Squash is a fast-paced sport which requires constant changes in direction and speed. As a result of this injuries can be common, tending to affect the feet, knees, legs and hips.
Common foot injuries sustained in squash include plantar fasciitis, torn Achilles tendon and Achilles tendonitis. Plantar fasciitis causes pain to develop towards the heel and along the inside of the foot. It tends to be worse when you first wake up and gets more severe if you use the affected foot. Plantar fasciitis can be treated with ice, physiotherapy and heel massage done by a qualified therapist. Wearing SorboAir insoles can also help to ease pain and prevent further bouts in the future. Achilles tendonitis occurs when the tendon becomes inflamed. It can be caused by shoes pressing against the tendon and overuse. Tendonitis causes pain which gets worse with use of the affected foot, but it can usually be treated with ice, rest, heel raising and physiotherapy.
A torn Achilles tendon is very painful and will force you to stop playing immediately. It causes a severe bout of pain around 6cm above the heel and will prevent you from putting weight on the affected foot. If you have a torn Achilles tendon you should see a specialist. Treatment will depend on the severity of the tear but in most cases surgery is required to repair the tear and then the foot will placed in a plaster cast.
Knee injuries are common in squash and may include torn medial ligaments, torn meniscus and patella tendonitis. Symptoms of knee injuries include tenderness in and around the knee, pain, which is acute in the case of patella tendonitis or chronic in the case of overuse injuries, such as stress fractures. If the meniscus or ligaments are torn, this can cause the knee to lock and severe pain.
Treatment options for knee injuries include rest, regular ice packs and surgery in the case of tears and recurrent injuries. Physiotherapy can help to build up strength in the joint following a tear or muscular injury.
If the gastrocnemius muscle (the calf muscle) tears, this will cause a sudden pang of pain below the knee, which will prevent weight-bearing and severely restrict movement. Treatment depends on the severity of the tear but a cast will usually be required to immobilise the muscle and allow time for repair. As the muscle gets stronger, physiotherapy and specialist exercises can help to improve movement and strength.
How To Prevent Injuries
It is impossible to prevent injuries, as accidents happen. However, wearing sensible, well-fitting specialist squash shoes, warming up well and conditioning the body by doing strength and cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis will help to reduce the risk of injuries. If you do experience pain when you play, see your doctor, as you may be making an existing injury worse.
To learn more about squash injuries and other sports injuries you can visit the Harley Street medical site for assistance.
This is a guest post by Richard Keane, if you want to write a guest post as please contact us.