible. By seeking treatment early, problems such as those mentioned above usually respond very well to treatment. This means you can spend less time off the field and more time playing the sport that you love.

If you live around Innaloo, Stirling, Wembley, Churchlands, Doubleview, Osborne Park or Karrinyup, our podiatrist Dr. Stephanie Cooper would love to help fix your foot pain. You can contact her by calling us on (08) 92428566 to book an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you today!

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