Squash might be a non-contact sport, but injuries are unfortunately fairly common place. We’ve taken a look at some of the most common injuries found in our game, so you can help avoid them as much as you can.
Impact injuries can be quite common, usually down to three causes.
- Impact with the walls of the court: from stretching too much for a shot or being off balance and tumbling into the side wall. Injuries picked up in this way are usually minor.
- Being hit by the ball: Ask any experienced squash player and they’ll tell you how much this hurts! A ball hitting you at full pace will really sting, and leave a nasty ring-shaped mark on your body for days after. Pay particular attention to avoiding contact to the face, goggles can be worn to provide extra safety for your eyes.
- Getting caught by your opponent’s racquet: Be careful where you stand when your opponent is playing their shot. Space is tight on the court and positioning is key; so some impacts are somewhat inevitable, but consider you positioning as they take their backswing. A hit with a racquet can be very painful at full swing, especially if caught in the face. This is less common the more experienced you become (you soon learn where not to stand!)
The constant stopping, starting, twisting and turning of squash leaves you vulnerable to muscle injuries. Muscles can either strain or tear, depending on the severity of the injury.
Hamstring injuries are quite common place in squash and are highest risk when you exert the most force on your muscles usually from fast acceleration. Similarly, the largest muscle groups in the thighs are at risk of similar injuries due to the stop/start nature of the way the game is played.
Muscle injuries can vary greatly in their severity, from minor tweaks needing a few days rest and possible ice pack, through to full muscle ruptures resulting in months of care and rehab.
Repetitive aggressive shots put large strain on the joints of your racquet arm, with constant potential for injury.
- Tennis elbow is a fairly common squash injury. Caused when excess force is applied to the elbow muscle tissues, and results in pain when gripping or extending fingers, likely putting you on the sidelines for a few weeks minimum.
- Knee arthritis: more of a gradual and longer term injury risk caused by constant degradation of knee cartilage, eventually exposing the bone and causing large discomfort and possible swelling. Particularly a risk for older players, as the cartilage repairs at a slower rate.
While there is little you can do to prevent some injuries, there are some precautions you can take to minimise your risks. We’ll look at injury prevention in a new article to follow soon.
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