All sports fanatics who participate in different sports must be aware of the various kinds of injuries and pains that they are at risk of developing as the frequency or intensity of their games pick up.
Elbow pain is one of them.
More specifically, sharp pain in the elbow which can be on the outside or inner side of the elbow.
Activities that require tight grips on an object which cause stress on hand and arms can cause elbow pain.
One such example is badminton.
If you are suffering from elbow pain after playing badminton, you are not alone.
While it is true that a badminton racquet is lighter than a tennis, racquet ball or squash racquet, this doesn`t mean you are immune to injuries at the elbow.
While elbow pain and injuries are prevalent in racquet sports, individuals off the court are also at risk of developing elbow conditions such as tennis or golfers elbow.
It is not uncommon for people who play one racquet sport to also play others, such as racquetball or tennis.
If you are thinking of picking up tennis, selecting the best tennis racquet is very important.
Check out my post on the top 6 factors on choosing the best tennis racquet, even if you are suffering from tennis elbow.
How does Elbow Pain Occur?
Ever experienced any injury on your knee or elbow and wondered why injuries and discomfort in the socket joints hurt the most?
Well, this is a common problem for joints in the body.
When your elbow is caused by playing badminton, in the majority of the cases, the extension tendon which attaches on the outer part of your elbow becomes inflamed, torn or swollen.
All of your tendons in your body are full of many fibroblasts and blood vessels that aid and help your joints and muscles move freely.
Any sort of injury or impairment that causes the tendons to tighten or tear, can severely impact your ability to bend your elbow.
Our friends over at Physioroom.com also have some great tips and nuggets of information that you should really check out.
Possible Causes of Elbow Pain
Just exerting stress on your arms while playing might not be the only reason for elbow pain, since this is a common problem in non-athletes as well.
Elbow pain can occur due to badminton because of the repeated stress and bending of the wrist against resistance.
Because of this, it is very common for squash, tennis and badminton players to experience this.
But if you are not one of the sports one, it can also occur because of excessive typing, brick laying, construction work, yard work, using small instruments day in and day out and many other labor intensive jobs.
Badminton is one of the best games because it helps you in complete physical exercise by light running, frequent jumps, arm and leg exercise during the game.
Here are some things to consider:
It can possibly occur because of poor handling technique of racket too.
This involves the lack of using and engaging all of your arm muscles, rather just using the wrist.
Is Your Grip A Contributing Factor To Your Elbow Pain?
Make sure you follow these simple grip tips …
Therefore, you can also notice how it happens to new players because they are not aware of handling the racket in a badminton match as well as their hands are not in practice.
There are mainly two categories of elbow pains that can occur to you if you have played badminton. These are:
- Sudden Onset: This might occur to you if you are exerting the stress on a single back hand on the wrist, which can cause tearing of the tendon muscles, causing elbow pain.
- Late Onset: This does not occur on spot. You will begin to experience the pain after about a day or two in the form of sharp elbow pain. This can happen if the badminton player is new, or has recently adapted to a new racket etc.
How to Prevent Elbow Pain After Playing Badminton
Whenever you are planning to play Badminton, try keeping things smooth and easy.
However if you are a professional player, you can get professional training from a coach since day one, because only the coach will help you in gradually developing the technique for playing badminton expertly rather than you getting any injury in the first few days.
Ideally, the wrist should always be firm and should never be bent even while striking the ball or the shuttle.
If you are exerting less energy and force, your muscles will need to work a lot harder for you in which process there can be problems.
To prevent yourself from any serious elbow pains after your badminton matches, you need to understand the right technique.
Identifying Symptoms of Elbow Pain
For people who are not sports fanatics, or for beginners who have just started out with playing badminton, elbow pains can be a common injury and can be even difficult to identify themselves.
Learning some prominent symptoms about the problem can help you measure the problem more effectively so you can seek for professional help if needed.
These symptoms include:
- Lesser strength in grip than before
- Weak energy of strength in arm to lift heavy items
- Pain just below or above the bony area of elbow
- For professional badminton players, there can be a lack in ability to perform backhand.
- Sense of numbness or tingling sensation travelling through forearm or the hand.
- Weakness of wrist or Inability to perform regular tasks like holding up the glass of water.
- Pain on the exterior side of elbow in case the fingers are stretched.
Seeking Professional Help is Important
Learning and recognizing symptoms is never enough.
When it comes to injuries, it is important to consider a professional sports therapist or doctor which can help you diagnose the injury or pain properly.
There can be many causes besides playing badminton for the elbow pain, so you can consult your doctor especially if you are not involved in sports like badminton.
The therapist might run an x-ray in case of acute pains, figure our possible causes and the magnitude of damage so that the elbow pain can be treated more quickly and effectively.
Professional sports doctors have years of experience in their hand to diagnose injuries like elbow pain and treat them expertly.
You cannot rely on internet search to diagnose and treat your elbow pain. Professional help before all treatments is highly recommended.
Your Treatment Options
You can treat your elbow pain through several treatment options; however, it is best to take a doctor’s opinion on what would be the best way to go around.
There are many rehabilitation options which have borne successful results, but all can differ according to the magnitude of the injury.
One thing to remember during the healing process is not to do any hectic activities involving strain on the muscles like playing sports, cycling, exercising etc.
Healing is nature’s way of giving you the option to rest.
Enjoy this time with reading, watching a good movie, or just taking a light stroll in the backyard.
No single treatment can be defined to treat elbow pains, however, there are some treatments that have shown effective results.
It is to be noted here that different treatments might react differently as per the individual’s body and pain.
Following are some treatment options and recommendations:
- Take rest from any activity that involves a lot of exertion. If you are a professional badminton player, take some time off to heal properly and don’t play at all. Any other movement can trigger the injury back during the process, which is why you need to sit back, relax, and recover from the elbow pain.
- Try wearing a brace. This helps you from any more pain by moving the arm and elbow and keeps it intact to heal. You can also cover it with a heath retainer, as it helps in further healing as well as prevents from any further injuries. Heat retainers can help you in stimulation of blood flow in the elbow which can boost healing process.
- You can also opt for cold therapy. This is usually performed on the first or second day after the elbow pain as it can help in reducing the pain and swelling caused in the joint. By reducing the swelling, there will be an increase in blood flow, resulting in quick healing. Keep in mind not to apply the ice directly on to the skin, but to create an ice pack or wrap it in a wet towel and wrap the elbow with it.
- There are pharmaceutical drugs to assist you during this difficult time as well. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines e.g. Ibuprofen can play an important role in reducing pain. However, it is important to consult a doctor before taking any steps during elbow pain, since they know best.
You can say that the usual problem why the elbow pain occurs is over practicing and over playing Badminton.
Doing a lot in little time is extra strain on your body, which can cause elbow pain.
You should start with the right techniques, gradually build up your pace, and keep track of your training for best results without any elbow pains in the process.
Next time you play Badminton, remember the right techniques in mind and keep a steady hand!