The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Field Hockey Foot Injuries

Posted by on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

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I never played any organized sports when I was a kid. I was one of those arts kids, so my parents had enough to do with taking me to play rehearsals; they surely had no desire to sign me up for something that would also involve practices and games at odd hours. I didn’t really push for it either. I couldn’t run fast and couldn’t catch a cold, let alone a ball. I could have been the keynote speaker at a world conference for athletically challenged teens (provided I didn’t trip and fall on my way to the podium).

Still, there was always a little tiny part of me that wished I could play some kind of sport. When I was a sophomore in high school, I felt I had done well enough in field hockey in gym class that I casually mentioned to a few people that maybe next year I would go out for the field hockey team. I knew I wouldn’t make the varsity and win the big game but thought maybe it would be fun if I just played on JV. Many people took the time to remind me that I did have a stunning lack of athletic skills and most likely would get really, really injured if I tried to play field hockey. So I didn’t pursue it.

Luckily, as an adult, I’ve found plenty of athletic pursuits that don’t require you to run particularly fast or catch or hit a ball, so I don’t have many regrets about my non-existent field hockey career. I do, however, still have a fine appreciation for the sport and the athletes who go out there and put their shins and other body parts at risk.

With field hockey season starting up in high schools over the next few weeks, let’s take a look at the types of injuries that can affect field hockey players.

Here are some common field hockey injuries that affect the feet and ankles:

Traumatic injuries, or injuries that come from a sudden event:

Ankle sprains and fractures

Contusions (bruises)

Foot bone fractures

Lisfranc fractures

There’s no way to guarantee prevention of these type of injuries. When people are flying around a field wielding sticks and balls, cutting back and forth quickly on turf, feet are going to get whacked and ankles twisted (or worse). The best way to try to prevent traumatic foot injuries is to make sure that the players are wearing the right kind of field hockey shoes. Players should look for shoes that have protective lining to guard against hard hit balls. They also should make sure they can fit two pairs of socks in their shoes, in order to accommodate the second pair that holds up the shin guards.

Overuse injuries can also be a problem. These include:

Stress fractures

Achilles tendonitis

Sesamoiditis

Peroneal tendon dislocation

Posterior tibial tendonitis

Plantar fasciitis

Shin splints

The best way to deal with overuse injuries is to try to avoid them or at least catch them early. Make sure you cross train and if you start to feel any nagging pain in your foot or ankle, see a podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900) to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Field hockey is a fun sport–sure, you need to be a good athlete to lead your team to the state championship, but you can be pretty average and still have a good time and play a competent game. Let your kid try it, join an adult league and enjoy–and keep your feet safe!

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.