Here are the 5 most common badminton injuries and secrets to prevent them…
We all have fond memories of playing badminton during summer nights. The fun of playing in the dimly lit moonlight, the smell of wet tar and the cool, breezy air (which would humorously bend the shuttles in the other direction!) was something else! But while playing sports, injuries inevitably follow. And badminton was certainly not an exception.
On a professional level, badminton demands agile and accurate striking of the shuttle. As a result, it requires quick, repetitive movements on the part of the shuttlers, which in turn depends on the athlete’s reaction time, agility & coordination.
These physical requirements combined with factors like court surface, the racquet used, shoes etc. determine how well the player performs. Badminton is generally not a dangerous sport due to its non-contact nature.
But these high demands for rapid and repetitive movements often lead to overuse injuries. Let’s get to know all about badminton injuries and how to avoid them…
Types of Badminton Injuries
Overuse injuries: Overuse injuries occur due to repetitive movements, faulty technique or skill, under-training or overtraining etc.
Acute injuries: Acute injuries happen due to falling, direct hit by the racquet or shuttle, collision with the player (doubles), etc. For example, eye injuries might occur in badminton due to contact with racquet or shuttle.
Causes of Badminton Injuries
Injuries can also occur due to intrinsic factors or extrinsic factors.
- anatomical or structure variations (flat foot, bowed or knocked knees, etc.)
- faulty biomechanics (improper landing or lunging technique or racquet gripping style), inadequate skill (wrong footwork, improper stroke)
- lack of optimal training (overdone or underdone training on and off-court)
- history of any prior injury, and flaws in hydration and nutritional aspect
- lack of proper facility
- inferior court surface and conditions
- wrong foot-wear (shoe size, type)
- flaws in the racquet (grip, the tension in the strings)
- external environment (closed court: lack of proper ventilation)
5 Most Common Types of Badminton Injuries & Prevention
Achilles tendon rupture
Players generally report pain in the mid-portion of Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone). There is evidence that players with very high training loads commonly complain of pain in the Achilles tendon area.
How to prevent Achilles tendon rupture?
Monitoring the time spent in sport-specific training throughout the week will help to reduce the chances of this injury.
Consult your coach and physiotherapist to determine the intensities, frequencies and types of your workouts. Furthermore, if you already have pain between the calf and heel region, it is better to slow down on your training routine temporarily and allow time for healing.
Gradually build up to your previous intensity once pain resolves. As a result, it is important to get the foot posture assessed by experts and start corrective exercises accordingly.
Ankle sprains commonly occur due to rotational movements at the ankle during rapid sideways movements & lunging.
How to prevent Ankle sprains?
To prevent this injury player should look at- foot posture, lower limb & core muscle strength, shoes & the surface of the court. Your foot posture & its alignment with the legs & trunk must be appropriately assessed & corrected by experts.
You need to work on getting good strength & mobility in the trunk, hips & knees as well. Balance, coordination & agility training must be appropriate to allow your ankle to cope up with the sport’s demands.
Also Read | All you need to know about sprain vs strain
Consult experts to check if your shoes match your foot type & change shoes if more wear & tear is seen. A previous history of ankle sprain predisposes you to repeated sprains. Get yourself complete rehabilitation before returning to sport.
Knee ligament injuries
Rapid planting-cutting, sidestepping or landings after overhead strokes may lead to ligament injuries.
How to prevent knee ligament injuries?
ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is amongst the knee’s most commonly injured ligaments. The risk of injury to the knee is highest in while landing during a smash in the rear court and lunging during forehand and backhand in the fore-court.
Therefore, correcting faults while landing and lunging is critical to avoid injury. Strengthening and stretching of the appropriate muscles during off-court training is recommended.
Designing exercises to mimic badminton specific actions and requirement can be really helpful. Badminton is a swift sport, thus speed, and agility drills can further reduce the chance of injury.
One should not neglect any earlier injury and complete optimal rehabilitation under the guidance of a physiotherapist to be able to play and perform for longer years. Practising and training under an expert coach on a proper well-maintained court with right gears is the key.
Shoulder impingement is common in all sports that involve overhead activities. The dominant arm of badminton players is highly susceptible.
How to prevent shoulder impingement?
Badminton involves repeated movements of the upper limb during various strokes. The weight of the racquet and shuttle is less compared to the tennis racquet and ball. But still, the strokes in badminton are fast and demanding.
Having a sound technique and skill is very important to avoid shoulder, neck, and in general upper limb injuries in badminton players. Strengthening the scapular (shoulder blade) and rotator cuff (shoulder) muscles, keeping the shoulder joint flexible reduces the risk of injury.
A stable shoulder blade reduces the stress on the structures of the whole chain: shoulder, elbow and wrist joints and also helps to enhance performance. One must also have good spine mobility and core strength for delivering a precise shot.
As a result, consulting a coach can be the best to decide racquet grip and string tension, as it varies with age, and skill level.
Lower back pain
Badminton involves twisting movements for a sudden change in direction, bending for retrieving dropped shots. This may lead to low back pain.
How to prevent lower back pain?
A badminton player has to reach from one corner of the court to the other end between shots. It involves jumping, lunging, twisting and turning movements. Research has also shown spine mobility, and core stability are crucial components in badminton.
Must Read | 8 super easy tips for Back Pain Relief
Any limitations in the mobility of the trunk can lead to an overload on limbs. Excellent flexibility and strength of truncal muscles can help the badminton player to reach out and generate a powerful shot.
Thus, the recommendation is to introduce exercises training the core muscles in training to enhance performance and prevent injuries.
Badminton injuries can hamper your career, forever. And you won’t take chances with your career, would you? The physiotherapists at REHAB STATION are experts at tackling with the various Badminton injuries and can guide you well in preventing them.
REHAB STATION is a sport and musculoskeletal centric sports physiotherapy lab, situated in the heart of Pune city. The physiotherapists at REHAB STATION strive to live up to the statement that defines an ideal sports physiotherapist.
“Prevention is better than cure” is the least applied phrase in the modern world. REHAB STATION aims at spreading awareness regarding Preventive Rehabilitation. As sports physiotherapists, they can help you prevent injury and overcome the plateau in your performance!