Treatment of Badminton Injuries
Badminton is a court game played with racquets and a shuttlecock or as others call it, a birdie. The sport originated from India. Badminton was first played in Gloucestershire, England in 1873. Badminton is played internationally around the world but became a full-medal Olympic sport in 1992. Participation in the sport and spectator interest has been seen around the world in India, Asia and Europe.
Competitive badminton is usually played indoors due to light winds that can easily affect the course of the birdie. The game is played on a rectangular court which is 44 feet (13.4 meters) long and 17 feet (5.2 meters) wide for singles and 20 feet (6.1 meters) wide for doubles. A net the length of 5 feet (1.5 meters) high is stretched across the width of the court in the center.
The game consists entirely of hitting the birdie back and forth across the net without letting it touch the floor within the boundaries. Players compete in the best-of-three matches, where a game is played in a rally point system up to 21 points but the winner must win by at least 2 points. Badminton can be played with two or four people.
What are the Physical Demands of Badminton?
Badminton is a high-paced game and is considered to be the fastest racquet sport. With that, it requires a lot of quick decision-making skills, fast reflexes, tons of explosive movements, plyometric movements and a good amount of cardiovascular fitness.
Such sport requires the athlete to perform multilateral movements such as lunges (front, back, and side), forehand and backhand strokes, overhead strokes, jump smashes, and overhead backhand strokes.
What are Common Injuries Experienced with Badminton?
Injuries in badminton occur due to the repetitive nature of the sport and the speed and agility required. Here are some common injuries seen in badminton.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Characterized by pain in and around the kneecap without any specific causes. The pain is aggravated by performing movements that load the knee joint such as the bottom of a lunge, going up/down stairs, squatting and prolonged sitting. The knee may also feel stiff even though the individual has normal flexibility. Click here to learn more about patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Also known as patellar tendonitis, is an overuse injury. The pain can be located at the front of the knee under the kneecap (patellar tendon). This repetitive strain can occur from too much running or jumping which eventually causes inflammation or degeneration of the patellar tendon.
A general term used to describe pain in the wrist area. This may be due to a sudden force, or due to overuse which can lead to a repetitive strain injury. With a sport like badminton, there are a lot of small, quick movements of the forearm, wrist, and hand that can gradually lead to wrist strains. Click here to learn more about wrist strains.
One of the most common sports injuries and also most frequently re-injured. Most cases of ankle sprains are rolled inwards (inversion sprain) from the weight of one’s body. The result is damage to the ligament on the outside of the ankle. Swelling and pain occurs on the outside of the joint. Click here to learn more about ankle sprains.
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
A degenerative condition that can affect one or more of the rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder joint. This occurs gradually over time or in some cases, following a rotator cuff strain which hasn’t healed properly. Click here to learn more about rotator cuff injuries.
Rotator Cuff Strain
A tear to any of the four rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis). Common in sports that require throwing or racquet sports. The purpose of these muscles are to help provide stability of the shoulder and rotate the arm at the shoulder joint.
Also known as lateral epicondylitis, is pain that is located on the outside of the elbow joint. In badminton, poor backhand technique can be a cause of tennis elbow. This type of repetitive strain injury is seen in daily activities such as keyboard use, twisting movements (screwdriver, turning door knobs) or gripping heavy objects. Click here to learn more about tennis elbow.
Also known as medial epicondylitis or throwers elbow, is pain that is located on the inside of the elbow joint. In badminton, this can occur through overhand or underhand strokes that have a similar twisting forearm motion like throwing a ball.
How can Physiotherapy, Chiropractic and/or Massage Therapy Help with Badminton Injuries?
Physiotherapy, chiropractic and/or registered massage therapy can help through a comprehensive assessment of the injury, some hands on treatment and a customized treatment plan of care that may involve a multidisciplinary approach. If the injury is not progressing as expected, your therapist may refer you to a physician for imaging.
Treatments such as hands-on soft tissue work, the use of specific equipment/tools and modalities can be used. Examples of rehabilitative work may include balance/stability exercises, muscle activation exercises, stretches, and self-soft tissue release, all while educating patients on how to do some self care/self treatment. Contact us to learn more or to book with one of our experienced therapists.
Badminton “Warm Up” Routine
With badminton involving such fast-paced, quick reaction, explosive and repetitive movements, a good warm-up routine should include:
- 5 to 10 minutes of stationary bike – light resistance
- Hip swings, hip side swings, standing hip circles
- Walking lunges with rotation to the same side as the front leg
- Side shuffle, side shuffle to cross over with body rotation to the opposite side
- Side to side lunges – touch the floor end to end like practicing footwork/side lunging to get a shot
- Forward lunge like you’re going forward to a shot and then backwards shuffle to go for a overhead shot
- Racquet warm-up – exchange drive shots (back and forth flat shots) to your opponent
- Switch to overhead clearing shots, hitting it from middle to back end to the opposite middle to back end
- One person clears the shot, while the opponent does a drop shot/light shot to land in the front of the service, other person returns the shot with a net shot(volley) over the net while the person who just made the shot moves in and clears the shot up so the other person does the same thing and repeats the same movement going in to clear the shot up
- Players now do smashes, one player smashes while the other blocks the shot over and other play comes in to clear the shot so the other opponent can smash it back and they block it
Common Strengthening Exercises for Badminton?
Some strengthening exercises that can help with injury prevention in badminton are:
- Barbell squat
- 1 arm dumbbell Bench press
- Single arm shoulder press/one arm barbell jammer press
- Pull ups/ barbell supine pull ups
- Step ups
- Dumbbell lunges
- Bulgarian split squat
- Medicine ball twists
- Palloff press
- Single Leg Deadlifts
- Glute band lateral walks (squat and walk sideways)
- Glute bridges/hip thrusters
- Jumping Lunges
Other badminton related tips include:
- Remember to base your strengthening on muscle movements versus just muscle groups to help with injury prevention and performance.
- Rest/recovery is also an important part of training.
- Injuries can take time to recover. So listen to your healthcare provider and be patient.
- Most importantly, enjoy the process, enjoy the game!
- (n.d.). Ankle Sprain. Retrieved from https://fittoplay.org/body-parts/ankle/ankle-sprain/
- (n.d.). Badminton. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/sports/badminton
- (n.d.) Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Retrieved from https://fittoplay.org/body-parts/knee/patellofemoral-pain-syndrome
- (n.d). Plantar fasciitis (heel pain). Retrieved from https://fittoplay.org/body-parts/ankle/plantar-fasciitis-heel-pain/
- (n.d.). The most common injuries in badminton. Retrieved from https://fittoplay.org/sports/badminton/the-most-common-injuries-in-badminton/
- Walden, M. Sports Injury Clinic. (2022, March 1). Badminton Injuries https://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/sports-specific/badminton-injuries
Ben Wong, Registered Massage Therapist
Ben Wong is a registered massage therapist practicing at Rebalance Sports Medicine in downtown Toronto.