8 Ways To Avoid Injury Whilst Playing Squash
Posted on 12th April 2023 at 15:21
Squash is a fast-paced, high-impact game that requires speed, agility, and endurance. It’s a great way to stay fit and healthy, but like any sport, it also comes with its own set of risks. As proud sponsors of the Kenilworth Tennis, Squash and Croquet Club (KTSCC), we understand the importance of staying injury-free on the court. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to prevent common squash injuries.
Common types of squash injuries
Due to the nature of the game, a variety of injuries can occur while playing squash. These include muscle pulls, strains, and sprains, overuse injuries, impact injuries, and injuries caused by slips or falls. Lower limb injuries are the most common, caused by sprinting, changes in direction, explosive movements, and the fast-paced nature of the game. Upper limb injuries, such as in the elbow, shoulder, and wrist, are usually caused by high-velocity and repetitive arm movements. Back injuries and pain can be caused or exacerbated by the movements required to reach low balls or by twisting movements.
Here are ways to prevent squash injuries:
Warm-up and cool down
A good warm-up and cool down are essential for any sport, but especially for squash. Squash demands twists, turns, stretches, and lunges, which require a lot from your body. Going from a cold start to a super high heart rate in a short space of time could have other health implications. Therefore, it's important to warm up your muscles before playing and to cool them down after the game.
Rest days are just as important as training days. Most squash players spend a lot of time on the court playing. Listen to your body; over-training will cost you through muscle fatigue and wear and tear on your joints. Even at a professional level, players will take at least a day off to rest and recover.
Mix your training up
Using other types of exercise can prevent repetitive strain injuries, encourage a wider range of movement, and develop strength and stamina. Cross-training can help you avoid overuse injuries by engaging different muscle groups.
Don’t play while injured
Playing while injured is tempting, but it's a close second to over-training. If you don’t heed the warning signs, it may come back to haunt you. Going back too soon inevitably will lead to a recurrence or further injury. If your knee is sore or your rotator cuff is acting up again, take a couple of days off the court to do some light weights or stretches. Masking your pain by taking anti-inflammatory pills may eventually be counter-productive.
Invest in proper kit
Proper kit is essential for staying injury-free on the court. Protective eye gear is essential because a fast-moving squash ball in the face (or eye) is going to hurt, or worse. Some courts now insist players wear protective eye gear before allowing them to play. Squash shoes are designed to protect players' feet by reducing friction and reducing the risk of blisters or sprains. They are also non-marking, which the squash club will thank you for! Use tape to protect your hands and prevent blisters. Use support tubes or tape to protect your knees and ankles, particularly if you have a history of problems in those areas.
Stretching is a crucial part of injury prevention. Stretching is a vital part of squash injury prevention. When you play squash, your muscles are subjected to intense physical activity, which can cause tightness and soreness. Stretching helps to improve your flexibility, increase your range of motion, and reduce muscle tension, which can help prevent injuries. After a game of squash, make sure you stretch well to cool down and prevent muscle soreness.
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after to prevent dehydration. Squash is a high-intensity sport, and players can lose a lot of fluids through sweating. Dehydration can cause fatigue, cramps, and a decreased ability to focus, which can increase your risk of injury. In addition to water, sports drinks can also help to hydrate your body and replenish lost electrolytes. Sports drinks contain a mixture of carbohydrates and electrolytes that can help to replace the fluids and minerals lost during exercise.
Regular maintenance massages can keep you on top of your game. A sports massage can help prevent injuries by keeping your muscles supple and flexible. If you are injured, early assessment, treatment, and intervention can help you get back to playing sooner. If you do suffer an injury, stop playing immediately and apply ice as soon as possible to reduce swelling and pain.
If you do suffer an injury, it's important to stop playing immediately and seek medical attention. At Fire & Earth, we’re here to help you stay injury-free on the court. If you need a sports massage or have any concerns about your health, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.
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