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10+ Common Badminton Injuries (and Specific Prevention Tips)

As an avid badminton player, I have experienced quite a few injuries which could easily have been prevented, had I exerted some caution. Let’s take a look at some of the most common injuries almost all players might have experienced on the court at one point or the other.

The most common injuries in badminton are:

  1. Knee injuries
  2. Ankle Sprains
  3. Wrist Sprains
  4. Shoulder sprains
  5. Hamstring pulls
  6. Tennis elbow
  7. Golfer’s Elbow
  8. Back Pains
  9. Shin Splints
  10. Plantar fasciitis
  11. Collateral ligament injuries
  12. Blisters
  13. Jumper’s Knee

Sprains, as well as tears, happen by sudden extension and stress on muscles, bones, and ligaments. Notwithstanding this, there are also injuries that occur on the court due to falls, cuts, and hits.

You may be an enthusiastic badminton player, and you may really enjoy the game, but an injury can hamper your game and even stop you from playing altogether. It is essential to be aware of the injuries that badminton players frequently encounter so that you can take steps to reduce their occurrence. Did you know that a few simple precautions can help you avoid major injuries that occur while playing badminton?

Below, we’ll go through some of the most common injuries you may face while playing badminton and simple ways to prevent them.

Shoulder injuries

While playing badminton, the shoulders have to bear a lot of sudden movements and extreme stretching. You will notice that the shoulder has the greatest scope of movement compared to other joints. The reason is the presence of a flexible rotator cuff surrounded by multiple tendons that support it. Now in extreme conditions, the tendons have to take a lot of loads, especially in heavy swinging action that comes with placing a shot. This can lead to straining them and sometimes dislocating the bone as well.

How to prevent shoulder injuries during badminton.

It is important to ensure that you do not push yourself too much. Overly eager newbies in the heat of the game tend to push the body beyond its threshold. This, coupled with the lack of flexibility of rotator cuff tendons, will lead to shoulder injuries. This can be avoided by keeping the focus on improving the form and execution of each swing and using the right amount of power.

Go easy on the shoulder and give yourself some time to improve the game. Remember that a shoulder injury can bring your badminton game to a standstill. Winning is not as important as ensuring that you are able to play injury-free.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries can happen due to extreme load and pressure on the knee joints. This can happen while jumping, turning, or pivoting to get the shot. Sudden movements and repetitive stress can have a deteriorating effect on the knees and the tissues around the knee cap. Knee pain can have long-term effects on your well-being, so extreme caution is to be maintained.

How to prevent knee injuries during badminton.

One meaningful way is to ensure that the leg muscles are strong enough to handle high-impact activities. Weight training to improve leg muscles can prevent many injuries. In some cases if you are overweight, the brunt of the weight comes on the ankles and knees, so injuries occur when you have to jump, turn, or run. Ensuring that your weight is close to your ideal weight can go a long way in preventing knee problems.

Ankle injuries

Similar to the knee, the ankle plays an important part in the game of badminton. The entire weight of the body becomes focused on one point when you have to twist, turn, or jump. Sometimes when the bodyweight is unevenly placed on the feet, it causes ankle sprains. Also, there are ligaments that connect the bones of the leg and the ankles and hold them together. Without them, you would not be able to take a single step. A tear or a pull on these ligaments can affect your mobility.

How to prevent ankle injuries during badminton.

It is important to ascertain that your weight is evenly distributed when you naturally move. Develop body awareness and see if you are distributing the weight evenly when you stand, walk and run. Another important tip is to ensure you have good comfortable shoes, specifically for playing badminton. Proper shoes cannot only safeguard your ankles but also improve your game. As with your knees, maintaining your body weight is crucial to ensure that the load on the ankles is not too much. Always play on even surfaces and a well-maintained badminton court.

Hamstring pulls

First of all, let us try to understand what hamstrings are. Hamstrings are muscles and tendons that extend all the way from the base of the leg, from the pelvis to the shin bone or the tibia.

A hamstring gets pulled when we accelerate suddenly, and we overload the muscle with too much weight or extreme stretching. It is not uncommon for a runner to feel a sharp pain while sprinting or suddenly accelerating without a proper warm-up. So, serious athletes always take time to do appropriate warm-ups before engaging in any sport. On the badminton court, we have to make such sudden sprints and stretch the hamstring while returning an oddly placed shot.

In certain situations, this can cause a rupture of the tendons or stretch of the muscles. You may feel ongoing pain or have swelling along with a limited range of motion. This can be a problem if you are an avid badminton player. Sometimes the pain goes away with rest or applying ice etc. In case of continued pain, it’s better to get it treated.

How to prevent hamstring pulls during badminton.

Warm-ups before the game are your best bet in preventing hamstring pulls. Sudden stretching of the muscles and tendons is one of the major causes, so adequate warm-ups of the legs by doing squats and stretches would be helpful. Avoid overexertion as this can fatigue the muscles and increase the chances of hamstring pulls. Some athletes run backward (also called retro-running) to strengthen the hamstrings and the muscles around the knees. You too may want to include that during your warm-up sessions.

Tennis Elbow

Playing racquet sports of any kind, be it tennis, badminton or squash can lead to a tennis elbow. Tennis elbow develops when engaging in activities that involve repetitive use of the wrist. When you continuously use the forearm muscles or twist the wrist repeatedly, it stresses the muscles and causes tears and inflammation. Overuse is one of the most common causes of tennis elbow. Strenuous repetitive activities that cause wear and tear of the tendons is the primary reason for this. While playing badminton, we tend to use the forearm muscles and the wrist frequently, thus making them a prime target for injury.

How to prevent tennis elbow during badminton.

Racquet sports generally lead to tennis elbow, but you can reduce the probability by following a few tips. Try not to focus the stress on the wrist and forearm by shifting more of the load to your arms and shoulders in your swings. If the racquet feels too heavy use a lighter one. Doing strength training exercises for your forearms may help reduce the chances of developing a tennis elbow. Additionally, keeping your focus on using the right technique will reduce your chances of tennis elbow.

7 general tips to prevent injuries in badminton

Most athletes hold on to the maxim ‘no pain, no gain.’ While for muscle growth, it is important that some exertion and pain will be encountered, it is not wise to push your body beyond a moderate amount of strain. Most of the injuries occur when this threshold is crossed.

These are general ways to prevent injuries:

1. Get adequate warm up

Get adequate warm up before intensive activity. This ensures that the muscles are ready, and the blood flow is adequate. Gently increasing the intensity of any activity is a safe tactic you can incorporate.

2. Take it slow

Take it slow if you are a new player. In their enthusiasm, new players try to overachieve and end up with injuries as their bodies are not yet accustomed to deal with the stress.

3. Know your limits

Learn to stop when you have reached your limit. Being sensitive to your body and listening to it so that you know when it is time to stop is crucial to prevent the common injuries.

4. Be patient

Be patient with yourself. Most players are impatient and want to see progress fast. Rather than enjoying the game, they see it as a way to prove themselves. This can lead to frustration with lack of progress, and they end up pushing themselves unnecessarily. Enjoy the game and allow yourself time to see the excellence you hope for.

5. Moderate weight training

Enhance your game performance through moderate weight training as well. Working on the muscles of the legs, arms, and shoulder will improve your game as well as reduce chances of sprains and muscle tears during the game.

6. Incorporate streching exercises

Try to incorporate stretching exercise in your warm-up regimen that focuses primarily on the muscles you would be using during the game, such as the forearms, shoulders, and hamstrings. Yoga is an excellent way to maintain the suppleness of the muscles.

7. Get the right gear

Last but not least, get the right gear. When playing badminton, you need to ensure that you have proper quality gear. This includes racquets, shoes, and clothing. Choosing good brands and investing in appropriate equipment can help you play the game well while minimizing injuries to a great extent.