Common Badminton Injuries and Their Preventions

Common Badminton Injuries and Their Preventions

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Badminton is a sport that requires lots of jumping, running, and twisting. It also incorporates swinging a racket and other movements that can cause badminton injuries. 

Here, we’re going over common badminton injuries and their preventions, symptoms, and treatments.

What are the common injuries of badminton?

The most common badminton injuries include:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Wrist sprain
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Blisters
  • Achilles’s tendon injuries
  • Patellar tendinitis
  • Ankle sprain

Let’s go through each of these common badminton injuries and their preventions, symptoms, and treatments. 

Tennis Elbow

Also known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is one of the most common badminton injuries due to overuse of your forearm muscles. Excessive use of these muscles creates micro-tears and inflammation that occurs near where the muscles meet your elbow.

Most of the pain you’ll experience if you have tennis elbow occurs just below the elbow and it tends to occur more frequently the older you are. 

Common symptoms of tennis elbow include:

  • Pain near the outside of your elbow 
  • Stiffness when straightening or bending your elbow
  • Pain when lifting or gripping objects

Physiotherapy is one of the best ways to treat tennis elbow caused by playing badminton. It’s essential that you get your elbow checked by a professional at the first sign of pain since extended use can make symptoms worse.

Other treatments for tennis elbow badminton injuries include:

  • Icing the affected area for around 20 minutes at a time
  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Wearing an elbow brace

Your physio can assist you with all these treatments if you’re dealing with tennis elbow from playing badminton.

Golfer’s Elbow

Another one of the most common badminton injuries is golfer’s elbow, otherwise known as medial epicondylitis. Like tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, however, causes pain on the inside of your elbow versus the outside.

Often caused by a constant throwing motion, golfer’s elbow symptoms include:

  • Pain at the inside of your elbow
  • Stiffness in the elbow joint
  • Pain when lifting, gripping, or throwing objects

Again, seeing your physiotherapist is likely to be your best treatment option for golfer’s elbow caused by badminton.

Rotator Cuff Injury

A rotator cuff injury deals with the shoulder area and is another common badminton injury. The rotator cuff refers to the muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint that keep your arm securely in place within your shoulder socket.

Caused by excessive use or strain, some symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:

  • Shoulder pain when lifting objects
  • Discomfort and pain in shoulder while doing activities like playing badminton
  • Neck pain, especially while sleeping
  • Tenderness around the shoulders and neck
  • Shoulder instability 

While as is the same with all badminton injuries, seeing a physiotherapist is your best bet at treatment. However, some other ways to treat rotator cuff injuries include:

  • Icing the affected area for around 20 minutes at a time
  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Corticosteroid shot
  • Wearing a shoulder brace

Wrist Sprain

Another one of the most common badminton injuries is a wrist sprain. Usually caused by a sudden impact or an unexpected change in movement to the wrist, a wrist sprain occurs when the muscles, tendons and ligaments of your wrist get pushed too far. 

Particularly with badminton, even something as simple as holding the racket incorrectly or using an odd grip can cause a wrist sprain.

The result is micro-tears and sometimes, hairline fractures which cause a decent amount of pain and should be taken seriously. Some of the symptoms of a wrist sprain include:

  • Swelling of the wrist
  • Pain when moving the wrist up and down
  • Wrist stiffness
  • Redness or discolouration of the wrist area
  • The wrist is painful to the touch
  • Pain when weight is applied to the wrist

At the first signs of a wrist sprain, it’s important to stop playing. You’ll want to start treatment right away by taking anti-inflammatory medication and you might even want to visit the hospital for a wrist brace.

Seeing a physiotherapist is key, especially if you hope to continue playing badminton after a wrist sprain. They’ll be able to treat your wrist while you recover and show you how you can prevent future wrist badminton injuries. 

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Repetitive strain injuries (also known as RSIs) can happen to any area of the body. An RSI is an umbrella term that can occur in your wrist, knee, ankle, shoulder and elsewhere.

RSIs are extremely common badminton injuries and different from a wrist strain or other acute strain, RSIs come on gradually and don’t always have a clear cause. Instead, the cause is repetitive movements.

And when you’re playing a sport like badminton, it’s difficult to avoid repetitive movements. 

Symptoms of RSIs include:

  • Dull, aching, throbbing pain
  • Sometimes can be a sharp pain

The best treatment for RSIs is to take preventative measures. Things like warming up, cooling down and cross-training are all great ways to prevent RSIs from developing. However, your physio can help you to both treat and prevent RSIs should they arise.

Blisters

Blisters on both feet and hands are another common badminton injury. When the outermost layer of skin experiences excess friction, the skin will loosen up and fill with fluid creating a blister.

Some of the main symptoms of blisters include:

  • Discomfort at the site of the blister
  • Discolouration and slight redness

While blisters aren’t dangerous badminton injuries, they can become infected if they pop and expose the more tender layers of skin below the surface. You’ll want to keep your blisters covered to avoid any infections.

Achilles Tendon Injuries

Your Achilles tendon runs from the bottom of your heel up the back of your leg, attaching to your calf muscle. The Achilles tendon is especially thick and can develop tendonitis or bursitis if overused. 

Since running and jumping activates the Achilles tendon, these are common badminton injuries with symptoms including:

  • Sharp pain in the Achilles tendon, heel, or calf when walking
  • Swelling and discolouration around the area
  • Extreme pain in the lower leg when rising onto your toes

To treat Achilles’s tendon injuries, it’s essential that you rest and apply ice to the area for 20 minutes at a time. To fully recover from Achilles’s tendon badminton injuries, it’s also recommended that you book an appointment with your physiotherapist.

Patellar Tendinitis

Also known as Jumper’s Knee, patellar tendinitis is a knee injury that’s common among badminton players. Patellar tendonitis occurs when heavy loads are placed on the patellar tendon that connects your tibia with your kneecap, causing micro-tears.

Symptoms of patellar tendinitis include:

  • Sudden pain when changing directions
  • Stiffness in the knee
  • Discomfort or pain when jumping, running, or bending at the knee
  • Pain in your thigh or quadriceps
  • Discolouration of the knee area

Some of the best treatments for any knee injury is rest and ice. You’ll also want to book in to see your physiotherapist who can help you with rehabilitation exercises or recommend anti-inflammatory treatment such as medication or corticosteroid injections.

Ankle Sprain

One of the most common badminton ankle injuries is ankle sprains. While most ankle sprains aren’t usually serious, they can be painful and are caused when the ligaments of your ankle take on a load that’s too heavy or is pushed past their limits.

Common symptoms of ankle sprains include:

  • Swelling in the ankle area
  • Redness or discolouration in the ankle area
  • Ankle stiffness
  • Tenderness in the ankle area when pressure is applied

The best treatment for badminton ankle injuries like ankle sprains includes rest and icing the ankle for 20 minutes at a time. An ankle brace can also help stabilise your ankle joint and seeing a physiotherapist is certainly recommended. 

Causes of Badminton Injuries

So, why are there so many common badminton injuries? Well, because of the way badminton is played and what it requires of your body, there are a few main causes of badminton injuries.

  • Muscular imbalances since you’ll usually play with your racket in your dominant hand
  • Age also matters since if you started playing as a kid, you might develop bad habits that are harder to recover from as an adult
  • Improper gear as you wear out your shoes
  • Failing to warm up or cool down before playing
  • Running, jumping and overuse of certain muscles
  • Landing the wrong way from a jump
  • Slips and falls
  • Quick changes in direction

Badminton Injuries and Treatment

For many badminton injuries, the PRICE treatment method (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) is easy to do at home and should be done for about 2 to 3 days after badminton injuries.  

Protect: The first step for treating any injury is to protect the body part from further damage. This might mean getting help with walking so as not to put any weight on the injury or wrapping the area in a bandage or brace to protect it from further movement.

Rest: It’s vitally important that if you get injured while playing badminton that you stop immediately and rest completely for a few days, allowing the injury to start the healing process. 

Ice: Wrap a bag of ice in a paper towel or tea towel and apply to the injured area for 20 minutes on and off. Icing badminton injuries helps reduce pain and inflammation.

Compress: Use pressure and compression bandages on the injured area to reduce swelling. Be careful not to compress the injury too tight.

Elevate: Keep the injured area elevated above your heart to improve circulation to the injury which reduces swelling and helps your body to heal. 

If you’re unsure whether the PRICE method for badminton injury treatment is right for you, book an appointment with your physiotherapist.

Badminton Injuries and Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation from badminton injuries comes after the initial treatment is over. The affected areas will be weakened from the injury and will require rehabilitation under the supervision of your physiotherapist. 

Badminton injury rehabilitation might include:

  • Strengthening exercises
  • Mobility exercises to improve range of motion
  • Flexibility exercises
  • Cross-training to prevent muscular imbalances
  • Education on warming up and cooling down

Badminton Injuries and Their Preventions

To prevent badminton injuries, there are a few strategies to implement before, during and after playing badminton including: 

  • Warm-ups
  • Cooldowns
  • Proper hydration
  • Proper gear like form-fitting clothes and footwear
  • Cross-training regimens
  • Use tape or a brace to stabilise joints
  • Improve your game.

Now, let’s go over some prevention methods for more specific badminton injuries. 

How do you prevent shoulder injuries in badminton?

To prevent shoulder injuries in badminton, some of the best strategies include:

  • Warming up your shoulder joints with dynamic stretches before playing
  • Improving your form to avoid overworking your shoulder
  • Cross-training with lower body and core exercises to help take the load off your shoulders
  • Increasing shoulder strength to fortify bones and protect your shoulder joint

How do you prevent knee injuries in badminton?

To prevent knee injuries in badminton, try out some of these tactics:

  • Warm-up your knees with dynamic stretches before you play
  • Stabilise your knee joint with tape or a brace
  • Strengthen your quads to help protect your knees
  • Improve your badminton form to avoid twisting at the knee

How do you prevent ankle twist in badminton?

To prevent an ankle twist in badminton, there are a few things you can do:

  • Warm-up your ankles before your start playing with dynamic stretching exercises
  • Use tape or an ankle brace to stabilise your ankle
  • Get professional help with your footwear to avoid twisting your ankle when you land 

Are you dealing with badminton injuries? It’s time to book an appointment with a physio. Come see one of our expert physiotherapists at Physio Inq today. Book now!

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