MONITORING FIELD HOCKEY INJURIES: THE FIRST STEP FOR PREVENTION

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Abstract

Background

Field hockey is a team sport with a high amount of running, stepping manoeuvres and player/material contact. Consequently, it can be expected that injury risk is high. Yet, little is know about injuries in this sport.

Objective

To measure the prevalence of injury during a field hockey season.

Design

Prospective cohort.

Setting

A field hockey season of the Dutch elite division.

Participants

83 field hockey players (54 women and 29 men) of 5 different teams selected by convenience. Four players dropped out the study (1 woman and 3 men).

Independent variables

Hours of sport exposure (specific training [i.e., on the field], additional training [e.g, fitness training], and competition).

Main Outcome Measurements

Prevalence of injury.

Results

In total, field hockey players spent 9,063 hours in hockey specific training, 3,378 in additional training and 2,412 in competition. The total hours of sport exposure was 14,853. A total of 143 injuries were recorded (63% overuse and 37% traumatic). This corresponds to a rate of 9.6 injuries per 1,000 hours of sport exposure. The average prevalence of injury was 26.7% (ranging from 9.6% to 49.1% per two weeks). Lower limbs were the most reported injury location (58.4%), followed by lumbar and thoracic spine/thorax (20.2%), upper limbs (17.8%) and head/neck (3.6%).

Conclusions

This study establishes the extent and pattern of injuries in Dutch field hockey elite players. The next step, according to van Mechelen's sequence of prevention (1992), is to investigate the aetiology and mechanism of such injuries in order to develop and introduce preventive measures.

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