Netball is one the most popular organized sports in Australia. It is predominantly played by women and was originally called ‘Women’s Basketball’. However, lately it has become popular with men as well. Like any other game, netball is also plagued with injuries. The game demands sudden acceleration, change in direction, jumps, leaps, falls, interception etc. Apart from these traumatic injuries, overuse and wrong technique also cause lots of injuries.
Netball Physiotherapy – the rehabilitation program
Netball Physiotherapy is an essential rehabilitation program to treat injuries. The skilled and experienced physiotherapists at Happy Physio will:
- Diagnose the exact cause of injury
- Employ pre-rehabilitation treatment to make your body responsive prior to surgical intervention
- Implement the rehabilitation program to make you functional
- Execute the strengthening program to help you reach your peak performance
- Educate you to prevent future injuries
Netball injuries equally affect both lower and upper extremities. Knee, shoulder, hands, and ankle injuries are the most common areas affected. Sprains and strains are the commonest forms of injury. Fractures and dislocations are also rampant.
4 most common netball injuries
- Jumper’s Knee
As the name suggests Jumper’s knee affects the knees. This is also known as Patella Tendonopathy – the tendon extends from the quadriceps to the tibia. Netball requires sudden jumping and landing. While jumping, the quadriceps supports the stretching of the knee to jump up and also help in absorption of force when one lands back on the ground. At times the patella tendon is stretched beyond limits because of over use or playing on a very hard surface. This results in localized pain in the anterior knee over the patella tendon. Happy Physio will start immediately with a pain relief modalities. The affected knee may also get supported with a jumper’s knee strap to avoid any further stress on the tendon. The rehabilitation may start with transverse friction massage and great stretching exercises. Along with strengthening of the quadriceps, calf muscles and hamstring muscles.
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis/Tendonopathy
Tendons attach the four cuff muscles to the arm bone. The acromion bone covers the rotator cuff tendons. The tendons move within this space but due to overuse or bad posture, the space reduces and there is thickening of tendons.
RICE is usually recommended every 3-4 hrs to help reduce pain and swelling, whilst waiting to see a physio. During the initial days any kind of stressful movement is avoided. Mobilization starts with specific soft tissue massage. This will help to loosen the muscles and friction around the tendon. Happy Physio recommends exercises to increase the range of motion. This is followed by gradual stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Sprained Thumb
A thumb is sprained when stretched too far from its normal range of motion. You will experience pain when the thumb is stretched backwards and there is swelling as well in the web of the thumb. Ice pack and compression are the best treatments for the injured ligament initially prior to seeing a physio. Massage and mobilization help to regain movement. Grip and thumb exercises are helpful to strengthen the thumb and improve dexterity. Happy Physio also provide specific taping of the thumb to provide support during the healing process. You can continue to tape the thumb even after going back to the sport.
- Ankle Sprain
The sudden rush, stopping, jumping and changing directions stresses the ankles the most. The ligaments on the outside of the ankle are injured. There is pain, swelling and difficulty in walking. In this condition, Happy Physio recommend seeing a physiotherapist immediately to optimise the healing process and help prevent further ankle sprains. Happy Physio have a specific proprioceptive ankle rehabilitation program to regain full ankle function.
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