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In badminton, a lot of knee movement is involved especially while doing lunges and jump smash so getting your knee injury while playing badminton is common, I can’t tell you how many time readers have asked me to write a guide on knee injury so I spent 3 days researching and talked to some doctors about this topic and made this ultimate guide on knee injuries in badminton

What you will learn in this guide

  • Types of knee injuries
  • How to identify which type of injury do you have
  • How to recover from the pain
  • Prevention to avoid this in the future

What is knee injury in badminton

The Knee is a complicated joint, it allows a person to bend and straighten his legs to squat, jump and run

The knee is made up of four components

  1. Bones
  2. Cartilage
  3. Ligament
  4. Tendons

A knee injury in badminton mainly occurs when any of these components get damaged or dislocated and on this basis, knee injuries are divided into different types

Before I discuss some common types of knee Injuries in badminton let’s look at how icing should be done in these types of injuries

  • Do icing on the affected area:- In the first 48 to 72 hours after a knee injury, use a cold ice pack on the affected area. Use a plastic bag or wrap ice in a towel. Use it for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day. After the 72 hour mark you can heat things up but before this time you should avoid heating your knee, follow the same routine with heat bag also.

Common types of knee injuries in badminton

Disclaimer:- This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for advice provided by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. Patients should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a health or fitness problem or disease.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

If the pain is outside of your knee and it runs up to your hip then maybe you have iliotibial band syndrome

An iliotibial band is a fiber which runs from hip to the knee and causes pain outside of the knee

This injury is of overuse type meaning that by doing the same movement repeatedly with improper technique it can cause iliotibial band syndrome

Causes of Iliotibial band syndrome

  • High or Low foot arches
  • Wearing worn down shoes
  • Playing on uneven or slippery ground
  • Supination( twisting of the leg in outward direction)
  • Improper footwork in badminton

Exercise to recover from this knee injury

Side leg stretches to strengthen the iliotibial band

Steps to perform this exercise

  1. Lay down in side plank position
  2. Bend the knee in which you do not have pain
  3. Now keep the prone leg straight and raise it a couple of inches off the ground
  4. Do this exercise 20 times

Quad set

Steps to perform a quad set

  1. Sit on the bed with one leg straight(pain) and other one bend comfortably
  2. Put a rolled towel below the knee in which you are feeling the pain
  3. Now stretch the thigh muscle as shown in the picture( by moving foot toward your body)

Stationary bicycle

As the name suggests in this exercise, you need to pedal a bicycle but for this equipment is needed

Runner’s Knee injuries in badminton

As the name suggests it is caused by running but any movement where a lot of bending is involved like in badminton where to lunge and jump you have to bend your knee it is very common in badminton players

If you are feeling pain around or under you knee cap(patella) then you may have runner’s knee

Due to the constant movement of knee friction between bone and cartilage of knee cap occurs which can lead to erosion further causing the cartilage to break down making it difficult to move your knee

Causes of runner’s knee

  • Tight or weak thigh muscle
  • Muscle imbalance(happen with my friend whose calf muscle was bigger than thigh muscle)
  • Flat feet
  • Not doing proper stretching after a practice session
  • Overuse or Injury

Exercise to do at home to recover

Do stretching exercises especially focused on quadriceps muscle

This type of injury mainly caused when your thigh muscle is weak so focusing on this muscle can drastically improve your condition

Do the towel exercise which I mentioned in Iliotibial band syndrome

Arthritis of the knee

The wearing down of the protective tissue at the ends of bones (cartilage) occurs gradually and worsens over time.

There are mainly three types of arthritis that can occur in your knee

  1. Osteoarthritis(OA), a progressive condition that slowly wears away joint cartilage. OA is most likely to occur after middle age.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis(RA), inflammatory condition that can occur at any age
  3. Post-traumatic arthritis, It can occur after an injury to a knee like a torn meniscus, ligament injury or fracture

Symptoms of Arthritis

  • Cracking and popping sounds:- You may feel a grinding sensation in your knees as you move or even hear cracking or popping sounds coming from your knees. This happens when you have lost some smooth cartilage which helps in a smooth motion
  • Swelling or tenderness:- It can cause periodic inflammation due to extra fluid in the knee, swelling may occur after a long period of inactivity, like when you wake up in the morning
  • Knee X-ray:- These are excellent way to know whether you have lost space in between knee which is causing sounds and ruff range of motion

Exercises at home for arthritis

Half squat (for front and back thigh muscle and glutes)

  1. Stand on your feet with both feet apart from each other at should level
  2. Now straight both your arm to maintain balance while squatting
  3. Slowly bend your knee until you are in half position, stand beside a wall if you are losing balance
  4. Keep your back straight and chest lifted- don’t lean forward
  5. Hold squat for 5 seconds and get back up

Half pistol squat (for front and back thigh muscle and buttocks)

  1. Stand beside a chair holding it
  2. Lift one leg about 12 inches off the good
  3. Now start bending another knee slowly while keeping your back straight
  4. Hold that position for 5 seconds and get straight back up

Leg stretch (For quadriceps)

  1. Sit on the floor with both leg straight and back straight
  2. Place both palms on the ground to maintain balance
  3. Keeping one leg straight bend another one slowly until it feels stretched
  4. Hold that position for 5 seconds now straighten your leg as far as you can and hold that position for 5 seconds



Any bone in and around the knee can be fractured. commonly it occurs in patella or knee cap


  • Severe pain in and around the kneecap
  • Pain while moving knee in both directions
  • Swelling
  • Deformed appearance of the knee

Consult a doctor if you are having fracture to avoid any future problem

Posterior cruciate ligament injuries

The posterior cruciate ligament is located back of your knee just opposite to your knee cap

This ligament keeps the knee from moving too far backward.

This injury occurs when your knee gets hyperextended

An injury to the posterior cruciate requires powerful force while the knee is in a bent position. This level of force typically happens when someone falls hard onto a bent knee

Exercise to strengthen your PCL

Gear to use for knee injuries

Knee support

If you are suffering from a knee injury then it is advised to use knee support and there are a couple of reason for that

  • It provides mild compression by surrounding the tissue around the knee. This also improves blood circulation and protect tendons and cartilage from further injury
  • It also reduces stress on the knee joint and provides smooth movement
  • Also, it limits the knee to move in a side direction

How to choose a knee support

  • Make sure you pick the right size and fit that feels comfortable and provides the right support for your condition

Preventive measure to avoid these injuries in Future

Use Quality Badminton shoes

Badminton is a sport where you are constantly moving and changing direction, keeping this in mind companies make badminton shoes to support these movements

It is better to use shoes which are made for badminton and not for any other sport


For example, I have many players using Basketball shoes in badminton court because they think that both of these are non-marking so what’s the difference

Basketball shoes have high ankle length as compared to badminton shoes and using these will make it harder to change direction

Also, badminton shoes have high heel stabilizer

So always use a badminton shoe because it will provide you more grip and balance on court which will prevent the risk of injuries

Play on Standard badminton court

I made this mistake when there was no badminton court near my house I used to play on marble court

I was lucky that it did not make any long term damage on my knee but my first coach paid the price because he was playing on marble court for 15 years which did long term damage on his knee

Always play on court which has some kind of cushion whether wooden or synthetic

If you do not have access to any of those then playing on a mud court is more viable option then on marble or cement court which will prevent knee injury in badminton

Do Proper warmup and stretching

If I had a penny for the no. of players I have seen playing badminton without warmup I would have bought a Yonex T-shirt with that money

As your friend, I will advise you to always do warm-up before playing badminton, you motive while warming up should be to make your heart rate up

Stretching is as important as a warm-up it keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight.

Tight muscles are more likely to be injured and also doing stretching will keep your muscle ready for next day work

Categories: Improve your game


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