FOUR COMMON BADMINTON INJURIES & HOW TO PREVENT THEM
In the world of sports, injuries are extremely common, and badminton is no exception. Given that Badminton is such a fast paced sport, injuries are extremely common if proper care is not taken. Warming up and stretching before and after playing, is vital to help prevent muscle strain and further injuries. A lot of players tend to take this a bit lightly and risk serious injuries!
ROTATOR CUFF INJURY
What is the rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff muscles are a small group of muscles , located right around the shoulder joint. Its main purpose is to keep the head of your upper arm bone within the socket. It supports you when you want to raise and rotate your arm.
How can you injure your rotator cuff?
While playing Badminton, we use our shoulder muscles in a way we wouldn’t on a daily basis. The angle which we rotate our shoulders back in order to play shots like smashes and clears, aren’t angles we would normally rotate our shoulders to. This puts a strain on the shoulder muscles, in particular the rotator cuff. The most common shoulder cuff injuries are tears or impingement. Impingement occurs when the muscle swells up. and in a tear, the muscle or tendon partially or completely tears.
How to prevent a rotator cuff injury :
In order to maintain good flexibility and mobility within the shoulder muscles, shoulder exercises are a must!
Some of them are:
- Internal and external rotation
- Reverse fly with light dumbbells
- Standing row with theraband
- Elbow extension
- Scapular retraction and protraction
What is the ankle joint?
The ankle joint is a synovial joint which is present in the lower limb. It is a combination of two bones; the leg bone and foot bone. It is the ankle joint which allows upwards and downwards movement of the leg. There are numerous ligaments that surround the ankle. It keeps the bones of the leg and foot together.
How can you injure your ankle?
In Badminton you’re always moving quickly on your feet and it is your ankle that takes the hit. Landing incorrectly or slipping from these fast movements are what can cause injuries on your ankle.
How to prevent ankle injuries :
Maintaining a stable ankle joint is a must if you want to play Badminton regularly. Wearing the right footwear will play a major part in this! Non marking shoes will help cushion the landing of your feet when playing badminton. As this is a fast and intense sport, cushioning your feet is vital!
Some of the exercises you can do to make sure you have a stable ankle:
- ankle strengthening with theraband
- standing on one leg and balancing
- calf raises
- heel raises
- jumping exercises on a stable area
- single leg squats on bosu ball/ uneven area
What is a knee joint?
The knee bone joins the femur (aka thigh bone) to the tibia (aka shin bone). The patella is the knee cap and is the joint which goes through the most amount of stress. The knee joint is in charge of weight-bearing movements. It is made up of ligaments, tendons, bones and the menisci. It provides stability and allows a person move around properly. The knee is prone to absorbing shocks during high impact activities.
Types of knee injuries :
There are few different knee injuries that are common amongst badminton players.
The most common are:
- Runner’s knee/ patella tendonitis
- ACL sprain, tear (ligament)
- PCL sprain, tear (ligament)
- Meniscus tear
How can you injure your knee?
Bad form and poor technique are the main causes of knee injuries in Badminton. Being a high impact sport, the knees do take a lot of pressure during play. As long as you work on your footwork and technique, the chances of injuring your knees are reduced. Landing incorrectly is a major cause of tearing/ straining a ligaments, leading to ACL/PCL.
Wearing the incorrect footwear is something which increases the risk of knee injury and is something people often forget. If you just starting out playing badminton, it is best to ease into it rather than playing an excessive amount from the start. This will help build up the strength of your knee joints and reduce the risk of injuries.
If you suddenly start playing Badminton and in excess rather than easing into it, knee injuries are at risk. Being overweight is another factor that could possibly lead to knee injuries, as the knee wears most of the body weight.
How to prevent knee injuries :
To prevent any sort of knee injuries, one must make sure they have the proper footwear. Wearing non marking shoes that fit is a must. Footwork is so important as if one trips or move incorrectly, one may fall and injury their knee or even fracture it.
Here are some exercises that can help prevent knee injuries:
- leg extensions#9CD6FF
- hamstring curls
- step ups on box
- single leg squats
- wall sits
What is tennis elbow?
Even though the word ‘tennis’ is in the name, it is an injury that occurs commonly amongst Badminton players. In fact, it’s a common racket sports injury. Tennis elbow is the inflammation of tendons the forearm at the point where it inserts into the upper arm, on the outer side of the elbow. Micro tears also may occur causing pain in the elbow region.
What is the elbow joint?
The elbow joint consists of three bones. It is the muscles, tendons and ligaments that hold the elbow joint together. The elbow connects the upper arm to the forearm, almost like a hinge. It primarily helps in extension and flexing of the arm. It also facilitates motion in the arm.
How can you injure your elbow?
This injury occurs as a result of immense strain and overload on the elbow joint. Of course, overuse is one of the main reasons for injury. Poor hitting technique can be another reason. Using the wrong muscles and joint to hit the shuttle can be a reason people injure their elbow. It is noticed that players with a poor backhand technique tend to get this injury much more.
How to prevent elbow injury?
To be able to produce good and effective strokes in Badminton, you must have a strong forearm. The stronger your forearm is, the less chance there is of you injuring yourself and getting tennis elbow. Stretching the forearm before playing is something often forgotten by many players.
This can make a huge difference if done consistently. Another point to note is that you should use a racket suited to you. This means, if a particular racket is feeling heavy or doesn’t feel correct, one should consider changing it.
Here are somethings that can help you prevent tennis elbow:
- forearm curls with light weights
- holding medium to heavy plates using just fingers
- proper stretching of forearm muscles
- wrist extension with light weights