Common Netball Injuries, Written by Netballer & Physiotherapist Ashlee Unie

Written by Ashlee Unie, Sports & Spinal Physiotherapist and Netballer

Netball is one of the most common sports played by Australians, in fact, netball has held the top spot as the most popular team sport played by girls since the Australian Sports Commission started counting!

If you’ve been unlucky enough to twist or sprain your ankle (as most netballers do!), your physio should be one of your first stops and can help be your guide on your road to recovery. If it is a particularly nasty one, your physio might send for a scan to rule out any red flags like fractures but their first priority is to help you get your pain and swelling under control. One nifty acronym that can start your recovery off on the right foot immediately after an injury is RICE – Rest Ice Compression Elevation. For your ankle this means:

  1. Rest up – keep most of your weight off that ankle if it is painful to walk in the first 24-48hrs
  2. Ice – pop a bag of crushed ice (or peas) to your ankle
  3. Compression – compression bandages or socks can help keep extra fluid out of the joint
  4. Elevation – when you’re able to, put your feet up! Have your foot up above the level of your heart to help prevent any swelling pooling in your ankle

A thorough individually tailored physio program can help get you back on your feet and back on the court. Together you’ll target a range of areas – think mobility, stability and ability. The aim is to regain mobility in your ankle, improve your balance, awareness and stability and strengthen the muscles that control movements in your lower limb to make sure you have the ability to get back to what you love doing. Sticking to this program the whole way through is also really important for preventing it from happening again! Along the way, you are your physio can discuss slowly re-introducing training, warming up, taping or bracing and any other questions that pop up. The final stage before bib-ing up is to practice and ace sport-specific and agility exercises to ensure your ankle is match fit.

Contact your local Sports and Spinal to book in with a physiotherapist if you’re looking to get back on the court!