Top 4 Badminton Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries are commonly experienced by badminton players. Due to overtraining and improper use of techniques, stress is constantly impacted on the same parts of the body, leading to tendon tears and chronic pain over time if left untreated. The pain comes gradually and may not affect the performance of players immediately. As such, many ignore the symptoms until the condition worsens.

  1. Tennis Elbow

Also called the Lateral Epicondylitis, Tennis Elbow is caused by the repetitive motion of using backhand to hit the shuttlecock. Patients would feel pain in the elbow and arm, especially when raising the hand or gripping an object. Other causes that contribute to the injury could also be the high tension of the strings and unsuitable racket grip size. While the backhand move is necessary for all racket sports, it is important to use the correct techniques and warm up before every training session.

  • Jumper’s Knee

Another name for Jumper’s Knee is Patellar Tendonitis. It is called the Jumper’s Knee as the condition is usually caused by the action of jumping during sports, with the impact striking the knees upon landing. Patients complain of pain and aching on the front side of the knee though they have never had an injury in the area before. It may not be felt significantly in the early stages but eventually, if left untreated, can result in tendon rupture.

  • Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow, or Medial Epicondylitis, is the damage to the elbow muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. It is caused by the repetitive flicking motion of the wrist required in badminton. Usually due to compensation from inadequate use of arm strength, the force used with the wrist might be more than the muscles can take. Patients would feel pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow and along the forearm, with stiffness and difficulty to grip. Tape and elbow guard can be worn to give more support to the arm. However, it is best to stop all activities and allow the arm to rest once pain is felt during or after training.

  • Shoulder Injuries

One common shoulder injury is a shoulder strain. Due to the nature of the sport which requires impactful swinging of the shoulders, the rotator cuff of the shoulder is often strained or damaged over time. Symptoms to look out for are pain and stiffness that gradually worsens with activity. Injury could be avoided by using the correct techniques and getting plenty of rest to allow the muscles to recover.

Home Treatments – Knee Sprains

A knee sprain is a painful but relatively mild leg injury that can be treated at home. However, if the pain is moderate to severe, seek medication advice as there could be more serious problems than just a sprain. Otherwise, for minor sprains, these are the ways you can manage the pain and accelerate recovery.

R.I.C.E

For most leg and ankle injuries, the first step you should do is to apply the R.I.C.E method – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

Rest: Stop all activities that would put stress on the knee and try to find a place to rest as soon as possible.

Ice: Use an ice pack or a pack of frozen vegetables to ice the wound for 10 to 20 minutes to reduce pain and swelling. Do not apply heat pack or take hot showers within the first 48 hours after injury as the heat might increase swelling.

Compression: Wrap the injury tightly with a bandage but ensure that it is not too tight that it cuts off circulation.

Elevation: Use a pillow to prop up the injured leg through the whole treatment. After these steps are completed, let the wound rest for 20 to 30 minutes and repeat the process for at least 3 times.

Massage

A light massage on the wounded area would promote blood circulation and ease the pain. However, do not rub with too much force as this would aggravate the injury. Stop the massage if there is too much pain.

Stretching

Doing light stretching exercises helps to regain flexibility and prevent the muscles from stiffening up. Stretch the hamstrings by lying down with one leg on a wall or a stable support. Make sure your knee is straight and hold it there for a minute. There should be a slight tension running down the back of your leg.

Another exercise is the knee-to-chest stretch. Lying down and keeping knees bent while the feet are flat, bring one knee towards the chest with your hands and hold for half a minute before switching to another knee.

Do not carry out any of these exercises if they cause too much pain. Limit to just a light stretch.

Things to avoid

During the course of injury, keep off alcohol as it would increase swelling. Also, avoid smoking as it decreases blood supply and slows tissue repair. Try to avoid activities that would aggravate the injury until the pain and swelling have completely subsided.

How to Prevent Common Swimming Injuries

Swimming injuries usually involve the shoulders, knees, hips and back. The area of injury depends on the swim stroke that the swimmer practices most often. It is important to perform the strokes correctly and get adequate rest to prevent injuries.

Causes

Most swimming injuries are caused by overuse and improper stroke techniques. Pro swimmers who go through vigorous training periods for competitions are at higher risk of injury because of the excessive repetitive motions and inadequate rest for the muscles to heal. Fatigue would also cause swimmers to perform poor stroke techniques, causing constant micro-trauma and leading to injuries.


Types and Symptoms of Common Swimming Injuries

Swimmer’s Shoulder

One of the most common types of swimming injuries is the Swimmer’s Shoulder. Due to the perpetual stress on the upper body to propel forward during swimming, the rotator cuff of the shoulder blade is often overworked. The joint and muscles are weakened over time and activity, resulting in shoulder instability, inflammation, tears, ligament and cartilage damage.

Patients with Swimmer’s Shoulder may experience:

  • Pain along the back of the shoulder and sometime salong the front of the shoulder as well
  • Inflammation in the tendons and muscles
  • Pain worsens with activity


Breaststroker’s Knee

Breaststroker’s Knee makes 25% of all swimming injuries and is caused by the motion of kicking to generate speed through the water. If the movement is not done correctly, tension would build up inside the knee and injuring the tendons, ligaments and muscles.

Patients with Breaststroker’s Knee may experience:

  • Pain and swelling of the knee
  • Inflammation in the ligament, tendons and muscles
  • Pain worsens with activity
  • Knock-knees or bow-leggedness

 

Prevention

At every swim session, ensure that proper warm up and cool down are done. When swimming, make sure that proper techniques are used. The arms should be raised high enough to complete each full stroke without the “lazy elbow” syndrome. Legs should be kicking correctly without subjecting the knees to external rotations. It is advisable to seek guidance from a coach to improve on swim techniques.

Swimmers should get adequate rest to avoid straining themselves and allow the muscles to recover. If symptoms of an injury have surfaced, stop all activities and ice the affected area to decrease inflammation. Seek a doctor’s advice if the symptoms do not subside even after plenty of rest.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease: Symptoms & Treatment

Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is a medical condition resulting from the inflammation of bones, cartilage or tendons in the tibia. The result of this are growth spurts that specifically affects the knee. It is much more common in growing teenagers between the ages of 10 to 15. It also affects people who are more active in sports involving frequent jumping and running.

OSD will affect growing teenagers at the beginning of their growth spurts. Growth spurts provide the most ideal condition for OSD as different components of the body is growing but at a different rate. For example, the bone grows much faster than soft tissues such as tendons and cartilage and this will create a lot of stress on the growth plate, causing a bony lump. This lump is caused by traction tendinitis and is due to the hardening of the bone at the top of the tibia.

What are the symptoms?

OSD is a medical condition that can be felt due to the tension on the patella tendon by the surrounding muscles. This will result in painful inflammation of the tibia, affecting the patellar tendon all the way to the shinbone. The result is extreme pain, swelling and tenderness which is visible with an x-ray diagnosis. There are other possible symptoms and these include:

  • Pain that gets worse after periods of activeness
  • Pain goes away after periods of rest
  • Swelling under the knee and shinbone
  • Tightness of hamstring and quadriceps muscles

 

How can OSD be treated?

OSD will usually go away on its own after the growth spurt periods and this is usually by the age of 18. If symptoms persist after that, treatment is then required:

  • Icing the affected area for three times a day or as required, especially after sports
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as ibuprofen to reduce swelling and pain
  • Reduction of high impact activities
  • Using a knee immobiliser such as a knee brace
  • Stretching before and after any activity
  • Physiotherapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles

 

Shock absorbent insoles are recommended if the patient is going back to high impact activities or prolonged periods of walking. However, patients are recommended to stop participating in sports to facilitate healing. Non-impact sports such as swimming are still allowed though.

There are no known long-term complications of OSD and only in rare cases are there patients with persistent swelling. In some patients, there are also persistent lumps appearing on the shinbone but this is extremely rare.

Experienced Orthopaedic Specialists Onboard Our Clinic

We like to thank all our patients for the support so far and to better serve you, we now have 2 experienced orthopaedic specialists onboard.

Dr. Ambrose Yung who is a specialist orthopaedic consultant with experience in partial knee replacement, complex primary total knee replacement, revision knee replacement, minimal invasive knee and shoulder sports surgery.

Dr. Fong Shee Yan who is an experienced Spine-specialised Orthopaedic Consultant in Singapore practising Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.

Join us in welcoming Dr. Ambrose & Dr. Fong and feel free to contact us if you’d like to understand more about our Clinic

 

Knee Cartilage Injuries: Cause & Symptoms

Located in our knee are cartilage tissues that act as shock absorbers. These shock absorbers are tough but yet flexible tissues that are located throughout our body, covering all the surfaces of our joint in order to facilitate the smooth gliding motion of our bones. It is because of these cartilage tissues that we are able to jump and run without experiencing pain. One downside of it is that the tissues do not have their own blood supply. This means that once they are injured or damaged, the healing process is extremely slow. Someone who has a damaged cartilage tissue will then experience pain during periods of motion. One of the most common places of injury is the knee and we will look into the causes and symptoms in this article.

Causes:

Knee cartilage injuries are usually articular cartilage damages. The articular cartilage is a soft and springy type of cartilage located between the joints and is a common yet serious form of damage. The result is swelling, pain and loss of mobility in the knee. Injuries can occur mainly from three main forms – osteoarthritis, osteochondritis dissecans and a sudden trauma. Osteoarthritis is a form of long-term damage and is especially targeted towards patients who have had their knee meniscus removed or are overweight. Osteochondritis dissecans occur when a part of the cartilage and a piece of attached bone breaks away from the joint. Lastly, trauma occurs during high impact activities such as sports. Sports players are at a higher risk due to the high levels of risk they face.

Symptoms:

The symptoms for a damaged knee cartilage are pretty similar to most forms of knee injuries. The first and foremost symptom is the onset of pain. This pain is increased when an attempt to straighten the knee is made, resulting in the inability to walk properly and bear full body weight on the knee itself. Swelling will also happen due to the increase in blood flow to the knee in order to combat infection. There may also be a creaking or cracking sound when you are moving the knee joint.

Cartilage damage is common among people and most people with mild damages do not seek medical help. The number of patients with this form of injury is most prevalent in patients under the age of 35 as that age group leads the most active lifestyle, with men at a much higher risk than women.

Symptoms And Treatments For Osteoarthritis Of The Knee

Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of musculoskeletal pain and disorder. Our knee is one of the most used joint in the whole body. Every single action of us will require the use of it. Like all well used joint, the knee requires constant lubrication of the joint. Have you ever experienced an old hinge that creaks when you use it? The remedy action taken by you would be to lubricate it with oil. The same theory applies to the knee as well. However, it is lubricated automatically with a fluid known as the synovial fluid. This is aided by the fact that the femur and tibia are covered with a smooth surface and a shock absorber known as the menisci. When these natural protective features are gone due to wear and tear or injuries, the knee will start to experience problems and one of it is osteoarthritis.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is the experiencing of pain in the knee during periods of activity and inactivity. This is aggravated after long periods of rest such as upon waking up where the pain will be the most severe. Swelling might also is present in some patients. During simple activities such as walking, there may be a decrease in the mobility of the knee causing actions such as climbing over a low wall difficult to accomplish. In serious cases, creaking sounds may be heard from the knee.

Treatment

There are several treatment options for osteoarthritis classified mainly into surgical and nonsurgical means. Different patients will be assigned different forms due to factors such as the cost, age and health condition.

Nonsurgical treatment

The most effective way of nonsurgical treatment is weight loss and exercise. One of the contributing factors is excessive weight on the knee and this is amplified when you jump. By losing weight, you are lessening the load on the knees. Exercising the knee and strengthening it will increase the load bearing capabilities of the knee. Doctors will also prescribe medication to reduce inflammation and ease the pain. In serious cases, corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid may be injected directly into the knee to reduce inflammation and provide lubrication to the joint.

Surgical treatment

Chondroplasty is a technique that smoothens the articulate cartilage. A smooth surface will help to reduce friction and reduce pain and swelling.  This is often done in conjunction with hyaluronic acid injection, which provides lubrication to the joint.

Knee Dislocation Surgery

Dislocation of the knee or more specifically the patella is a common knee injury that is typically caused by a sudden trauma in the form of a twist or direct hit on the knee, causing the patella to pop out of its usual position in the femoral groove towards the end of the femur. Knee dislocation will be accompanied by a sudden acute pain followed by periods of immobility leading to disability. In order to treat it, open or arthroscopy surgery will be required to repair the damages.

Almost immediately following injury, the extent of injury will be unable to be determined accurately due to the swelling and pain present. Therefore, surgery will not be recommended until a few weeks later. In the mean time, physical therapy will need to be performed in order to strength the thigh and quad muscles to provide a better support and prevent muscle wastage. Once the injured knee is strengthened and swelling has subsided, knee dislocation surgery can then be carried out and there are many types out there:

Bone realignment

In mild cases where the extent of injury is not severe and there is not much damage to the ligaments and tissues, bone realignment may be all that is needed. The tibial tubercle which is at the shin bone will simple have to be shifted and this will cause the position to be pulled towards the inner part of the knee.

Lateral Release

Lateral release is a common type of knee surgery performed to stabilise the patellar. When the knee is dislocated, it pulls the knee cap to the outside of the knee. Lateral release surgery seeks to cut the retinaculum in order to centre the knee cap back into the grooves.

Reefing

Reefing or medical imbrications is a surgical procedure performed with the intention to tighten the soft tissues that are located towards the inner portion of the knee. It is often done in conjunction with Lateral Release with the latter loosening the exterior part while the former tightening the interior part.

Trocheleoplasty

Trocheleoplasty is a less common surgery which works by deepening the grooves on the femur for the patellar. This will require the removal of some bone and increasing the depth of the grooves in which the patellar can then be held firmly in place with the aid of biodegradable stitches which will be reabsorbed into the body after a period of time.

Patellar dislocations can still happen after surgery but this is less than 5% of all cases. Patients are usually able to return to pre-injury level of activities after a couple of months if a disciplined recovery plan is followed religiously.

How To Prevent And Treat Runner’s Knee?

What is Runner’s Knee (PFPS)?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or commonly known by its nickname as Runner’s Knee is a common problem among runners. Due to the extended hours of pounding on the asphalt, the patella can be irritated when it rests on the thighbone. The pain experienced can be sudden and is often on and off. It can be felt before and after running, but not during the run itself. In this article, we’ll look at how to prevent and treat Runner’s Knee.

Causes of Runner’s Knee

One of the main causes of Runner’s Knee is due to the hard surface that runners run on. Most runners choose to run on pavements along the roads instead of stadiums or on grass surfaces. Although running on the roads may seem less boring and make the run more enjoyable, the hard surface is extremely bad on the knee.

Preventing PFPS

To prevent PFPS, you should run on softer and natural surfaces like turf. Running shoes also play an important role in the prevention of PFPS. A pair of cushioned and stability shoes provide great support to the knee, calf and ankles during the run and helps to absorb any shocks experienced by the leg. Recently, barefoot running has been the craze but this is still being debated. When we run barefoot, the foot can run naturally instead of being forced to in a direction when wearing shoes. This way, the load of the patellofemoral joint is reduced but instead, it creates additional stresses on the calf and Achilles tendon. So, instead of PFPS, runners may now suffer from calf or tendon Achilles pain.

Runner’s Knee Treatment

In order to treat Runner’s Knee, the simplest way is to cut back on your running mileage when you first experience pain and start to avoid activities that will involve working out the knee. As the pain subsides, strengthening exercises on the knees, quadriceps and hips should be performed in order to increase strength and flexibility to better support the knee. During the transitional period, you should still continue to work out your body using equipments that are less damaging to the knee such as the usage of a stationary bike or swimming.

Final Thought

To be honest, PFPS is not exactly a serious condition and it’s simply a chronic failure of tissues in the knee. Plenty of rest is required in order to prevent any further aggravation to the knee. If the pain gets unbearable, you may request for pain relief medication from your doctor to provide temporary relief.