What are Squash Injuries?
Squash, a high-speed racquet and ball game, requires the repetitive use of your dominant arm. Most injuries result from acute injury than overuse. Examples of an acute injury include falls, collisions, and being hit by a ball or racquet in an accident that includes the hand, wrist, or elbow, or just falling or bumping the wall. In general, the most common injury from squash is lateral epicondylitis. commonly called Tennis Elbow.
Types of Squash Injuries
Overuse injuries such as lateral epicondylitis and De Quervain’s tenosynovitis of the wrist and thumb may be caused by the repetitive arm movements common to squash.
Elbow injuries can be aggravated by frequent use of the gripping muscles in your forearm that extend or bend the wrist. Improper technique is usually contributory.
Characteristics and Clinical Presentation of Squash Injuries
Pain in the outside of the upper forearm region (sometimes radiating towards the wrist). Patients may find it difficult to fully extend or bend their elbows and wrists.
Additional pain is reported when lifting, twisting, or otherwise gripping with the affected arm. It is more often painful in the morning after waking up.
Causes of Squash Injuries
Though squash is not as high-contact as other sports, like football, it is a sport that is surprisingly physical and taxing on the body. Some of the most common causes of injuries in squash players include:
- Moving on the court: Squash is a high intensity and dynamic sport. Anyone on the court will be sprinting, stopping, pivoting, or jumping, placing the arm often in a less than ideal position to return.
- Ball injuries: Both reaching for the ball and being struck by it result in acute injuries. Injuries sustained by reaching for the ball typically include your wrists and elbows.
- Overuse: Overuse and breaks in technique in the use of your elbow and gripping muscles can lead to injuries like Tennis elbow and wrist tendonitis.
- Fall on an outstretched hand (FOOSH): if a player falls during a match, they may land on an outstretched hand and subsequently damage their wrist, elbow, or fingers.
Getting a Diagnosis for Squash Injuries
X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs can be used to assist in the diagnosis of acute and overuse injuries to the arm in racquet sports.
Treatment Options for Squash Injuries
Depending on the type of injury someone sustains during a squash game or practice, the treatment options available will change.
Various flexion, supination, pronation, and extension exercises are typically used to regain pain-free movements in the affected region.
Soft tissue therapy can be beneficial for prevention and treatment. Supervised resistance bands and light weights are recommended for regaining strength and muscular control.
Ice, NSAIDs and steroid injections may reduce pain in the affected area.
In the case of tennis elbow, surgery can either remove or repair the damaged tendon to ease pain and aid in movement. Fractures with bone fragments may require surgery.
Chronic injuries with bone spurs or torn ligaments may result in surgery.
Preventing an Injury from Squash
The best prevention against soft tissue, bone or joint injuries is optimizing strength and coordination, as well as technique and core. This applies to both overuse or acute injuries.
Appropriate warm up and cool down routines are also important to prevent injuries and stress fractures from occurring.
Prognosis for Squash Injuries
The prognosis for squash injuries is dependent on the type of injury sustained and how severe it is.
However, most athletes can return to their activities after a period of rest and physical therapy. Surgery may require more rest and rehabilitation.
If You Believe You Have a Squash Injury, Contact HandSport Surgery Institute.
Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment with our talented team. People who have been hurt while playing squash should be evaluated to try and prevent further injury and mobility issues.
If you have been injured, it’s important to be evaluated by a highly skilled professional. Call Drs. Mark and Jason Pruzansky at 212-249-8700 to schedule an appointment and obtain an accurate diagnosis.