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Sports Series – Focus On Minimising The Risk Of Netball Injuries
Sports Series – Focus On Minimising The Risk Of Netball Injuries

Basketball was invented by a Canadian in the USA in 1871, in 1890, and then taken to UK where it became popular with women. They played in long skirts, bustles & button up shoes. The leg of mutton sleeves restricted arm movements & made dribbling & long passes difficult so the game was adapted to accommodate their restrictions. Baskets were originally closed so umpires had to retrieve the ball from the nets. In 1901 Official rules were published & “Ladies Basketball”  was established in the UK. The game developed across the world with different rules & different names. In Australia & NZ it was called “Women’s Basketball” & the name Netball was not adopted until 1970. Australia’s first international match was against NZ in 1939 – we won! Australia has a strong history in the sport and has claimed 9 of the 12 World Championships held since 1963. Netball is the third most common sporting activity for children aged 5-14, and is the most popular team sport for women.  Injury risk occurs in netball as a result of rapid acceleration, leaping and twisting/rotational movements. Adult injuries are predominantly ankle, knee, and hand injuries. Other injuries that adults can receive from netball include neuroma (nerve entrapment), forefoot pain and achilles tendonitis. Sprain and strains are the most common injury in adults (56%) and occur highly in children (42%). Child netball players primarily have injuries to the hand or fingers (unsteady falls-whereby they fall with out stretched hand), in particularly the fingers. Other injuries sustained by children are at the ankle and heel.

Netball can place many demands on the technical and physical skills of the player and thus as a result injuries can occur. Injury prevention in netball is of importance as injuries can affect sporting capabilities, ability to work or affect school activities. Injury prevention aims to maximise sporting enjoyment and physical activity and minimise the risk of injury.

The first task of injury prevention is to develop and learn correct netball techniques that improve co-ordination, body balance, control on landing /moving forward and catching passes. This prepares the muscles, tendons and ligaments for the stresses placed upon them during the netball match.  Adequate coaching techniques and skill development can also aid to develop fitness training strength and coordination.

The second injury prevention technique is to ensure that pre-existing conditions or any potential respiratory, cardiovascular or musculoskeletal problems, are identified either prior to the commencement of the season or during screening with health professionals (doctors, sports physicians, footwear technician, physiotherapist, podiatrist, dietician etc), to ensure that all care is taken to identify any preventative risks or any stressor that may contribute to overuse or to biomechanical abnormalities that may cause injury.  The adequate utilisation of health professionals can aid in the education, stretching, strapping, bracing and rehabilitation of existing and new injuries. This significantly reduces injury risk and allows for an improved enjoyment of netball pain free and injury free.

The third factor in preventing injuries is the use of appropriate equipment and the maintenance of the current equipment. Netball surfaces must be free from slippery surfaces and loose gravel. The goal post must be firmly in the ground and padded to ensure maximum safety standards are upheld.

One of the most important factors in netball is the use of appropriate footwear.  Due to the sudden acceleration, side to side movement and rapid deceleration, a normal running shoe (that only accommodated for heel to toe running) will not provide adequate support, bracing or cushioning.  Netball players must have appropriate fitting shoes, (must have both feet measured as one may be slightly wider or longer than the other) to provide adequate support and minimise injuries during the netball game.

To reduce injury risk from netball seek professional help if injured, use appropriate equipment and footwear, and use correct techniques, stretching and strapping. Netball players must not ignore injuries, as the rehabilitation time and recovery may be extended by poor healing. By reducing potential injury risk allows a greater focus on maximising the enjoyment, friendship, competition, skill and physical activity of the game

All the best of luck for the 2016 season!

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img 07 4725 3755
reception@podiatrycentre.com.au
img 140 Ross River Rd Mundingburra 4814
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