Badminton Life

Badminton Pain

I'm sure we have all heard the words "no pains, no gains". It means to achieve something worthwhile we must suffer pain. Can badminton be an exception to this?

Surely no. Let us see something about the various types of pain associated with badminton, let's call them badminton pain.

Usually badminton pain occurs when

1. A player is not adequately warmed up before playing

2. A player has not achieved physical fitness to play intense badminton

3. A player adopts faulty playing techniques

4. A player plays for long hours with tiredness

5. A player stresses himself during warm-up by training too much

6. A player is overweight in general as it puts increased pressure on his weight bearing joints

Badminton pain can occur in neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, back, hip, knee and ankle joints and virtually in any muscle of the body.

Neck pain occurs because you are focusing on the shuttle by turning your neck in various directions and very often in playing the around-the-head smash, you hyperextend the neck which is a very unnatural movement. So neck muscle sprain occurs.

The shoulder that handles your racket is liable to get pain by many ways, as shoulder joint is pivotal in playing good badminton. Usually the shoulder undergoes what is known as rotator cuff tear.

Various muscles surrounding the shoulder joint form rotator cuff and when the tear occurs, the movements of the shoulder become very painful and power of the joint is tremendously decreased. Many promising fast bowlers' cricketing careers have been cut short because of rotator cuff injuries.

Elbows play a main role in playing badminton. Elbow pain can come from what is known as medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow) and lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). Again the pain limits the power and mobility of the elbow joint resulting in below par performance. Similarly wrist sprain and low back pain can occur when player exerts too much or play for long hours because of misuse and overuse.

Badminton pain especially occurs in knee joints because of muscle strain surrounding them or due to internal derangement of the knees resulting from ligament injuries or meniscal tear. Ligaments are short structures connecting the thighbone and the leg bone thereby conferring stability to the joint and prevent slipping when moving. When they are injured, the stability of the joint is affected.

Ligament injuries occur usually when the player slips and falls. Menisci are bean shaped flat cartilaginous structure specific to the knee joint. There is a lateral meniscus and lateral meniscus cushioning between the thighbone and the leg bone of the knee joint during movement.

During intensive and abnormal movements, such as swiveling the knee around to meet the shuttle, the meniscus gets in-between the moving bones and gets torn. Both ligament injuries and meniscal tears can cause chronic pain, limitation of movement and abnormal mobility in the knee joint significantly cutting short the career of professional badminton players, unless promptly and properly managed.

The discussion of badminton pain will not be complete without mentioning ankle sprain. It occurs when the foot slips into the position of inversion (sole facing inward instead of the ground) and the player puts his weight on top of the inverted foot.

The lateral ligaments of the ankle are affected. Sometimes, pain occurs because the bone connecting the fifth toe to the foot (fifth metatarsal) gets fractured due to accidental foot inversion, which is known as Jones fracture.

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