Common acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries among female adolescent field hockey players in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

  • TJ Ellapen
  • K Bowyer
  • HJ van Heerden


Objective. To document the prevalence and nature of musculoskeletal injuries among female adolescent hockey players over a 12-month period (1 November 2011 - 31 October 2012).
Methods. Data were collected from 148 high school players who belonged to the KwaZulu-Natal Hockey League via voluntary, parentalinformed consent. Players completed a self-report musculoskeletal questionnaire probing the prevalence and nature of acute and chronic injuries. Probability was set at p≤0.05.
Results. Ninety-four players sustained acute musculoskeletal injuries in the 12-month study period, indicating the knee (23%) and lower back (18%) to be the most prevalent sites of injury (p<0.001). The mechanisms producing the acute injuries were rapid rotational movement (36%) and physical trauma (63%) (p<0.05). The hip/lower back was the most prevalent anatomical site of chronic musculoskeletal injury (p<0.001). The intrinsic factors predisposing players to chronic hip/lower-back injury were hip flexion contractures and posture (p<0.05).
Conclusion. Hockey players experience a high prevalence of acute musculoskeletal knee injuries and chronic hip/lower-back injuries. The hockey fraternity should be educated about the various ways in which to prevent injury by complying with appropriate training regimes, alterations in technique and stretching exercises.

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eISSN: 2078-516X
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