6 Common Field Hockey Injuries

Our products are trusted by over 85 elite teams, including...

England Hockey TeamHockey Wales Dorking Wanderers FCIpswich Town FC

Top Hockey Injuries 

Hockey, although not as dangerous as contact sports like Rugby and Football can still pose a risk of injury to athletes and hockey enthusiasts. Some attempts to make the game safer have been made in the form of rules and regulations, the FIH allows face gear within the 23m area and refs are less lenient on aerial balls.

The aim of these and similar rules is to safeguard hockey players and reduce the chance of them picking up an injury. Nevertheless, Hockey can still be quite dangerous, this is especially the case for professional-level hockey where the game is extremely fast-paced, a lot more demanding on the body and you are more likely to get hit with the ball.

Shin guards and face gear are extremely helpful for reducing injuries from the ball or a hockey stick; especially in short corners (penalty corners).  For tips on how to treat some common Hockey Injuries, please visit our Top 5 Tips for Hockey Injuries which was produced in collaboration with GB Hockey. 

Common Field Hockey Injuries

Hockey players physio treatment

What are common Field Hockey injuries?

As listed in the infographic, the common injuries are:

  • Shin Splints
  • Hamstring Strain
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Contusions
  • Knee Injuries
  • Lower Back Pain 

Some other common injuries also include:

  • AC Joint and Shoulder Injuries 
  • Concussions
  • Hand and Wrist Injuries
Hockey physiotherapy

What is the most common Field Hockey Injury?

According to a study on injuries at FIH tournaments,[1] for women, the most common injuries were to the head and face and it was the same case for men except men also picked up an equal amount of lower limb injuries such as the knee and thighs.

The ball was responsible for most of the injuries but some players' injuries were caused by sticks and from falling over.

The same study also concluded that the incidence of acute injuries in hockey was quite low but this does not factor in training where a lot of overuse injuries are more likely to occur.

Lower limb injuries are very common for both overuse and acute injuries 

Field hockey first aid kit

How do I treat a Field Hockey Injury?

As is the case with any acute injury, you should never attempt to treat an injury if you are not properly trained or qualified to do so.

If in the unfortunate case that nobody is around to help you attend to an injury then the POLICE Principle (Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression and Elevation) is a good guideline

PEACE & LOVE (Protection, Elevation, Avoid anti-inflammatories, Compression, Education, Load, Optimism, Vascularisation and Exercise), can also be quite helpful for managing the injury until someone can take a proper look at it and assess your injury.

If you are a sports medicine professional then you might benefit from our Sports First Aid Kit approved by GB Hockey - for more information please visit our Sports First Aid Kits and the relevant Sports First Aid Kit contents buyer's guide. 

How can I prevent a Field Hockey Injury?

Wearing protective gear is one of the most important parts of reducing your chances of picking up an injury while playing hockey, face gear is of course the most important but shin guards, padded hand protectors, gum shields/mouthguards and the Goalkeeper's kit are equally instrumental in properly protecting yourself from the ball or hockey sticks.

You can't do too much in terms of eliminating overuse and acute injuries and you can only realistically mitigate the likelihood of acute and overuse injuries.

Stretching properly and warming up can help you prepare for training and matches better, Foam Rollers can help you stretch. Taping and Strapping is of course another means of making sure hockey players don't pick up any injuries that can be caused by unnatural twisting or bending of joints which in turn can help prevent acute ligament and muscle injuries as well as overuse injuries.

Strengthening and Conditioning may also help make you less injury-prone and this is usually overseen by a physio or sports therapist, they use tools like Resistant Bands and Performance testing tools to essentially optimise your body.  

The video below, made in collaboration with GB Hockey shows you how to strengthen or rehabilitate your ankles, for more please visit our Hockey Guides 

Here's the information from the infographic in a bit more depth with the other common injuries not covered by the infographic. 

Ankle Sprain - Ankle ligament tear or damage, one of the extremely common injuries in hockey, caused by ankle roll or similar damage. The POLICE Principle and physiotherapy can help

Contusions - These are caused by impact from the ball, a stick or from a fall, the result is damage to the muscle and the symptoms include swelling and bruising. It is very common due to the nature of the sport as discussed earlier but contusions are typically easily treatable

Knee Injuries - ACL injuries and Cartilage damage are very common, caused by twisting or a sudden stop. Symptoms include swelling, instability and severe pain. Please consult a medical professional for proper guidance as these can be very serious injuries that inhibit your ability to walk and can create long-term damage or re-injury if not properly addressed. AACL knee support can help with stabilisation of the knee. 

Shin Splints - The pain is concentrated in the front part of the lower legs, along the tibia (shin bone) and it is caused by repetitive stress from running. POLICE Principle is helpful, lots of rest can reduce recovery to a few weeks but if pain persists then a physical therapy programme can help relieve pain. 

Hamstring Strain - These injuries involve damage to the tendon or muscle and are caused by short bursts of speed. The pain can be felt in the hamstrings which are along the backside of your thigh. A very bad strain can have a very long recovery time so re-injury and persisting discomfort are common

Lower Back Pain - A lot of time is spent in positions that aren't good for the spine and lower back. Hip Injuries are pretty common for the same reason. These injuries are theoretically avoidable with better posture and strengthening but if you are a professional hockey player then you are bound to have either back or hip problems at some point but some can be very minor. 

Other Common Injuries:

Shoulder injuries - Dislocated Shoulders are relatively common but this refers to overuse injuries more, AC Joint Injuries (which are acute injuries) are very common in Ice Hockey so there is a chance Field Hockey players can get these injuries as well although this is unlikely due to field hockey being a lot less dangerous when it comes to stick-to-stick contact. 

Hand and Wrist Injuries - Hand Injuries are mainly from the ball and can include fractures from the impact. Wrist injuries in Field Hockey are usually from overuse of the wrist so the tendons, soft tissues and ligaments can be affected. 

Sources and References 

Theilen T, Mueller-Eising W, Wefers Bettink P, et al (2016) - Injury data of major international field hockey tournaments British Journal of Sports Medicine 2016;50:657-660.

Orooj, Munazza & Nuhmani, Shibili & Muaidi, Qassim. (2016). Common injuries in field hockey. Saudi Journal of Sports Medicine. 16. 20. 10.4103/1319-6308.173477. 

FIH - Field Hockey Rules 

Did you find this article useful?

Why not share this with a colleague, patient or friend?

Basket Summary

53 items

£1,992.09 inc. VAT & Delivery

Nail Clippers Metal Large

£4.99

In Stock


Vasyli Addition Forefoot Valgus 4° 5pr

£29.99

In Stock


Vasyli Blue 3/4 Large

£37.49

In Stock


Actimove® Arthritis Care Gloves Large

£29.99

3 - 5 Working Days


*Spikey Massage Ball Soft Green 6cm Pk1

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£2.70

In Stock


Physique Couch Cover Black B/Hole

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£23.99

In Stock


Blue 2 Ply Couch Paper Towel Roll 50cm x 40m

£3.98

In Stock



Adhesive Foam 7mm Pack of 4

£16.99

In Stock


Massage Lotion 1000ml

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£16.65

In Stock


Ultrasound Gel Clear 250ml

£1.99

In Stock



Primo Therasonic EMS460 Ultrasound

£1,045.00

In Stock



Yoga Brick

£6.99

In Stock


Hypafix 2.5cm x 10m Dressing Retention Tape

£3.32

In Stock


Easiplaster 6cm x 5m

£7.99

In Stock


Essential Oil Lavender 10ml

£3.00

In Stock


Leukoplast Aqua Pro Plaster 38mm x 63mm Pack of 10

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£2.29

In Stock


Vaseline Petroleum Jelly 100ml

£1.99

In Stock


Deep Heat Patches Pack of Four

£7.18

In Stock


Powertape 2.5cmx13.7m

£1.79

In Stock


Deep Heat Max Strength Rub 35g

£4.50

In Stock


Tiger Tapes Eco Water Bottle 750ml

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£4.99

In Stock


Tiger Rip Lite Black 5cm x 4.5m

£1.77

In Stock


Towel Hand Navy 50x90cm

£4.99

In Stock


Electrodes Pads 5cmx5cm (4)

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£5.99

In Stock


Tuli's Heavy Duty Heel Cups (Large Over 79kgs)

£6.99

In Stock


Rugby Lifting Block

£0.70

In Stock


Plantar Fasciitis Massage Balls 2 small 2 large

£8.99

In Stock


Tensospray 300ml

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£8.32

In Stock


Hypafix 10cm x 10m Dressing Retention Tape

£6.65

In Stock


Stryker Face Shield PPE Visor EN166

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£5.99

In Stock


*Physique Mini Band Level 1 Yellow

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£2.90

In Stock


Mueller M Tape Z/O 2.5cm X 11.4m

£1.99

In Stock


*Physique Pilates Ball Blue

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£4.15

In Stock


Unscented Vegan Massage Wax 100g

£8.32

In Stock


diPulse Smart Gel Pads 9cm x 4cm pack of 4

£8.02

In Stock


Tiger Tape Club Pro 5cm x 4.5m

£2.49

In Stock


Tuning Fork

£5.99

In Stock


Actimove Manus Wrist Brace Large

£8.32

In Stock


Tiger Tape 1.25cm x 13.7m

£1.34

In Stock


Tuf Cut Scissors 5

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£2.99

In Stock


Rubberised Ice Bag Large 11"

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£5.99

In Stock


23cm Soft Over Ball Blue

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£4.15

In Stock



Grapeseed Massage Oil 500ml

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£8.99

In Stock


Songbird Zest Massage Wax 100g

£8.32

In Stock


Clinell Universal Sanitising Wipes Tub of 100

4 for 3 Mix & Match

£4.99

In Stock


Premier Sock Tape Pro-wrap 7.5cmx4.5m - Black

£2.45

In Stock


Songbird Sports Massage Wax 100g

£8.32

In Stock


Tape Measure Anatomical

£5.41

In Stock


Songbird Active Massage Wax Eco Tub 100g

£8.32

In Stock

<p>Subscribe to our newsletter</p>

Subscribe to our newsletter

and get a FREE Physique Laptop Backpack (worth £29.99) when you spend £60!

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info

Got it!