BY: Gcina Gumede
With the repetitive movements of lawn bowls, many players suffer from lower limb niggles, including the hip. The repetitive movements overload the hip joint causing it to take a lot of strain that can cause the individual pain making it harder for them to play their best game. The number of times bowl players bend squat, bend, and flick their wrist overstrain the joint of the body.
Hip injuries in lawn bowls often result from overuse, poor technique, falls or your body not having enough strength to handle the repetitive nature of the sport. Anatomically, these injuries can come several ways and may be limiting to your game due to the pain they may cause.
Here some common injuries associated with lawn bowls:
- Strains and Sprains: Overusing the hip muscles and tendons can lead to strains and sprains. This can happen if you are not conditioning your muscles properly or if you suddenly increase the intensity of your play. To prevent strains and sprains, it’s essential to warm up before playing, maintain good physical condition, and avoid overexertion.
- Labral Tears: The acetabular labrum is a ring of cartilage that lines the hip socket. Over time, repetitive movements in lawn bowls can lead to labral tears. These tears can be painful and may require medical attention. Proper technique, avoiding excessive twisting and bending of the hip, and maintaining hip strength can help reduce the risk of labral tears.
- Falls and Fractures: Lawn bowls is typically played on a grass surface, which can become slippery, especially when wet. A common hip injury resulting from a fall is a hip fracture, which is a serious injury, especially for older individuals. To prevent falls and fractures, always wear proper, non-slip footwear, be cautious when the green is wet, and consider using walking aids if necessary.
- Bursitis: Hip bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa sac that cushions the hip joint. This condition can be caused by repetitive movements and overuse of the hip joint. To prevent hip bursitis, it’s important to use proper technique and avoid excessive stress on the hip.
- Tendonitis: Inflammation of the tendons in the hip can also occur due to repetitive movements. Adequate warm-up and cool-down routines, along with proper stretching, can help prevent tendonitis.
Avoiding hip injuries comes with good hip mobility, adequate strength and proper technique for the sport. It is is also important to ensure that you warm-up sufficiently; this will make the muscles supple for lunging and squatting movements during play, therefore, decreasing the likeliness of sustaining an injury.
If you experience hip pain or discomfort while playing lawn bowls, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist, biokineticist or orthopedic specialist, for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. They can provide guidance on managing your injury and help you make any necessary adjustments to your technique or equipment to prevent further hip injuries. Additionally, following a well-rounded fitness routine that includes hip-strengthening exercises can reduce the risk of hip injuries in lawn bowls and improve overall performance.