According to RealBuzz, badminton is the world’s second most popular sport (second only to soccer) when measured by participation, with around 220 million people worldwide playing regularly. It is a particularly popular sport in Asia.
Badminton is also the fastest racquet sport in the world, with shuttles sometimes flying across the court at upwards of 300km per hour! It takes dexterity, speed, agility, and amazing reflexes to play badminton well.
If you want to find a fun way to keep fit, badminton is a great choice. It is traditionally played indoors, meaning it is suitable for all weathers, and people of all ages can enjoy it.
But, as with any sport or physical pursuit, playing badminton does come with some risks. One of the most common injuries suffered by badminton players is something known as tennis elbow (taking its name from the other popular racquet sport that can also cause the condition!)
Read on to learn what tennis elbow is, and how you can take a few easy steps to prevent or treat this painful condition.
What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow is a condition where the tendons of the forearm become inflamed on the outer side of the elbow, at the point where they join the humerus (upper arm bone). Prolonged gripping activities, such as holding a badminton or tennis racquet, are thought to be the cause.
If you feel pain when you touch the outer part of your elbow, or when you hold your elbow straight, and move your hand forwards and backwards at the wrist, you might be suffering from tennis elbow. You might also notice that holding your racquet is painful, or that simple daily activities involving your arms (for example, turning a door handle) cause the pain to increase.
Some easy ways to reduce your risk of tennis elbow include making sure your racquet is the right size for you, ensuring you do not grip it too hard, and taking regular breaks in between games. You can also try some gentle stretches, such as those recommended by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, before and after you play badminton.
What is an elbow sleeve and how does it work?
One great way to protect yourself against tennis elbow, and treat it if it does occur, is to wear an elbow sleeve.
An elbow sleeve is a non-invasive supportive garment that is worn on your elbow. Sleeves promote healthy blood flow, strengthen the tissue, reduce the risk of injury, promote healing, and reduce pain.
Many elbow sleeves use compression to increase blood flow. However, Incrediwear’s recovery garments use a completely different kind of technology. Our recovery wear makes use of two superconductor elements: Carbon and Germanium. When they are activated by body heat, these elements release particles called ions.
Ions help to stimulate the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid, bringing more nutrients to the area and carrying away harmful waste products. This means that Incrediwear recovery wear works with your body’s natural processes in a gentle and supportive way to help keep you healthy and active. What’s more, our products are scientifically proven to help with pain reduction and enhance healing.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your Incrediwear elbow sleeve:
Use an elbow sleeve before problems arise
Support garments are not just for injury recovery. You can also wear your elbow sleeve before problems arise to help reduce your risk of suffering from elbow injuries such as tennis elbow in the first place.
Our elbow sleeves are made of breathable and moisture-wicking fabric, so you can wear yours with whatever you usually wear to play badminton. Include one in your kit and put it on before you play. You will barely even notice you are wearing it, and it can significantly reduce your risk of sustaining a tennis elbow injury.
Wear your sleeve every time you play
Consistency is key when it comes to using recovery wear like elbow sleeves to treat tennis elbow and similar conditions. This means wearing your sleeve every time you play. Consistent use of support garments is one of the best and easiest ways to prevent injury or to treat it if one does occur.
Use your sleeve as part of your post-game recovery
There’s no reason to take your elbow sleeve off straight after your game of badminton. In fact, wearing it as part of your post-game recovery plan can help you to further cut down on your risk of tennis elbow.
Every time you play badminton, you are putting significant stress and strain on the elbow of your racquet hand. The increased blood flow and lymph flow from an elbow sleeve helps to keep those muscles and tendons strong, promoting post-exercise recovery and further reducing the risk of a painful injury.
Use your sleeve alongside other treatments
Sometimes, conditions like tennis elbow heal by themselves with rest and patience. But in serious cases, you might require other treatments such as physiotherapy.
In most cases, there is no reason not to use recovery wear like an elbow sleeve alongside other treatment methods. For example, wearing your elbow sleeve at, or between, your physiotherapy appointments can provide an extra healing boost and help you to recover more quickly.
Listen to your body
Many athletes and sports enthusiasts fall into the trap of continuing to train despite an injury. We strongly caution you against this! If something hurts, it means something is not right and you need to listen to that. If you continue playing badminton when you’re suffering from tennis elbow, you could make it much worse.
Listen to your body, take sensible precautions to prevent injuries like tennis elbow, and give your body a break when you need to. Combine these steps with regular use of a supportive non-compression elbow sleeve, and you will help yourself to avoid injury, recover more quickly if you do get hurt, and get back out on the badminton court sooner.