Racquetball Injuries

 

 

 

Racquetball is one of the fastest growing racquet sports in America. Sport estimates show that there are almost 6 million racquetball players, and the number of players continues to grow each year. While an engaging and exhilarating game and a great source of exercise, racquetball does present a risk of injury to players.

How Do Racquetball Injuries Occur?

Racquetball is an intense sport. Both players are constantly sprinting and making sudden turns, stops, and starts in the close confines of an enclosed racquetball court. Racquets are swung forcefully, often inches from another player, to hit a tiny rubber ball. The ball flies and bounces off the four walls at astoundingly high velocities.

There are two broad types of racquetball injuries - overuse and traumatic. An overuse injury can be the result of circumstances like stressing the body too much, too fast; prolonged use of improper body mechanics, such as swinging the racquet from the shoulder instead of the side of the body; wear and tear from repetitive stresses, such as the stressful pivoting motions that wear out the knee; and so forth. On the other hand, traumatic injuries are most often the result of a sudden, forceful impact between a player’s body and the racquetball, racquet, another player, or the court’s walls or floors.

What Are Some Common Racquetball Injuries?

Lateral Epicondylitis

In racquetball, this is one of the most common upper extremity overuse injuries. In fact, it’s so common in racquet sports that it’s frequently referred to as tennis elbow.

The common extensor tendon connects the forearm muscles to the bony area that can be felt along the outside of the elbow. This area is called the lateral epicondyle. Lateral epicondylitis describes soreness, pain, and inflammation along the lateral epicondyle. It's the result of repetitive arm, elbow, and wrist movements. Factors such as poor swing mechanics or using the wrong type, stringed, or sized racquet can contribute to lateral epicondylitis. Most racquetball players find that the arm they hold their racquet with is the arm most often affected. Squeezing or gripping with the hand may make lateral epicondylitis pain worse.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

Rotator cuff injuries are common occurrences around racquetball courts. The rotator cuff is comprised of the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor muscles and tendons. These muscles and tendons are what provide the shoulder with stability and allow it to move fluidly. Repetitive overhead shoulder motions can result in an overuse rotator cuff injury. A direct blow to the front of the shoulder can cause a traumatic rotator cuff injury.

The rotator cuff tendons may become irritated and inflamed from overuse, which is called tendinitis, or the rotator cuff muscles and/or tendons may become stretched or torn from either a traumatic event or chronic overuse, which is called a strain. Sometimes, chronic tendinitis may eventually lead to a strain.

Rotator cuff tendinitis
may be accompanied by mild to moderate shoulder pain, especially when the arm is raised or when sleeping on the affected shoulder. The arm may also feel weak when it's raised overhead.

Like all strains, rotator cuff strains are graded based on the how badly the rotator cuff muscle and/or tendon was torn or stretched:

Grade I - the rotator cuff is stretched or microscopically torn. However, the shoulder joint remains stable.

Grade II - the rotator cuff has a moderate degree of tearing. There will likely be joint instability and range of motion limitations. Some degree of swelling, tenderness, pain, heat, and bruising may accompany the injury.

Grade III - extensive to complete tearing of the rotator cuff. There will likely be significant to complete joint instability and immobility and significant swelling, tenderness, pain, heat, and bruising.

Ankle Sprain

The sprinting and sudden changes in direction involved in racquetball play leaves players highly susceptible to ankle injuries. Players also often injure their ankles from stepping on another player’s foot or the ball. One of the most common ankle injuries is a sprain. This is when one or more the ligaments stabilizing the ankle are forced past their normal range of motion from an unnatural twisting or rolling motion and become stretched or torn.

There are several types of ankle sprains. The type of sprain depends on which ligament is injured. The two most common are inversion sprains, which occur from the lateral ligament being stretched or torn after the foot inverts too much when the ankle rolls to the outside of the foot, and eversion sprains, which occur from the medial ligament being stretched or torn after the ankle rolls over the inside of the foot.

Sprains are also graded:

Grade I - stretching or microscopic tearing.

Grade II - moderate tearing involving less than 90% of the ankle ligament. The ankle may be inflamed, painful, tender, and difficult to move.

Grade III - significant tearing involving more than 90% of the ankle ligament. The ankle will most likely be inflamed, tender, painful, and immobile.

Of course, these are just a few of the many injuries that racquetball players face. Other common injuries include - contusions, muscle cramps, lacerations, Achilles injuries, torn meniscus in the knees, wrist bursitis, shoulder impingement, low-back strains, and dental and eye injuries.

Products

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Acute Sinew Liniment

Acute Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

Quickly relieves pain, reduces swelling and inflammation, and breaks up clotted blood and stagnant fluids in the injured area. Stimulates circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues, providing rapid pain relief and faster healing. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.
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Chronic Sinew Liniment

Chronic Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

Strongly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles, thereby quickly relieving pain, stiffness and weakness. Sinew Injury Poultice, Sinew Relaxing Soak, and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Herbal Ice

Acute Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

This first-aid ice alternative poultice (balm) is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the recovery and healing process. Reduces redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the injured area. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain normal range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Injury Poultice

Chronic Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This poultice (balm) is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful in cold and damp weather. It significantly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and further promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Relaxing Soak and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $37.95
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Sinew Relaxing Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your injured area. It is used to relax muscles, tendons and ligaments that are in spasm to reduce pain and stiffness and improve range of motion. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Sports Massage Oil

This specially formulated massage oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It penetrates deep into muscle layers to warm and stimulate muscles, increase circulation and relieve tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.
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Sinew Warming Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. It is used to bring warmth into the injured area to drive coldness out of damaged tissues and increase local circulation, thereby relieving pain and stiffness in cold weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $23.95
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