Advice

Netball Injury Prevention

Netball is one of the most popular team sports in Australia, with participants of all ages and skill levels taking part. Netball is a unique sport in that it places many and varied demands on the body. Due to the high physical and technical demands placed on participants the MOST COMMON Netball injuries predominantly tend to be ankle, knees, wrists, hands, fingers, and shoulders. Commonly these injuries are sprains/strains, bruising, fractures and dislocations.

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Q. I work at a computer all day and am getting neck pain and headaches. A hot pack used to help but now it’s not working. What can I do now?

A. A hot pack often provides temporary relief for muscle and joint soreness. The classification of headaches is enormous but we know that some headaches originate in the neck – these are called cervico-genic headaches. Research has shown that patients with this type of headache often complain of one sided neck pain that precedes the headache and that the neck pain is often bought on by sustained neck postures, such as working in front of a computer or using a mouse incorrectly. Your physio will carry out a thorough physical examination to determine which joints/muscles/postures are contributing to your problem. They may also check your technique and work station set-up.

Click here to access information on workstation set-up.

Q. I like to ride my bike on the weekend but I find that my knee hurts after about 5kms. What could be the problem? Can anything be done to fix it?

A. The problem could be an iliotibial band syndrome or a patellofemoral dysfunction. The diagnosis will be made after a full history and physical examination. You may need specific stretches and exercises to address any muscle imbalances and perhaps some local treatment to deal with any inflamation that has occured.

Click the links for further information on iliotibial band friction syndrome,Patella mal-tracking, and bike set-up.

Q. My 8 year old daughter is a gymnist. A few of the girls in her age group are getting heel pain and knee pain that everyone is saying is “growing pains”. What are they and can anything be done to fix then? I don’t want her to suffer any longterm damage or arthritis.

A. Growing pains are a very general term for leg pain in children and before such a diagnosis is made other, more sinister reasons for the pain need to be ruled out by your doctor.

The characteristics of growing pains are:

  • generally peak between the ages of 4-5 although they may last up til age 12 yrs
  • generally occur behind the knee or in the front of the thigh
  • only occur at night and may wake the child from sleep
  • do not limit activity/walking the next day
  • are generally sore to touch with no specific areas of pain
  • may occur in 15-30% of children
  • are self limiting, that is they tend to go away by themselves
  • usually lasts up to 20 mins
  • usually respond to gentle massage, hot packs and panadol

I think it is more likely that you are describing Sever’s and Osgood-Schlatters diseases but in either case there is no evidence of longterm damage to the child and no evidence that they will suffer any long-term effect from either (except for a possible bump on the front of the knee in the case of Osgood-Schlaters!!)