Netball Injuries, their Treatment and Prevention

I am extremely grateful to a range of people for their help and support, either in teaching or treating me (sometimes both!). In particular I would like to thank Frank Asher a Serving Brother in the Order of St John, Di Hales, Physiotherapist to Crawley Swimming Club, Jo West of the Portland Physiotherapy and Sport Injury Clinic and Lisa Allen (Royal United and University Medical School). I know all of them would want me to say, always seek professional help in treating sports injuries.

This site does not set out to provide an alternative to seeking professional treatment. It is designed to give players and coaches some background to sports injuries as experienced by netballers. Also to explain the basics of sport "first aid" and some useful strategies for treating injuries.

On this page are some ideas and suggestions on recovery training. The previous page is dedicated to describing the major injuries.

 Introduction to Recovery Training

There are two basic rules that every injured player MUST observe. If you experience any pain or ache, stop immediately, if it goes away within 20 seconds then resume training. If it does not, it is probable that the injury has not yet healed sufficiently to allow recovery training in which case wait 24 hours and restart the programme from the beginning. The second rule is maintain a steady rhythm. If you have to keep stopping and starting to allow aches and pains to subside you should reduce the effort to a level which can be sustained.

The exercises on this page are either general or linked to specific injuries. In all cases they are presented as a series of stages. You should not progress to the next stage if any of the following apply:

 any pain or ache does not begin to subside within 20 seconds of stopping the exercise

 the exercise cannot be sustained at a steady rhythm

 any pains or aches which come on after training have not gone by the following morning

 General Fitness

After any prolonged period of injury a player will need to set about recovering their general fitness level. Assuming that some effects of the injury remain, training needs to be gentle - quality is of far greater importance than quantity. Provided you were a competent swimmer before being injured, swimming is one of the best exercises since the water will support your body and reduce the load on muscles. After swimming consider cycling; adjust the seat so that your legs are only slightly bent when the pedal is at the bottom. If neither options are easily available, try some simple jogging exercises. Before ANY exercise you must stretch properly.

Stage

Swimming

Cycling

Jogging

1

Swim 6 lengths (Take 40 secs in a 25m pool and 60 secs in a 32m pool). You should aim for 5 secs rest after each length

Rest for 2 mins

Repeat 3 times

2 mins at a steady pace with low gears

15 secs sprint with high gears

2 mins at a steady pace with low gears

30 secs sprint with high gears

Perform stretching routines for 2 mins

Repeat 3 times

Make sure that your feet are only just clear of the floor at all times.

1 min slow jog

5 secs sprint jog

1 min slow jog

10 secs sprint jog

Perform stretching routines for 3 mins

Repeat 3 times

2

Do stage 1 but repeat only once then:

Swim 8 lengths (Take 35 secs in a 25m pool and 50 secs in a 32 m pool)

Rest for 2 mins

Repeat 4 times

Do stage 1 but repeat only once then:

3 mins at a steady pace with low gears

40 secs sprint with high gears

3 mins at a steady pace with low gears

50 secs sprint with high gears Rest for 2 mins

Repeat 4 times

Alternate 50 secs of slow jogging with 15 secs of sprint jogging for 5 mins

Perform stretching routines for 3 mins

Repeat 3 times

3

Do one of stage 1 and stage 2 then:

Swim 10 lengths (Take 30 secs in a 25m pool and 45 secs in a 32 m pool)

Rest for 3 mins

Repeat 5 times

 

Alternate 45 secs of slow jogging with 15 secs of sprint jogging for 7 mins

Perform stretching routines for 3 mins

Repeat 3 times

 

 Isometrics

Although a modern sounding title, isometrics is descended from the ancient Greek "isometria" meaning "equal measure". The aim is to tense muscles (in much the same way as body builders do to show off their physique) rather than to stretch them. For example, by sitting at a desk you could attempt to lift it with your legs. Whilst standing in a crowded underground train you could tension all the muscles in one leg. The basic rule is tension for 7 seconds, rest for 7 seconds and repeat 7 times. Do this seven times a day

 General Stages for Muscle Recovery

These 7 stages should see most netballers back into playing condition. Stage 2 should start with 72 hours; if pain continues then stop immediately. If you cannot progress beyond stage 2 then seek further medical guidance.

 

Stage

Description

1

ICER (see previous page)

2

Stretching - aim to stretch out as many muscles as possible, not just the injured one. Make sure your whole body is warm before doing this as stretching cold muscles simply increases the risk of injury. Stretch to the point of pain and hold for 5 secs. Increase this over several days to a 15 sec hold.

3

Isometrics - Following the rule of 7, start with gentle tension progressively increasing this over several days

4

Work with weights (a 2Kg bag of sugar is sufficient). Start with the weight close to the injury (the weight should not induce any paid itself) and aim for 10 lifts holding the weight for 5 secs. Repeat 3 times twice a day. Over several days move the weight to the furthest point on the limb away from the injury and increase the hold to 15 secs but continue to do only 3 repetitions twice a day

5

Start basic netball skills drills the aim is cover a range of drills at a steady rhythm and aim to maintain good body balance (some drills may need to be amended to aid this aim). Start at a third of normal effort increasing the effort progressively to 50% and 75 %. If you have been unable to train for some time you should work through the general fitness routine above

6

Participate in practice matches; do not exceed 75 effort and initially only play two quarters. Add hopping and skipping type exercises to warm down routines

7

Resume match play; try to limit first few weeks to half a game.

   Stages for Quad Recovery

These 7 stages should see most netballers back into playing condition. Stage 2 should start with 72 hours; if pain continues then stop immediately. If you cannot progress beyond stage 2 then seek further medical guidance.

 

Home Page | Injury Treatment |

This page last updated on 29th June 2002 - If you find any errors, believe that presentation is giving out the wrong message or feel you can contribute exercises or drills to aid recovery for any netball related injury please feel free to let me know