Melbourne physio’s reveal how to return from a hockey injury

The winter hockey season is on the horizon in Melbourne, and if you’ve still got that niggling feeling in your body, now is the time to get it right.

While there are no fool-proof ways to keep yourself injury-free this season there are steps you can take to keep yourself on the park.

Renew Physiotherapist co-owner Andrew Fooks is one of the physio’s who treats the Australian Kookaburras team.

He’s treated some of the best players to ever don the green and gold, including Jamie Dwyer, Mark Knowles, Luke Doerner and Eddie Ockenden.

He says time is running out for hockey players to get that persistent niggle right before the season starts.

“If you’re going to try and strengthen an injury, preseason is the time to do it.

“Trying to improve an injury within the season is really hard, you’ve got games week after week and the recovery time and load you incur through training and games makes it difficult to strengthen.

“The best time to intervene to try and resolve injury and optimise performance is when you’re not under a high load.”

Renew Physiotherapy's Daniel Mirecki in action. Photo: Greensborough Hockey Club

Renew Physiotherapy’s Daniel Mirecki in action. Photo: Greensborough Hockey Club

Andrew says the most common injuries suffered by hockey players are lower back pain, hamstring and hip and groin injuries.

“If it’s not getting any better you probably need some help to define the injury and figure out the best way to solve it.

“Persistence of a symptom that’s not resolving despite your intervention suggests you should look for help.

“That’s where we come in.”

When it came to the hockey player’s hamstring curse, Andrew says there are strengthening tactics.

“The management of it is really quite broad and varies but optimising strength and its capacity to absorb force is critical.

“Including a specific strength exercise is really important. There is really good evidence about a strength exercise called the Nordic Curl which shows a really huge treatment effect in reducing hamstring injuries but also reducing the recurrence of hamstring injuries.”

The Nordic Curl exercise has variations, but typically involves kneeling and lowering your body under control, while your ankles are held in place.

Former Kookaburra and current Renew Physiotherapist Daniel Mirecki added there was no need to “suffer in silence”.

“There are a lot of people out there who put up with those niggles and sometimes it can actually impact on their function and essentially restrict them, when often there’s a quick fix,” he says.

Daniel, who is also the physiotherapist for the Victorian Vipers, treating the likes of Hockeyroos Rachael Lynch, Emily Hurtz and Madi Ratcliffe, says its vital to be treated by a physiotherapist who understands the rigours of the sport.

“Renew Physiotherapy understands the specific nature of the game, what you have to do to hit a tomahawk or if you’re a drag flicker, we know what the demands are on your body.”

Andrew added: “There’s no one who would know the sport better than we would in Melbourne.”

“We have treated some of the best players in the state and we have worked with some of the best players in the country.

“We’ve been managing hockey-specific injuries from elite to club level for years.”


Call Renew Physiotherapy to book an appointment today: 9818 3373 or visit our website


Note: The advice given in this article may not be suitable for all injuries. Before attempting rehabilitation, consult a professional.

‘Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.’ Joseph H. Pilates