Playing badminton could bring us many benefits, both mentally and physically. This is a great activity that could be seen as a competitive sport or just a leisure activity, whichever the case may be, it is pertinent to take precautions and safety measures to prevent injuries and allow for an enjoyable game.
This article aims to shed more light on common badminton injuries, how they can be prevented, as well as how they can be managed.
The Most Common Injuries in Badminton – Quick Summary
- Jumper’s Knee
- Ankle Sprain
- Thrower’s Shoulder
- Shin Splints
- Achilles tendon Rupture
Most Common Badminton Injuries – Who Should Read This
For those who would like to prevent themselves or their partners from injuries caused by playing badminton.
If you are suffering from injuries or weaker body parts, you may also want to learn more information about how to protect them while enjoy playing badminton.
Most Common Badminton Injuries
Most Common Badminton Injuries: Jumper’s Knee
Jumper’s knee is otherwise known as patella tendonitis. As the name implies, it is more common in people who engage in sports that require jumping of which badminton is not excluded. This occurs when the patella tendon gets inflamed typically due to overuse, i.e. repeated strain on the tendon. The pain is usually localized towards the tip of the patella (commonly known as kneecap).
How Do I Prevent Jumper’s Knee?
Stretching: The importance of stretching for sportsmen cannot be overemphasized. Stretching exercises for the quadriceps (The muscle on the front of your thigh) should be done regularly. This elongates the muscle and reduces the stress on the tendon.
Jumper’s Knee Treatment
The primary aim of the jumper’s knee treatment is to alleviate pain and stretch the quadriceps muscle. Treatment options include:
Cold therapy: Cold therapy wrap can help with inflammation and pain.
Patella tendon strap: This is a form of brace worn below the knee to reduce pain and ease the tension on the tendon.
Medication: Pain meds and anti-inflammatory drugs can be prescribed. Be sure to use it as prescribed by a physician.
Most Common Badminton Injuries: Ankle Sprain
In line with most badminton injuries, an ankle sprain is a result of overuse. It is the single most common injury among badminton players. Badminton requires a quick change in direction which can cause the ankle to roll over. When these ligaments are stretched or torn, a sprain results. Wearing shoes that grip the court floor too firm does not do you any favor either.
How Do I Prevent Ankle Sprains?
- Stretching before and after games.
- Wear snug fit badminton shoes that allow for easy sliding on the court, and make sure you do wear a pair of socks that’s suitable for badminton.
- You can also wear an ankle brace to protect and give extra support to the tendons and ligaments of the ankle.
Ankle Sprain Management and Treatment
If the ankle is painful and swollen, you can incorporate the “RICE” therapy. This entails ‘Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate’.
RICE Therapy – Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate
- Rest the ankle by taking off weight. You can use crutches.
- Ice the inflamed ankle with an ice pack
- Compress using an elastic bandage or ankle brace
- Raise the ankle above the level of your heart
Other than treating the Sprain with “Rice Therapy”, pain meds can also be administered.
Most Common Badminton Injuries: Thrower’s Shoulder
This is often due to increased load as a result of the speed with which we swing the racket. Characterized by pain in the shoulder, either anterior, posterior, or deep shoulder pain. It could be as a result of the inflammation of the subacromial bursa (This is a fluid-filled sac on the top of the shoulder) or tears in the muscles surrounding the shoulder (rotator cuff muscles)
I found quite a several intermediate players are suffering from this problem because they cannot control the strength and speed for smashing. Another reason is the tension of strings is too high, which will result in bringing high pressure to their shoulders and wrist.
Prevention of Thrower’s Shoulder
- Balance upper-body workouts: Exercise for a throwing athlete should include workouts that effectively combine enhanced flexibility, improved muscular strength, and endurance. Besides, the upper body workouts should not be limited to the glenohumeral joint (shoulder joint); it should also incorporate the supporting regions such as the scapular and the attached muscles.
- Limit range of movements: thrower’s shoulder is a result of exceeding the range of motion, i.e. extreme external rotation. Making a conscious effort not to exceed the range of motion helps prevent it.
- Plyometric exercise aims at increasing muscle strength and improving explosive power. Badminton as a sport involves great agility and explosive power. Plyometrics takes advantage of the stretch-shortening cycle.
- Plyometrics create a swift stretch in muscle and with time the body gets accustomed to it by increasing efficiency and channeling the force generated to create more force for example for upper body exercise, the muscles of the arm are stretched to the maximum, held for a while and then released. This creates an explosive force.
Treatment and Management of Thrower’s Shoulder
- Depending on the degree of dysfunction, limiting throwing activities for a variable period is advisable.
- Therapy which should include a regimented program integrating scapular control and pericapsular muscle strengthening.
- Medication to relieve pain
- Surgery in severe cases.
Most Common Badminton Injuries: Shin Splints
Shin splint is characterized by pain, swelling, and tenderness in the lower leg. Failure to warm up and stretch before a game might lead to shin splints. This is as a result of the imbalance between your calf muscles and the muscles located at the front of the leg.
How Can I Prevent Shin Splints?
- Stretching and warm-ups before a game.
- Wear appropriate footwear to allow for easy movement on the court.
Treatment and Management of Shin Splints
Shin splint often heals on its own. However, to facilitate the healing process, you can try the following:
- Rest the leg
- Ice the affected leg to alleviate pain and swelling
- Take anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers if necessary.
- Use shoe inserts (insoles or orthotics). This acts as a cushion.
Most Common Badminton Injuries: Achilles tendon Rupture
Achilles tendon rupture often occurs in people playing recreational sports. The Achilles tendon is a fibrous cord that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. When the Achilles tendon is overstretched, it could tear either entirely or partially. It is often characterized by pain and swelling at the back of the ankle.
How Do I Prevent Achilles tendon Rupture?
- Calf strengthening exercise and stretching: stretch the calf muscles till you feel a pull but not pain. This improves the range of motion.
- Wearing appropriate shoes.
Treatment and Management of Achilles Tendon Rupture.
For a complete rupture, younger people prefer a surgical approach. While this exists, there is also a non-surgical approach to the treatment.
- Resting the ankle. Crutches can be used to remove weight from the injured ankle.
- Applying ice helps with pain and inflammation.
First Aid for Badminton Injuries
Badminton might look like a simple sport, but it is a fertile source for injuries. It has a lot of quick change in directions, jumps, landings, smashing, etc. knowledge of first aid is vital to reduce the intensity of pain and swelling and to lay a good foundation for rehabilitation.
The most advisable form of treatment is simplified with the acronym PRICE (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevation)
- Protection: this implies protection from further injuries. This is particularly important within the first 48hrs of injury)
- Rest: removing the load from the injured area
- Ice to relieve pain and inflammation
- Compression: this is to reduce the tension in the affected area. Be careful to compress gently. Do not make it too tight as it can impede blood flow to the injured area.
Most Common Badminton Injuries: How to Tell If I Need to See a Doctor
While a good number of these injuries can be managed at home, it is essential to look out for these signs to know when to see a doctor.
- When the pain and swelling do not subside after performing PRICE for a while.
- When there is the presence of a visible deformity or mass on legs or joints
- Numbness and tingling sensation: this is referred to as paresthesia. It is an indication of possible nerve damage.
- Inability to move or bend a joint
- The inability to bear weight on the joint; this might be an indication of a severe orthopedic injury.
Most Common Badminton Injuries: Final Words
Badminton requires excellent agility, explosive power, and quick changes in direction which makes it demanding and a source of injuries. It is therefore essential to take the sport seriously by taking precautions and also maintaining a healthy lifestyle outside the court.