“Medical support is incredibly important during handball”

Vesna Hodic, physical therapist

From Bauerfeind Life Magazin on 02.03.2023

Whether for prevention during training and competitions or during recovery following injuries – Bauerfeind has been supporting Croatia’s national handball teams with medical aids for seven years. Vesna Hodić, physical therapist, talked to Bauerfeind life about the special demands of her sport and her experiences with the treatment of athletes.

Vesna Hodić has been working as a physical therapist with the Croatian Handball Association for 28 years. In addition, she’s active in men’s and women’s football and boccia at a national and club level in Zagreb. She also teaches at the Physiotherapy Department of Norden University – Varaždin University Center, Croatia, and helps individual athletes and patients in her own practice.

life: Ms Hodić, you recently supported Croatia’s National Women’s Team during the European Handball Championships. How happy were you with the outcome?

Vesna Hodić: From an athletic performance point of view, we’re ultimately happy to have reached the main round. But injuries before the competition prevented the ideal line-up for some of the positions. This meant that physical aspects were also a reason why we couldn’t stand up to the very strong Norwegian and Danish teams, who reached the final.

Handball is a very physical sport. How important is the athletes’ medical support?

Vesna Hodić: There’s always a certain risk of injury in a game with direct physical contact. The ankles, knees, and arms are affected the most. That’s why comprehensive medical support is incredibly important during handball. Even before matches, we try to prevent injuries as effectively as possible with targeted muscle training and proprioception. In addition, we rely on medical aids for prevention, such as supports for the ankle, elbow and knee as well as sleeves for the thigh and lower leg, depending on the athlete’s requirements. When treating injuries, we also use braces. For this, we’re in constant communication with the athletes and the management at a club and national team level.

What is your experience with Bauerfeind products in this context?

Vesna Hodić: I’ve gathered experience from both wearing and prescribing Bauerfeind products. When I was injured, the high quality of Bauerfeind products really impressed me. They fit perfectly and are easy to put on and comfortable to wear. Our athletes mainly use sleeves and supports by Bauerfeind Sports, for the ankle in particular. Bauerfeind offers those in a purely black or white version, too. The supports can also be worn during competitions in these colors. 

What feedback do you receive from the athletes you take care of?

Vesna Hodić: High-quality products are important to them, too, to ensure they can stay healthy or return to the court as quickly as possible after an injury. They enjoy trying out new products as well as going back to tried-and-tested aids. Whether GenuTrain for knee stabilization or ViscoPed as a relieving inlay to prevent pressure peaks – Bauerfeind offers a comprehensive product range. What’s more, the use in elite sports also convinces recreational athletes: something that helps competitive athletes will certainly also be beneficial for amateurs.

Images: Jozo Čabraja, Kolektiff Images

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