Avoiding and treating netball related injuries
Netball is one of the most popular sports for girls and women to play in Australia and is attracting a growing number of males through the mixed netball leagues. It is a fast-paced sport with sudden starts and stops as well as twisting motions, making it a common source of injury for feet and knees. Here are some tips on how to treat and avoid netball injuries.
Wear the right shoes
The first step in avoiding netball injuries is to wear the right shoe, which is a shoe that is a 'court shoe' especially designed for running and stopping on hard surfaces such as a netball court. A sports shoe store can show you some options. A traditional running shoe is more flexible and less supportive across the arch and heel, which can lead to issues when you are landing, stopping and turning. If you have had foot or ankle problems in the past, it can often be helpful to see a local sport podiatrist, such as those found at Chatswood Foot Clinic, to get gel inserts for extra cushioning.
Attend those training sessions
It can be hard to find time to train as well as play the games, but training sessions are a good time to build up strength in the small muscles around the joint, improving overall stability. Learning correct landing techniques and safe stops and starts can also be very helpful to ensure that you don't get injured while playing netball. The rules in netball have changed over the last few years to help limit the number of injuries from occurring, so even if you used to play, having a refresher on acceptable modern techniques can be very useful.
See a sports podiatrist if you do have pain
It's important to head in to see a sports podiatrist if you do have some pain, as continuing to exercise on a weakened joint can lead to a worse injury. In many cases, some simple application of ice or a cold pack, strapping, and rest can be all that is needed to get you back on the court and playing again. See if the sports club that you play with has any recommendations as it can be good to see a podiatrist that is familiar with both netball injuries and the current netball rules.
With some careful planning, you can keep playing netball for many years, and not be held back by injuries to the ankle or foot.