The Badminton Herald

Bringing in badminton news and views to the grass roots..


"I had this intention of sweating out excess fat in exchange for the fun of whacking shuttlecocks in midair. The first time I stepped into a badminton court, I got that... and more! -The Bad Geek 2007


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Lateral Epicondylitis: Tennis elbow in Badminton?


In badminton, when sport injuries occur, it occurs successively if you're unwise enough. "When it rains, it pours".Just as I am talking of getting fit for badminton and ankle injuries a while ago, here I am again ranting about another blunder I made.
I sustained a lateral epicondylitis or "tennis elbow" on my racket hand. It is an injury on the extensor muscles and tendons of the wrist that results from repetitive or overuse of this muscle. It is commonly seen among tennis players (who uses a wrong backhand grip or small racket grip size), but can also occur in any racket playing sports who uses wrist extensors repetitively. (For a detailed definition or description, management and prevention of this injury, read the Mayo Clinic article on Tennis Elbow) Badminton players for one, are definitely prone to this injury.

A wrong backhand clear grip plus an "under prepared" and overused wrist extensor muscles is the culprit in my case. I was so happy perfecting my past body, overhead backhand clear with a slightly altered (thumb resting on the angle of the grip rather than flat surface) backhand grip . I was also practicing a perfect cross court backhand smash with this grip. I know from the very start that this "unorthodox" grip was not the usual backhand grip taught by coaches on backhand clears. To be able to do this overhead backhand clear, you should have a sufficiently strong and warmed extensor muscles that could forcibly throw, hit the shuttlecock in front of your body and a good footwork so you can have a better stance executing the stroke. That because because Lin Dan (CHN) or Taufik Hidayat (INA)can do it perfectly, like in this picture, I can do it also.

Well TaufiK Hidayat can do this perfectly alright. But not me. I do know that superstars can get away with any unorthodox grip they invent so long as they can deliver a winning shot. This is not so in my case. At least not for now.
On grip and stroke analysis, I've been using this grip size for long now that I only had minimal wrist extensor pain before. But I'm definitely trying an unorthodox grip for a weak, wrist extensor muscle and a relatively new, unfamiliar stroke. Somehow, my slow footwork "pushed" me to use this grip to reach a shuttlecock past and up in my backhand corner, angling my racket a bit downwards (downward return) overextending my wrist extensors (contracting) and still absorb the energy from the shuttlecock! This is what sports medicine physicians call an "elbow leading" backhand stroke that demands so much power from your extensor muscles. The results, a hurting extensor mechanisms in my forearm!

So for at least two weeks, Id be off strenuous activity that will aggravate my "badminton elbow", on daily 5x 15min cold compress, until pain subsides, then will start on with wrist muscles strengthening exercise before going back to badminton. Also, I'd be using an elbow counter force band from now on, rest my wrist while typing or blogging, and moderate  my other wrist extension activities!
Knowing these, it is quite clear now, what needs to be done and corrected upon. Right grip, adequately stretched and strengthened wrist  extensor muscles, faster footwork and the right sized racket grip!

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  1. Anonymous said...

    Wow, you've got people from around the world coming to your blog! How did you get so popular. Someone sponsors your blog?

  2. Bone MD said...

    @anonymous, how I wish someone would sponsor (I'm not sure what you mean by "sponsor") my blog. Hopefully that will help me through my lateral epicondylitis rehabilitation though.hahahah!
    Anyway, I just love blogging about one of the sport I love. And frankly, I thank my readers for liking my stuff in here.

  3. Trent said...

    I used to pitch & that "tennis elbow" is not cool!

  4. Anonymous said...

    I had the Tennis elbow problem. Since I was new to racquet sports, I was clueless initially why my elbow pained after I played a few smashes. I read up on the internet and realized that applying Ice on the affected area would bring relief. It did work; because Tennis elbow is a condition of inflammation of the tendons and ice helps to cool down. And the other thing is giving it sufficient rest.

    My problem was that the problem would come back once I returned to playing after a small break. I consulted an orthopaedic doctor and he suggested using an elbow wrap. The elbow wrap provides compression on the area and prevents inflammation. It has worked like a charm for me and I play for longer since I started using this wrap. I use the LP wrap. See here if you are interested - (No, I am not marketing for LP ). The doc also indicated to me that there is no easy cure as such for Tennis elbow, you need to learn to manage it.

    The doc also suggested using a cream before a few minutes of play which has helped as well. I have listed them in another blog post. Visit -

  5. raventech said...

    hello there kababayan... no doubt people from arround the world read your blog.. Its not only informative, kundi, marami din silang natututunan, at marerealize.. heheh.. kumbaga, ur not only giving theories, but instead, whats ReAL ,not just whats ideal or clinical.. thank you po sa mga posts mo.. i love your blog.. promise.. God bless kababayan..

  6. Cecil said...

    If you play badminton or tennis, you need to perform physical strength and flexible training to achieve the results you need to stay injury free. Take vitamin supplements with vitamin C and B to help your body build collagen, absorb protein, and promote faster healing.

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