Badminton is third most played sport in the world next to soccer and tennis. Over 200 million people play badminton all around the globe. It is also developing fast as a professional sport with the players requiring a high level of skill to perform basic strokes effectively. Badminton is considered as the fastest racquet sport, placing a high and sport-specific demand to the players’ bodies. Being light in weight also makes shuttlecock to decelerate substantially faster than other projectiles such as a tennis ball, making players of badminton to use the wrist and shoulders more than tennis players, often leading to numerous upper-limb injuries.
Common Badminton Injuries:
- Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) – is a common badminton injury that affects the outside of the elbow of a player. Repetitive stress to the elbow is mainly responsible for this injury. Its symptoms include pain about 3 cm down from bony area at the outside of the elbow, difficulty holding a racquet and weakness in the wrist.
- Rotator cuff injury – is also common among badminton players. Because of repeated shoulder stresses while executing numerous badminton strokes particularly the overhead shots, the rotator cuff muscles (a group of muscle around the shoulder joint) can get damaged. Typical symptoms include inflammation of the cuff muscles and pain in the shoulder area. If left untreated, it can cause partial or complete tears in the cuff muscles, making it very difficult for an athlete to continue his or her sport activity.
- Achilles Tendonitis – Due to the way that its feathers overlap, a shuttlecock has a natural spin (in a counter-clockwise direction) about its axis of rotational symmetry, causing it to slow down more suddenly towards the end of its flight path. This, in turn, makes athletes to overuse the Achilles tendon to hit the shuttlecock before it hits the floor, often leading to Achilles Tendonitis. This condition is characterized by the pain around the ankle, which is worsened by the activity. The affected tendon may appear thickened in comparison to the unaffected tendon. Achilles tendonitis badly affects the normal tensile strength of the Achilles tendon, often causing degeneration of the ligament.
Diagnosis and Treatment
In case of any aforementioned badminton injuries, you should immediately contact a physiotherapy expert who will carry out a biomechanical assessment to diagnose and correct the problem. If you suffer a tennis elbow injury, a combination of ice therapy and an eccentric strengthening program can help relieve the symptoms and strengthen the affected muscle. The load and number of repetitions will be carefully recorded and progressively increased by an expert at a physiotherapy clinic so that the overload on the injured tendon can be avoided.
In case of a rotator cuff injury, physiotherapy treatment comprising of strengthening and stretching exercises is very effective in reducing the swelling and preventing degeneration of the cuff provided a tear is not present. Moreover, Ice therapy and a shoulder support provide a relief from pain. For Achilles tendonitis, an eccentric muscle workout in a physiotherapy center will help a patient to return to his or her regular activities. Using an Air-heel is also very effective as it helps apply compression to the heel and the arch of the foot, thus reducing strain on the Achilles tendon, reducing swelling, and relieving heel pain.
Consult a physiotherapy expert at Happy Physio to have an injury diagnosed well and treated. Call (08) 9272 7359 now!