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  1. #1
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    Default Managing Injuries and Pain

    Whether you play badminton recreationally or competitively, injuries happen. However, there are ways to minimize the amount of injuries and pain from badminton.

    Note: As posted in the forum disclaimer, it is always best to seek a medical professional's advice. The following advice is given in the context of managing a diagnosed injury, or reducing pain from soreness/exertion. I am NOT a doctor, so please take this advice with a grain of salt.

    Tips to Prevent Injury:
    1. Always warm-up and stretch properly.
      • ​A proper physical warm-up should make you break a sweat. If you are not sweating, you should warm up some more.
      • Having stiff, tight, or otherwise inflexible muscles may lead to injury. Flexibility tends to decrease with age, so you should take an active approach to flexibility. There has been recent controversy over static vs. dynamic stretching, but in general, stretching is better than not stretching.
      • When warming up on the court, start with easier shots (like drives) before moving onto shots that require more physical exertion (like clears or smashes).
      • Example warm-up:
        • Light jog for 3-5 minutes (transition from a brisk walk to a light jog over a longer period of time if you are recovering from injury, or are very unfit).
        • Stretching routine: Rolling wrists/ankles, arm circles to warm up shoulders, forearm circles, slow trunk twists, knee circles, static stretching of the arms, shoulders, quadriceps, hamstring, calves, back, etc.
        • Light footwork for 3-5 minutes
        • Hitting warm up: drives, net shots, drops, clears, smashes.

    2. Wear proper attire
      • Wearing shoes not meant for badminton, or shoes that do not fit well can lead to injury.
        • Shoes should fit well and not need a "break in period"
        • Shoes should be designed for badminton, or at the very least, be designed as an "indoor court shoe"
        • Proper shoes will give you the correct type and amount of support for badminton

      • Wearing proper clothes for exercise prevents overheating
        • Depending on where you live, overheating while playing may be a concern. Hydrating properly and wearing loose clothing will help prevent overheating.

    3. Know your body
      • Be aware of your own limits
        • If you are recovering from an injury, protect your body properly with braces/supports, and ease back into badminton slowly
        • If you are unfit, do not push yourself too hard. Exercising too hard, too soon puts strain on your body. If you are trying a new activity, and feel faint or dizzy, you should stop and take a break.

      • Stop playing if you are injured
        • Be aware of what type of pain is okay, and what type of pain may mean injury
          • Feeling muscle burn during exercise, or muscle soreness after exercise is normal.
          • Feeling sharp pain in joints, irregular or moving pain, pain during certain movements or positions, or pain that lingers >2-3 days usually means injury

    4. Always cool down properly
      • Cooling down is like warming up, but in reverse
      • The key points behind cooling down is to ease into resting slowly, and to stretch
        • As long as you don't go from all out singles to lying down in bed, you should mostly be okay for cooling down
        • A nice cool down is to walk a few laps around the gym before stretching
        • Static stretching after exercise will help you maintain flexibility (which will prevent injury)


    Managing Injuries/Pain
    P R I C E: Protection Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
    After playing, it's a good idea to put the above into use for any sore or injured areas.
    Protection:
    • Protect the injured area using a brace/support
    • Avoid bearing weight on the injured area

    Rest:

    • Self explanatory
    • If pain lingers after 2-3 days, seek advice from a medical professional

    Ice:

    • Icing helps reduce swelling and inflammation, and can help numb pain
    • If you don't have regular access to ice, there are shelf stable ice packs available that work by combining chemicals that go through endothermic reactions (Instant cold packs). These may be handy to keep in a badminton bag for sudden injuries, though they may "pop" prematurely if stored wrong.
    • The time you spend icing an injury depends on the thickness of the tissue around your injury.
      • 10-20 minutes is usually enough, and you should stop once the area feels numb
      • You can ice the area again after an hour or so has passed (skin should be warm to touch, and be able to sense pressure/touch normally)
      • Icing an injury is usually only effective for ~ 2-3 days after injury

    • Method 1: Ice Wrap (Low effort/Attention Needed)
      • Fill a small ziploc bag 3/4 full with ice, and some water (Alternatively, use a gel ice pack, instant cold pack, or bag of frozen vegetables)
      • Place the ice bag inside a thin kitchen towel
      • Use the towel to wrap the bag firmly to the injured area, and secure with a thick rubber band. (Make sure there is no ice-skin contact, there should be some fabric between the skin and ice)

    • Method 2: (Some attention needed)
      • Freeze water inside a paper cup
      • "Unwrap" the paper cup so some ice is exposed
      • Rub the ice over the injured area, so the ice melts
      • Unwrap the paper as needed for more ice
      • Make sure that you are constantly moving the ice, and not allowing it to sit in one spot
      • You may want to have a towel underneath the injured area to mop up any drippings

    Compression:

    • Compression usually helps prevent swelling in an injured area. Combining compression with ice is usually very effective at managing swelling and pain.
    • Depending on the area affected, you may be able to use a compression bandage to apply compression to an injury
      • Compression bandages are sometimes referred to as ACE bandages and can usually be found in drug stores (at least in the States, I'm not sure about their availability elsewere)
      • You may be able to get a similar effect by wrapping the area tightly with fabric, though I don't recommend this.

    • Wearing "compression" clothing may help recovery
    • ALWAYS stop compression if the area farther away from the heart turns blue/purple, or feels cold to the touch

    ​Elevation:

    • Elevation helps drain fluid away from injured areas, which reduces swelling
    • The injured area should be elevated higher than the heart
    • Using pillows, blankets, etc at home can help achieve this
      • In a tournament setting, you can elevate your legs against a wall between matches for the same efffect


    Quick note on painkillers:
    Aspirin vs. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) vs Acetaminophen/Paracetamol (Tylenol)

    I tried to use common drug names above, but as I'm from the US, the actual names may vary in different countries. The first name is the drug name, and availability may vary depending on where you live.


    • Acetaminophen is not effective for muscle aches/ injury pain, because it does not have as much as an anti-inflammatory effect. Overdosing on acetaminophen is damaging to the liver, and the drug should never be mixed with alcohol.
    • Aspirin is the oldest of the three painkillers (derived from willow bark, now synthesized artificially). It is an NSAID, or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. While it is effective at reducing muscle aches/pain, care should be taken when using it, as it is a blood thinner. Aspirin is also very hard on the stomach, much harder than ibuprofen. A safer way to take aspirin is by using a topical cream that contain aspirin (the listed active drug is usually methyl salicylate), though it is not as effective.
    • Ibuprofen is also an NSAID. It is effective for muscle aches/pains, and is not as hard on your stomach as aspirin. However, it is still rather hard on the stomach, and should be taken with food.


    Summary: For muscle aches/pain, use ibuprofen. Of course, read the drug label and follow the instructions. Do not take ibuprofen if you are allergic to it.

    I hope this helps! Feel free add more information, ask questions, or correct me if I'm wrong anywhere!

  2. #2
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    Default

    why is this thread not a stickie??

  3. #3
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    Default

    Injuries are most common in any types of playing. I want to suggest you to be careful during your playing. Management of injuries depend only on your carefulness.

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