Player of all games are susceptible to injuries and so are the Table Tennis players, but it is considered less risky sport than other racket sports.
You must have seen players getting injured and retiring hurt. Injuries are accidental, but at the same time, they can be avoided by being a little vigilant.
This article unveils inside out of common table tennis injuries.
Let us have a detailed study of injuries that a ping pong player may have to face sooner or later in his life, along with its causes and preventive measures.
Table of Contents (Common TT Injuries) :
1. Muscle Strain
A muscle strain commonly called Pulled Muscle is one of the common ping pong injuries that often hits table tennis players.
It is being said and perhaps we all know that; the table tennis player needs to be fast and swift to be able to counter the player on the opposite side of the court rapidly.
Causes of muscle strain injury:
- Muscle pain in ping pong mostly happens due to quick and sudden moves from left to right and vice versa while playing.
- Muscles get excessively stretched or worn-down due to fatigue, inappropriate rest and overdo as players generally keep on practicing the game to improve and master in it.
- It can grasp muscle of any part right from the shoulder, hands, hamstrings (thigh muscles), neck, back, etc.
- Playing the game without proper warm up and exercise results in a sprain.
How can you avoid muscle strain:
- Players should normally do the warm-up at least 10-15 minutes before the commencement of game to remove stiffness of muscles and relax them.
- Warm up increases heart and breathing rate, thereby also enhances blood flow in muscles and makes them warmer. These strains are painful and restrict movement.
- For severe tears medical assistance is advisable, however, a mild strain can be treated at home with the application of anti-inflammatory medication, ice and heat packs.
2. Knee Joint Injuries
A ping pong player is likely to have knee joint injuries during the game. It could be ligament or tendon tear around knees or a fracture in the knee joint with numerous reasons to it.
There are serious chances of players getting an injury in the high spirits of games while leaning on his either sides.
These injuries are often serious and can take a long time like months and sometimes surgeries for complete cure.
Causes of knee injuries:
- Abnormal bending, falling and twisting of knees.
How can you avoid knee injuries in TT:
- You may wear knee straps or other kinds of knee protection to avoid knees from injuries.
- It is suggested to make your body lithe and fit as such bodies are less open to injuries.
- Taking rest in injury is vital along with medication. Rush to the doctor for the cure as knee joint is sensitive joint.
- Recovery under the guidance of physiotherapist is necessary, do not be your own doctor or trust household therapies.
3. Calf Strain
Wear and tear in Calf muscles can be said calf sprain or tear. This injury may make the player victim if calf muscles are overexerted.
Cause of calf strain:
- Fatigue, less rest to the body and overuse of muscles results in strains in calf muscles.
- Standing for a long period while playing can also cause calf strain.
How can you avoid calf strain:
- One can avoid it by taking an ample amount of rest.
- On having unbearable discomfort and pain, one should consult a physiotherapist.
4. Shoulder Injuries
While playing table tennis, the shoulders of players can also get injured like other parts of the body.
The hand that holds the paddle is more likely to suffer discomfort and pain of injuries as it does all the labor of hitting the ball.
Muscle pain, dislocation, ligament and tendon tear around ball and socket joint of the shoulder are the problems that a player suffers often.
Causes of shoulder injury:
- Shoulders and wrists stay continuously in motion while playing Table tennis and lawn tennis.
- The excessive here and their movement of shoulder joint during play is the cause, though shoulders are the most flexible and mobile joint of the body.
- Also, the smashes sent on other player exert extra pressure on the joint.
How can you avoid shoulder injury:
- Instead of seeking for its treatment, you can avoid it completely by not overstraining your muscles while playing and by keeping shoulder right in its position.
- Shoulder problem becomes acute if not treated timely and treatment from a physiotherapist or orthopedic doctor should be taken.
- Don’t just continue with the shoulder problem, its treatment generally takes months to recover
5. Racket Injuries
Can you imagine getting an injury with a partner in a court? Yes, such table tennis injuries also occur when playing doubles and sharing the court with another partner.
Causes of racket injuries:
- This may be faced on being hit by another partner with a racket while playing the ping pong game.
How can you avoid racket injury:
- It is suggested to have good coordination and understanding with your partner to avoid uncertain situations of getting hit.
6. Wrist Sprain
Players often get sprain in wrist whilst playing or practicing Table tennis due to some shots which are placed with the use of the wrist.
It causes unbearable pain and swelling around a wrist that should not be taken lightly.
Causes of wrist sprain:
- Players new to ping pong are more exposed to wrist problems and inflexibility is its cause.
- It is caused due to deliberate swing in the wrist while playing that generally causes a snapping effect on the wrist. The wrist can be moved clock as well as anti-clockwise, but still, it is a stiff part of a hand.
- While playing table tennis, often use of wrist is made in the backhand shot and it is the case where players are most likely to get wrist injury.
How can you avoid wrist sprain:
- As per experts, players should try to relax their muscles within their forearm and it is quite helpful in unwinding the wrist. Due to a tense or strained forearm, the wrist gets stiff and rigid.
- Wrist gets support on relaxing or loosening the tissue of muscle. With a flexible wrist and shots with the right technique, players can easily avoid wrist issues.
- One should avoid unnecessary movement of the wrist and also should not be pressurized. Also, play strokes smoothly without exerting an unnecessary load on the wrist.
- It may also take a few weeks but it is always smart and wise to visit an experienced doctor as untreated injuries aches for a lifetime.
7. Elbow Pain
This is another very often gripping injury, especially to ping pong players. You must have heard about elbow inures to your favorite table tennis player.
Causes of elbow pain:
- Overuse of hands, arms and forearm muscles is its cause and its effects are felt on outer zone of an elbow.
- Injuries on the internal side of the elbow are also named as Golfer’s elbow.
- Lateral epicondylitis commonly called Tennis elbow is another commonly occurring injury, with the symptoms of painful swelling on elbow joint and is also caused by overuse. One may feel the pain of stretching arm and is experienced on the lateral side of the elbow.
How can you avoid elbow pain:
- If you have a routine of playing table tennis daily, then do let your hands, arms and forearms relax for sufficient time.
- Make sure you do not fall on the elbow while playing through it is rare in Table tennis.
- Elbow injuries take a really long time to heal as they are quite severe and extremely painful.
- Tennis elbow brace and little exercise are effective in mild injury.
- In case of having a severe problem, one should have workout under the guidance of a physiotherapist.
8. Overuse injuries
Excessive exertion of body parts has the pains and swellings in consequences.
Causes of overuse injuries:
- Most ping pong injuries are caused in the absence of rest to muscles and undue use of muscles. Excessive hard work tears the muscles resulting in unbearable pain.
How can you avoid overuse injuries:
- To prevent overuse harm to your muscles ensure that proper warm-up exercise is done along with maintaining your body adequately hydrated.
- A flexible and restful body is less prone to muscles injuries.
9. Sprained Ankle
While playing, a player cannot think about their movement as little delay in moving can make him give a point to another player. As a result, at times while playing TT, players suffer from an ankle sprain injury. It’s damage to ligaments that bind leg bone to the foot.
Causes of the sprained ankle:
- It occurs on accidental or sudden turn or twist of your ankle which results in ligament tear.
- All ligaments can move freely in a particular range only, and ligament tears surpass its restricted boundary within which it can move freely and painlessly.
How can you avoid sprained ankle:
- You can avoid this table tennis injuries by wearing suitable footwear, preferably shoes. A low heel shoe with good grip is advised to players as the movement in low heels can be done easily.
- Wear table tennis shoes which are manufactured keeping the moves involved in ping pong in mind.
- Players should also work on making their ankle flexible. This ordinary injury is sensitive and severe and needs to be treated under the doctor’s supervision only, without any delay.
- Physiotherapist too can be consulted along with an orthopedic doctor.
10. Spinal Disc Strain
This is rare injury though there have been fewer cases in the past where TT players have got spinal disc injury due to excessive and repeated twisting and turning.
Causes of spinal disc strain:
- Along with muscles, the spinal cord has to face strain and sometimes physical workout more than strength without rest can blow the body with the problem in a disc.
How can you avoid spinal disc strain:
- Adequate rest to body and back is the avoidance.
- Proper stretching exercises helps in avoiding this ping pong injury.
11. Other Ping Pong Injuries & Pains
Above are not all injuries that a table tennis player may experience, there are many other types of injuries too that a player can come across, though knee and shoulder injury is most common injuries.
Other minor injuries that a table tennis player may get from playing tennis involves the following:
a) Blisters: This is a kind of skin disorder that mainly occurs on the skin of hands and feet.
These are fluid-filled sack on the skin which is generally seen on the hands or the feet from shoes or holding a racket.
Players should avoid any home treatment on them, rather should consult a skin specialist for the eradication of injury from roots.
b) Delayed-onset muscle soreness: It is also known as DOMS and has symptoms of muscle pain, rigidity, or tenderness. It usually occurs 24-48 hours post the particularly vigorous exercise or a new program.
To safeguard you from DOMS, it is advised not to do an intense workout and should take proper rest.
c) Plantar fasciitis: This is the most usual cause of pain on the bottom of the heel and is identified with pain in the morning while getting off the bed.
Good and soft sole footwear should be worn to avoid it.
d) Stress fractures: These are leg fractures that are the outcome of overexertion or repeated impacts on a hard surface.
Consult a doctor in this case as wait and watch approach may escalate the pain and condition of fracture.
Wrapping up Table Tennis Injuries…
Just like every other game, Table tennis player too is inclined to injuries.
Prevent table tennis Injuries by giving rest to muscles along with keeping them hydrated.
All injuries should be given proper attention and should be treated by a physiotherapist, qualified doctor or an orthopedic.
Do not treat any injury at home, until and unless it is not intense at all.