Are racquet sports to blame for asymmetrical development and lower back injuries?
Racquet sports are often fun, fast and challenging. They can be social games which is great for mental health. A lot of people play them to maintain their health and fitness. But there are some disadvantages to playing racquet sports.
Tough on joints – The knees are particularly vulnerable to twisting during high intensity matches. Elbows are used repetitively, which can cause inflammation over time (tennis elbow anyone?)
Asymmetrical development – Because racquet sports focus on the use of the dominant arm, muscle development is often asymmetrical. Players develop strength on one side but neglect the other. This can make a person appear lopsided, and can strain muscles on the non-dominant side as they struggle to keep up.
Falls and sprains – Racquet sports often call for quick movements. If a player is inexperienced this can lead to falls. Overbalancing is a real risk. Unfortunately falling at speed often causes sprains, twists and muscle damage.
Exacerbates injury – If a player has a pre-existing injury there is a high chance it will be made worse. Playing racquet sports requires a lot of quick stops and explosive movements. This puts a lot of pressure on joints. If a player has old injuries or is prone to arthritis, there is a risk that pain will occur.
Lower back injuries – The quick twisting required in racquet ball sports can wreak havoc on the lower back. Straining the back muscles is a real risk. Recovery from this can take a long time, so it’s better to avoid causing it in the first instance.
How can these disadvantages be overcome?
- Warm up thoroughly before playing. Stretch well on both sides.
- Find a partner with similar skills and abilities. This will reduce attempts to play harder or faster that a person can handle.
- Don’t play everyday. Taking rest days helps the body to recover.
- Use both sides of the body as much as possible. This will ward off asymmetrical muscle development.
- Get professional training. Knowing how to use the body to play the game correctly should reduce injury risk.
- Wear supportive shoes and consider orthotics to reduce impact shock and correct foot placement.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site
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