Badminton and overuse injuries
By Kate Slater | 24 April 2019

Today sees the start of the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham - one of the oldest open badminton tournaments in the world.

The games' origins date back at least 2,000 years to the game of battledore and shuttlecock played in ancient Greece, China, and India. Using a paddle - a battledore - to keep a small feathered cork - a shuttlecock - in the air as long as possible - were popular in medieval times.

In 1873 the sport made its way back to England and badminton took its name from Badminton House in Gloucestershire, the ancestral home of the Duke of Beaufort, where the sport was played. A national organising, the Badminton Federation of England, was set up in 1899 held the first All England Championships.

More than one million people in the UK regularly play the game and it's the world's second most popular participation sport. It has great accessibility - you can play all year round and it's non-contact, so it's great for people of all ages and abilities.

The British Heart Foundation say that playing badminton regularly can help strengthen the heart muscle and limit the risk of blood vessels clogging

. It's also a moderate-intensity activity, so it's a good way to get some of your recommended exercise every week.

Common Badminton Injuries

Based on the few existing studies on injuries in badminton, compared to other sports, it is of relatively low risk and dominated by overuse injuries. The single most frequent injuries are Achilles tendinitis and tennis elbow.

The achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body - it connects the calf to the heel. It is designed to withstand large forces and pressure, but it can become inflamed and painful with overuse. Kinesio Taping may help to support the muscle.

For muscles that are overused and tight, therapists will apply the tape with no tension, starting from the tendons that hold the muscle to the bone, going towards the origin of the muscle. For weakened muscles that need support and range of motion, the tape is applied from the origin of the muscle and extending toward the tendons that attach the muscle to the bone. A trained Kinesio practitioner will be able to help to assess your injury and the best application for your needs.

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