Squash Injuries

Article by Jess Clarey

squash injuries 

What are the Common Injuries in Squash?

Squash is a high-speed racquet and ball game that requires the repetitive use of your spine, legs and especially your dominant arm. As a result of this whole body involvement, injuries can occur anywhere from the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, to the hip knee and ankle, as well as the spine. There is a risk of head and eye injuries from the ball or racquet and don’t forget how hard and unforgiving those walls can be when you crash into them!

Most squash injuries are a result of an acute injury and less so from overuse. However, the most common upper limb injury seen from squash is lateral epicondylalgia, which is an overuse injury. Lateral epicondylalgia is the medical term to describe tennis elbow. But, since you're playing squash I think we are within our rights to call it squash elbow!

Other common overuse injuries can affect the wrist and knee. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is an issue that involves the tendons just below the thumb and causes pain in the wrist. In the knee, you can get overuse injuries to the tendons due to the high constant load and stress these can be placed under with running and change of direction sports. Patella tendinopathy is common.

There is a vast array of acute injuries that can occur and the following is by no means exhaustive:

Head and facial injuries, especially to the eyes are prevalent. Eye injuries can include anything from possible retinal detachment, scratched cornea (front surface of the eye), globe rupture to hyphema (collection of blood in the front of the eye). The shoulder, wrist, and elbow are common joints for strains.

Due to the fast and agile nature of squash, it is no wonder there is a higher prevalence of sprained ankles, calf muscle tears, back muscle strains, knee ligament sprains, knee meniscal tears and even Achilles tendon rupture.

What Causes Injuries in Squash?

Due to the variable nature of the sport, many different factors can influence the risk of injury.

Overuse injuries such as elbow lateral epicondylalgia and de Quervain’s tenosynovitis of the thumb are caused by repetitive movements arm movements especially at high-velocities as is required in squash.

The elbow injury is aggravated by the frequent use of the gripping muscles in the forearm, in particular, those that extend, or bend, the wrist backwards, as these attach to the outer part of your elbow. Backhand shots can cause greater inflammation to this area as they require a large force from the wrist extensors.

The wrist/thumb can be worsened with gripping and turning your wrist over and as a result, can affect your ability to perform wristy or powerful shots.

For eye/facial injuries, these usually occur when either a racquet or the balls collide with the eye or face. Some injuries can be quite severe and require immediate medical attention to prevent loss of vision. Safety eyewear is recommended.

Shoulder injuries, particularly acromioclavicular joint sprains (tip of the shoulder), can occur with impact by diving or collide with the wall. This can cause a disruption of the ligaments that attach your shoulder to your clavicle (collarbone). Similarly, falls/collisions with hard surfaces can cause injury to the wrist, hand, and elbow.

Lower limb injuries occur due to the rapid change of direction required for squash as a result of sprinting, pivoting, rapid change of direction, sudden stopping and jarring. This places your joints and muscles under high load and strain and unfortunately, when this becomes greater than your healing recovery rate, it results in injury.

If you sustain an injury playing squash please contact your PhysioWorks physiotherapy team for an accurate diagnosis and assistance with getting you back onto the court as quick as possible.

Risk Factors for Squash Injuries

Factors influencing the risk of squash injuries include:

  • 40+ years of age
  • Inexperience/poor technique
  • Poor level of fitness, strength and endurance
  • Prior injury; particularly if rehabilitated poorly
  • Amount and level of participation
  • Not wearing protective eyewear
  • Equipment & footwear
  • Fatigue and tissue overloading.

How Can Squash Injuries Be Prevented?

For certain injuries, such as eye injuries, it is as simple as wearing protective gear, ie glasses.

For soft tissue, bone or joint injuries, both acute and overuse, the best prevention is strength, coordination and balance work. For guidance specific to your body, please seek the advice of your physiotherapist. They will provide you tips specific to your needs.

It is important that you have an appropriate warm up and cool down routine. Having your muscles warmed up before putting them under high load decreases your risk of muscle strains. Performing a change of direction and landing exercises can also help to prevent lower limb joint injuries, as too can certain movements/exercises for the shoulder/arm. Recovering well with stretching and foam rolling decreases post activity muscle tightness/stiffness which can also be a predisposing factor to injury.

As mentioned earlier age and tissue overloading are both risk factors. This is particularly important when it comes to tendon injuries. Your physiotherapist can work through your tendon tissue loading levels and advise you regarding specific training hours, preparation and prevention exercise strategies depending upon your needs. Tendinopathy programs are designed to not only successfully rehabilitate you from injury but also to prevent tendon injury.

If you would like some ideas as to appropriate prehabilitation (injury prevention) exercises, please speak to your PhysioWorks physiotherapist who will be able to best tailor an exercise program specifically for you.

Return to Squash Post-Injury

In the event of injury, it is important you rehabilitate appropriately to minimise your risk of reinjury or a compensatory injury as you return to squash. Feel free to speak to your physiotherapist to ensure you have undertaken the appropriate management to get you back onto the court, performing at your best!

More Information?

If you require more information or are interested in discussing an injury, please don’t hesitate to contact us at PhysioWorks.

For more information please contact your nearest PhysioWorks clinic to discuss your needs.

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Common Squash Injuries

Wrist Injuries

Elbow Injuries

Shoulder Injuries

Neck Injuries

Back Injuries

Hip & Groin Injuries

Thigh Injuries

Knee Injuries

Calf and Leg Injuries

Anke & Foot Injuries

Muscle & Overuse Injuries

  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinitis
  • ACL Injury
  • Adductor Tendinopathy
  • Anterior Ankle Impingement
  • Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head
  • Back Muscle Pain
  • Bulging Disc
  • Bursitis Knee
  • Bursitis Shoulder
  • Calf Muscle Tear
  • Chondromalacia Patella
  • Cramps
  • de Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Dislocated Shoulder
  • Facet Joint Pain
  • Fat Pad Syndrome
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)
  • Gluteal Tendinopathy
  • Golfers Elbow
  • Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome
  • Groin Strain
  • Hamstring Strain
  • Heel Spur
  • High Ankle Sprain
  • Hip Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)
  • Hip Labral Tear
  • ITB Syndrome
  • Knee Arthritis
  • Knee Ligament Injuries
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament
  • Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain
  • Meniscus Tear
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Morton's Neuroma
  • Muscle Strain
  • Neck Arm Pain
  • Neck Headache
  • Neck Sprain
  • Olecranon Bursitis
  • Osgood Schlatter's
  • Osteitis Pubis
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Patella Tendonitis (Tendinopathy)
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
  • Peroneal Tendonitis
  • Pes Anserinus Bursitis & Tendinitis
  • Pes Planus - Flat Feet
  • Pinched Nerve
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plica Syndrome
  • Poor Hip Core
  • Posterior Ankle Impingement
  • Posterolateral Corner Injury
  • Retrocalcaneal Bursitis
  • Rotator Cuff Calcific Tendinitis
  • Rotator Cuff Syndrome
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Severs Disease
  • Shin Splints
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Shoulder Tendonitis
  • Side Strain (Abdominal)
  • Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome
  • Sprained Ankle
  • Stress Fracture
  • Stress Fracture Feet
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Thigh Strain
  • Tibialis Posterior Tendinopathy
  • Trochanteric Bursitis
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    Common Squash Injury Treatment

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • Soft Tissue Injury? What are the Healing Phases?
  • What to do after a Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Core Exercises
  • Scapular Stabilisation Exercises
  • Rotator Cuff Exercises
  • Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Active Foot Posture Correction Exercises
  • Gait Analysis
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Balance Enhancement Exercises
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Real Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Walking Boot
  • Ankle Strapping
  • Brace or Support
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Knee Arthroscopy
  • Neurodynamics
  • Prehabilitation
  • Scapulohumeral Rhythm Exercises
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  • FAQs Squash Injuries

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
  • What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
  • The Best Core Exercises
  • Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
  • How Does an Exercise Ball Help Back Pain?
  • How to Strap an Ankle
  • Rotator Cuff: What is it?
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are Common Adolescent / Children Leg Injuries?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What is the Shoulder Impingement Zone?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • What's Your Core Stability Score?
  • Helpful Products

    Squash Injuries

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    References

    1. Racquetball and Squash, Injuries in. (2011). Ashlee Warren & Stephen M. Simons. Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine. DOI: http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/10.4135/9781412961165.n418

    2. Squash Fact Sheet- SMA. (2008). http://sma.org.au/resources-advice/sports-fact-sheets/squash/

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    Last updated 21-Oct-2017 11:01 AM

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