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Understanding and Preventing Badminton Injuries

Badminton is a fast-paced sport that requires agility, speed, and precision. It is played all around the world, and it is an excellent way to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Marcus, an ex-Australian Badminton player, and physiotherapist goes through the common injuries within Badminton and the different ways you can prevent these injuries to safely enjoy the game.

Lateral ankle sprains

Lateral ankle sprains are a very common injury amongst badminton players. The main causes of lateral ankle sprains include jumping for a smash and landing awkwardly, changing directions at the net or lunging to defend against a smash and your ankle giving way. As a result of this, the ligaments surrounding the ankle are stretched beyond their limits. As someone who’s had their fair share of ankle injuries, I’ve learned the importance of proactive prevention and rehabilitation. Strengthening and balance exercises tailored for specific Badminton movements, in addition to supportive ankle braces or taping before Badminton can help to strengthen the muscles around the ankle which provides extra support for the ligaments. For me, as a precautionary step, I would always tape my own ankles before I train or play matches as a personal preference.

Rotator cuff injuries

Rotator cuff injuries are typically very common due to the nature of Badminton with lots of fast repetitive overhead shoulder movements. If the rotator cuff muscles are not strong enough, it can lead to pain inside the shoulder. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and their tendons that surround the shoulder joint, providing stability and facilitating movements of the shoulder. To prevent these injuries, shoulder resistance exercises in the gym should be completed to strengthen and stabilise the shoulder joint. Furthermore, a comprehensive rotator cuff warm- up exercise can also be completed to help activate the necessary muscles before playing. In some cases, shoulder taping with either rigid or kinesiology taping can be used to help support the shoulder. As someone who has had a long history of shoulder pain, I have a full shoulder warm-up routine to activate the muscles before I train or play.

Patellar tendinopathy

Patellar tendinopathy is a common Badminton injury that is characterised by pain in the front part of the knee, specifically the tendon that joins the patella and the tibia. This is common amongst Badminton players due to the repetitive nature of Badminton including jumping, changing directions, and lunging, all of which can put more stress and load through the patellar tendon compared to what it can tolerate. Additionally, the hard surfaces of the courts can contribute to this knee pain due to the force being transmitted back into the lower limbs upon impact with the ground. To help treat this condition, isometric knee and strengthening exercises in conjunction with specific loading principles can be used to help improve and alleviate the symptoms of knee pain.

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

Badminton involves a lot of wrist movements, and the combination of gripping and generating power from your wrist in your smashes or backhand can lead to lots of forearm muscle usage. If this is done in high volumes, it can result in irritation and pain in the outer part of the elbow. To prevent this, you should be aware of your grip size and racket weight, making sure it is not too big for the grip size and not too heavy/stiff for the racket weight. Furthermore, specific wrist and forearm exercises can be completed to help improve tennis elbow symptoms and minimise the risk of developing tennis elbow.

Achilles tendinopathy

In this sport that involves a lot of running, jumping, and changing direction, the Achilles helps to facilitate these movements by transmitting the force generated by the calf muscles into the foot. If these movement are performed frequently, in high volumes, this can place significant stress on the Achilles tendon, increasing the risk of injury. Additionally, a sudden increase in training/playing load can contribute to this pain. A thorough warmup, calf strengthening, and isometric exercises, adequate footwear,  and alteration of training volume and intensity can help to reduce the risk of Achilles tendinopathy, and also improve the symptoms.


If you're someone who participates in racquet sports and is dealing with one of the injuries discussed above, or any other injury that matter, give us a call on 94595849, or you can book online to see a physiotherapist to work out a personalise rehab plan for recovery. 

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