Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis elbow)
Tennis elbow,occurs most frequently in sports and occupations other than tennis. It is caused by repetitive wrist extension and other factors such as incorrect grip and racket size....more
Radial Nerve Entrapment
The radial nerve passes just behind the lateral epicondyle of the elbow and impingement can lead to symptoms very similar to those of tennis elbow....more
Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff are a group of four shoulder muscles, deep and close to the joint which provide stability and rotational movements at the shoulder....more
Due to the overhead nature of the majority of badminton shots the shoulder comes under a lot of strain. Impingement syndromes cause the irritation of the tendons of one or more of the rotator cuff muscles....more
Ankle sprains are relatively common in fast paced sports such as badminton....more
The hamstrings are frequently injured in sports which require bursts of speed and sudden changes of direction....more
Badminton injuries are either acute, traumatic injuries such as ankle sprains, or are overuse injuries such as impingement syndromes. Both types of injury can be prevented, through using the right equipment, warming up, cooling down and ensuring you are strong and fit enough to compete.
Warming up is often overlooked but should be part of your injury prevention routine. A good warm up will:
- Increase the temperature of muscles - they work better at a temperature of 40 degrees.
- Increase blood flow and oxygen to muscles.
- Increase the speed of nerve impulses - making you faster.
- Increase range of motion at joints reducing the risk of tearing muscles and ligaments.
- Warm up will not only help avoid injury but will also improve performance.
A warm up should consist of:
- Gentle jog (or other form of pulse raiser) to circulate blood and oxygen supplying the muscles with more energy to work with.
- Dynamic or active stretching drills and badminton specific exercises
- Dynamic stretching has now largely replaced static stretching as the warm-up method of choice. They - include drills such as running with high knees, heels to bum and cariocas. This should be performed for a minimum of 5 minutes, up to a maximum of 20 minutes, with movements gradually becoming larger and faster. This is preferable to static stretching as it keeps the body warmer and heart rate higher, and more resembles the type of movements which are required in most sports.
The warm up should last between 15 and 30 minutes. Do not warm up too early. The benefits are lost after about 30 minutes of inactivity.
A cool down is also all too often overlooked but can help avoid injuries and boost performance. The aim of the cool down is to:
- Gradually lower heart rate.
- Circulate blood and oxygen to muscles, restoring them to the condition they were in before exercise.
- Remove waste products such as lactic acid.
- Reduce the risk of muscle soreness.
- The cool down should consist of a gentle jog followed by light stretching.
Getting a regular sports massage can flush the muscles of waste products and release tight knots, lumps and bumps in muscles that if left may cause strains and tears. It is possible for a good sports massage therapist to identify potential trouble spots long before they become injuries.
There are two pieces of equipment in badminton that could help to prevent injury.
These must have a non-slip sole to prevent falls when you are moving around the court.
The main considerations are the weight and the grip size. A lighter racket is less likely to cause injury, especially in beginners, when the wrist and forearm muscles are not strong. Having the wrong grip size can be the cause of tennis elbow. A grip which is too small will cause you to have to grip hard and place extra strain on the wrist muscles. However, a grip which is too large will not enable you to move the racket well in your hand. Try measuring from the centre of the palm, to the top of the middle finger. This should equal the circumference of your grip.
Nutrition and Hydration
Proper nutrition is important. A bad diet will prevent you from recovering from training sessions making you more prone to injury. A balanced diet is what you should aim for:
Carbohydrate is important for refueling muscles.
Protein rebuilds muscles.
If you become dehydrated then less blood will flow through muscles. The muscles will be more prone to injury.
Vitamins and minerals are required for a number of reasons related to recovery.
Much of what is discussed above should be part of your sporting routine. A biomechanical analysis can help identify possible injury risks. Orthotic devices can help. Also an assessment from a sports therapist or specialist can identify weak areas and possible injury risks. A course of exercises specific to your needs can give you the best chance of avoiding injury.
This includes general conditioning, aerobic fitness and muscular strength. Forearm and shoulder girdle muscle strength is important in controlling the racket. If you are in good condition then you are less likely to get injuries. Strong muscles are less likely to tear. Good all-round conditioning will balance the body and help avoid unnecessary injuries. A one sided sport such as badminton can soon develop one side of the body more than the other, causing muscle imbalances.
Not allowing your body to recover properly from training will eventually result in injury. Your body needs time to rebuild itself stronger before the next training session. Remember - you are not training when you are training, you are training when you recover! Sleep is also an important part of your training. If you are not getting enough, get it sorted.
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