Netball – how to survive the season injury-free

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Since England won their first gold at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, England Netball has seen a huge growth in participation.

Liverpool hosted this year’s Netball World Cup – which will have inspired many to take up the sport!

Netball is a very fast game with lots of stop-start movements, jumping and landing, throwing and catching, and quick direction changes. Because of this, injuries of the foot, knee, shoulder and fingers are very common. Often, injuries happen due to awkward landing, falling/slipping, contact or collision, overuse or being hit by the ball.
The types of injuries that usually occur are bruising, sprains, ligament tears, fractures and dislocations.

More often than not these injuries can be avoided.
Take a look at our tips to prevent injuries:

🔵 Be match fit – follow a fitness programme with netball-specific exercises to improve strength, flexibility and agility. Your coach and physiotherapist will be able to help with this.

🔵 Get proper coaching – join a team with a good coach to learn proper techniques for throwing, jumping and landing, and change of direction movements.

🔵 Warm up properly – this should be a dynamic warm up before matches and training.

🔵 Cool down and stretch after training and matches.

If you do get an injury, it’s important to get it assessed as soon as possible.

Here’s a list of some of the common injuries we see in clinic:

  • Sprained finger/thumb – when the finger is bent causing damage to the ligaments of the finger. Symptoms include pain and swelling in the finger and restricted movement.
  • Rotator cuff injuries – injury to one of the four rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder. They rotate the shoulder and provide support around the joint. They often get injured through repetitive overhead actions like throwing.
  • Ankle sprain – the most common type is an inversion sprain where the foot turns in and you feel pain on the outside of your ankle. You can often get a lot of swelling and it will feel painful to put weight through the foot and move the ankle.
  • Achilles tendinopathy – is an overuse injury causing irritation of the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle.
  • Jumper’s knee – or patella tendinopathy is an overuse injury that results in pain at the front of the knee towards the bottom of the patella (kneecap). Often from lots of running and/or jumping.
  • Patella pain syndrome – also known as ‘runners’ knee’ is a general term to describe pain at the front of the knee. Symptoms include aching around the patella. Read our Runners’ Knee blog.
  • Hamstring strain – a ‘pulled hamstring’ is a sudden sharp pain at the back of the thigh often after a fast movement or change of direction.
  • Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome – with ‘shin splints’ pain is normally felt at the front inside of the lower shin. It’s an overuse injury due to impact with running and jumping.