The game of squash is a high-impact, fast moving one that lends itself to a lot of injuries, some of which may be severe. Apart from the injuries that can occur from moving around the court, players also become injured from contact with the ball, body contact with an opponent, their opponent's racquet and even the wall. Some of the most common squash injuries are muscle and tendon strains, ligament sprains and eye injuries. Some of these are highlighted here.
This is one of the most common squash injuries that affects either the heel or the midpoint of the Achilles tendon just above the heel. It may be an acute injury or chronic and healing can be slow because of the poor blood supply to this portion of the leg. Symptoms are gradual onset of pain which is at its worst at the onset of exercise and lessens as exercise progresses. Pain usually subsides with rest. Achilles tendinopathy can become chronic if the athlete does not rest or seek help at first onset.
Achilles tendinopathy is an overuse injury that can be caused by increase in activity, less recovery between activities and exercising in shoes without the correct biomechanical support needed to protect the tendon from stress. This condition can be prevented by warming up thoroughly before play and stretching the calf properly afterwards. Wearing shoes that provide adequate support is also helpful. Athletes who overpronate should wear orthotics in their shoes to take the strain off the tendon. Proper rehabilitation is necessary if you sustain this type of squash injury in order to prevent it from becoming chronic. The athlete should apply the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) formula at the first sign of injury.
Ankle sprains are another common squash injury and are caused by the stretching and/or tearing of ligaments. This is a painful condition requiring rest and rehabilitation. Other symptoms aside from pain are swelling, bruising and difficulty walking. A serious ankle sprain can be more painful and take a longer time to heal than a broken bone. The RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) formula is always helpful but the athlete should seek physiotherapy in order to promote flexibility and strength and prevent re-injury through an adequate rehabilitation programme.
Squash injuries occur more among older players than younger ones. Lack of conditioning, generalised stiffness, decreased flexibility and reduced reaction times may be contributing factors as to why this occurs. By taking certain common sense precautions these injuries can be avoided. Players should be careful of their surroundings, wear proper footwear and protective eyewear, warm up and cool down thoroughly and maintain strength and flexibility. Finally, if you do become injured while playing squash, stop playing immediately and seek assistance. At Richard Nuttall Physiotherapy we can help you return to fitness if you have had suffered any type of squash injury. See us today.
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