Padel, a sport experiencing growing popularity worldwide, demands minimal equipment – just two players, two paddles, a ball, a net, and a small enclosed court. However, experts highlight that padel involves swift movements and abrupt directional changes despite its apparent simplicity, posing potential risks to the shoulder joint.
Watch Your Moves
In padel, it is essential to be cautious about specific movements to avert shoulder injuries:
- Incorrect racket grip can lead to “tennis elbow,” which places undue strain on the shoulder, potentially causing tendon inflammation.
- Actions that require reaching above head height are unnatural for our bodies and can strain the shoulder. Among these, striking and smashing are notably risky.
The key to sidestepping problems is not avoiding these movements but mastering them accurately with guidance from an instructor and executing them thoughtfully during the game.
Frequent Shoulder Injuries in Padel
Among padel players, several prevalent shoulder problems include:
- Tendinitis: Characterized by inflammation of the shoulder tendons, often resulting in post-game pain;
- Bursitis: Involves inflammation of the subacromial bursa, leading to discomfort;
- Biceps Capitulum Injuries: These large tendons can suffer from the effects of fast and repetitive movements, and in severe cases, the tendon may rupture;
- SLAP Injury: Occurs when the biceps capitulum tears where it attaches to the glenoid labrum;
- Rotator Cuff Tendon Injuries: Repetitive incorrect movements can provoke conflicts with the acromion, a bone at the shoulder’s top;
- Shoulder Dislocation: This can happen due to collisions with barriers around the Padel court during the game.
Managing Pain and Orthopedic Evaluation
Pain serves as a warning sign that something might be amiss. Stopping playing when shoulder pain emerges and discerns its source is vital. The duration of necessary rest hinges on the issue. Muscle fatigue may call for scaling back activity to 1-2 days per week, while a specialist should assess injuries. In some instances, surgery might be necessary, particularly for dislocations.
Refraining from attempting to rectify dislocations independently by manually repositioning the shoulder is essential. Seek a specialist’s advice or visit the emergency department for proper diagnostic tests, such as X-rays.
Preventing Injuries through Warm-Up
An effective warm-up regimen can forestall shoulder injuries and inflammation while playing padel. Consult with a physical therapist to acquire exercises that enhance proprioception. Additionally, consider straightforward warm-up exercises using a rubber band and the court net:
- Fasten the rubber band to the net and grasp its other end;
- Elevate your arm diagonally concerning your body, ensuring it does not surpass shoulder height;
- Before initiating the game, execute 10-15 repetitions of these extrarotation, intrarotation, and abduction movements.