Can We Prevent Injuries in Hockey Players?

It’s fall, which means that school and sports are back in full swing! This often leads to some pain and injuries in athletes, as they are thrown into training, try-outs and games. In youth hockey, we see injuries such as concussions, knee pain, groin injuries and shoulder injuries. See the chart below for a breakdown of these injuries and the top 3 highest percentage of injuries.

Injury area Males Females
Head/ Neck 25.1% 28.4%
Arms/ shoulders/ wrist 45.2% 39.2%
Legs (hips/ knee/ groin/ ankle) 21.4% 23.2%

(Forward et al., 2014).

With all sports, some injuries happen because we can’t control all aspects of the sport and other players. However, we do know that improved reaction time, muscular strength, muscular endurance and joint range of motion can help us LIMIT the risk of injuries. 

For hockey players, some key areas for injury prevention are:

  • Shoulder Stability
  • Hip strength and Stability
  • Lateral Movements
  • Core Stability
  • Reaction Time

Are Breaks in Activity Beneficial?

In an article looking at the number of injuries in players who took a break mid-season, it showed that winter break caused an increase in injuries by 2.5x as compared to years with no winter break. This article highlights that long periods of rest, followed by full return to sport, causes higher risk of injuries. We want to use this time during winter break to continue to be active, to use prehab exercises to our advantage, and to spend some time doing some cross training (training in another way or with another sport) (Rees et al., 2022).

Can Physio Help?

Overall, it is extremely important to make sure that your athlete’s muscles are working efficiently, are strong enough to support the demands of the sport and that your athlete is familiar with proper warm up and cool down techniques. Physiotherapy can help with injury prevention by improving the strength and mechanics of the most common injury areas for hockey.

If your child is playing hockey this season, are they ready for activity? 

At PlayWorks Physio, we offer injury prevention group classes for hockey players! Contact us at for more info.

If you would like to schedule a 1 on 1 assessment with one of our paediatric physiotherapists click here.

Written by, Darrien Cantelo, MScPT, BSc, Physiotherapist.


Forward, K. E., Seabrook, J. A., Lynch, T., Lim, R., Poonai, N., & Sangha, G. S. (2014). A comparison of the epidemiology of ice hockey injuries between male and female youth in Canada. Paediatrics & Child Health, 19(8), 418–422. 

Rees, H., McCarthy Persson, U., Delahunt, E., Boreham, C., & Blake, C. (2022). Winter breaks: How do they affect injuries in field hockey? Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 


Severs- what it is, what is happening, how physio can help

What is Sever’s Disease? 

Sever’s Disease occurs when the C shaped growth plate at the back of your heel gets inflamed from stress from the achilles tendon. Growth plates are areas of cartilage located near the ends of the bones, and this is where bone growth occurs. Since it is the last part of a child’s bone to harden, growth plates are particularly vulnerable to injury. Adults don’t have open growth plates anymore, so this condition is found only in kids. Sever’s Disease is also 2-3 times more likely to occur in boys than girls, and it is associated with big growth spurts!

What my child may complain of?

  • No pain in the morning, but usually is worse with increased load during the day
  • Pain worsens with repetitive activities (example: running or jumping)
  • Tenderness on both the inside and outside of the heel
  • No swelling, redness or skin changes noted with this condition
  • Calf tightness

Things that may make Sever’s worse:

  • Worn out shoes
  • Hard surfaces
  • High amounts of physical activity
  • Big growth spurts
  • Back to activity after a long break

How can physio help?!

At Playworks Physio we specialize only in kiddos! We see kids with this type of heel pain VERY often, especially with the start of sports seasons. Your Physio will take a good look at what is happening and what might be causing it, and give lots of tools to help. Some things include stretching and strengthening activities, suggestions for activity modifications, shoe recommendations, and of course, this will all be FUN for your kiddo.

Our main goal is to help reduce your kiddos pain, solve the source of the issue to prevent it from returning, and improve their ability to participate in their activities again, pain free!

– Darrien Cantelo, Physiotherapist