Archive | October, 2017

A Quick And Easy Guide to Face Steaming For Acne Prone Skin

If you have ever spent time in a sauna, you will know how soothing heat can be for the skin. In ancient Roman times, people utilized the power of heat for cleansing; harnessing the properties of steam to purify their pores and keep their complexions clear from blemishes. This technique continues to be a part of modern beauty regimes today.

What is face steaming?

At around 110 degrees, the temperature of steam causes the body to produce sweat. This sweat contains impurities from the skin, which would otherwise be allowed to cause blackheads and acne. If you do suffer from chronic acne, face steaming can be a great way to clear skin quickly.

This beauty technique can be performed at home, with a large bowl, a kettle, and a tea towel. Whilst professional steam cleans are a common procedure at salons, they can be costly, and it is useful to know how to carry out your own.

What are the benefits of face steaming?

As explained, steam opens up the pores and allows grime and bacteria to be drawn out of the skin. This prevents oil, dirt, and debris from turning into unsightly blackheads, skin obstructions, and chronic acne. The benefits of face steaming for acne prone skin are numerous, because the beauty technique also re-hydrates and re-energizes the complexion.

How does face steaming relieve acne symptoms?

The cause of acne is bacteria and dirt beneath the skin, which accumulates and stops pores from breathing. With the use of face steaming, these pores can be opened up and unblocked. In fact, steam is great when it comes to cleansing and destroying the bacteria and acne nodules which cause sufferers problems.

How regularly should I steam my skin?

Whilst face steaming can be an effective way to treat chronic acne, it is important not to overdo it. The oils which block pores are not inherently damaging, because their main function is to keep the skin lubricated and protected. Without these oils, skin can become cracked and painful.

However, an overabundance of these oils is what leads to acne, so the key is to reach a healthy balance. This is why face steaming should not be performed too regularly, so as to avoid stripping the skin of its protective oils. In some cases, overly frequent steaming can actually result in even oily skin, as the pores work to product extra oil to make up for the loss. The general rule of thumb is to steam clean no more than three times per week.

What is the right way to steam clean skin?

Steps One

Fill a large bowl with boiling water, making sure not to burn the hands or face.

Step Two

Place your head over the water (at least 12-18 inches away). If necessary, drape a towel over your head to keep the steam in, but do not keep your face over the water if the sensation is uncomfortable.

Step Three

As long as the sensation is comfortable, keep your face over the water for 10-15 minutes. You can use an acne wash or a moisturizer for added purification once you have finished the steam.

For extra pore cleansing benefits, put 1 drop of peppermint oil into the steaming water.

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Improper Cleaning Can Permanently Damage Your Hair Straightener

Today, hair straighteners or hair irons are used by many women. Now these products are in bigger demand then ever. In fact even the men are using the curling irons and hair straighteners to style their hair to sport a different look.

Often, people buy these hair products for use either for their business or personal usage. During the continuous handling, they get dirty and required to be cleaned. But, majority of people don’t know how to maintain or clean these hair straighteners. Firstly, these products cost heavy to our pockets and secondly, we do not know how to handle them properly. Remember, there are certain methods of using hair products, such as a hair straightener, as well as maintaining them.

If you want to know the correct method of handling these products, you must check the product catalogue, which comes with the packaging. Often these catalogues don’t describe the methods to maintain them. Therefore, people using these products remain confused on how to clean these hair straightening irons. As a result, they invent their own methods to handle and clean hair straighteners. Let’s discuss some of the most successful methods to clean a hair straightener.

1) Cleaning with nail polish remover

Put nail polish remover or alcohol on the plates or over some piece of cotton and rub the plates gently. Next, clean the plates again with some damp cloth so that the residue of thickener or alcohol gets wiped off from the plate.

2) Cleaning with Damp cloth

Clean the plates of hair straighteners with damp cloth after every use of this product. This would help you keep them clean for long.

3) Warming up hair straightener

Warm up your hair straightener iron for some time, and then switch it off. Allow it to cool for some time and then clean it with a warm cloth. Thus, the warmth of the plate will help to clean it up easily.

4) Using rugs to clean the hair straightener

Now-a-days, you can easily get cleaning rugs to clean these equipments. This is a better initiative by such producers of cleaning products. So, try to take the simplest way out to clean your equipments. It is better that you go for such rugs available in market. This way, you will be able to handle and maintain your hair products more easily. However, if you feel such rugs to be expensive for your budget, then try to clean your hair straighteners very carefully.

Somehow, all of these methods will work greatly as far as the cleaning of your hair straightener is concerned, but whatever method you adopt, do take every minute precaution to handle your hair product with care. You must remove any type of residue or moisture remains on their plates as this may damage your hair later on.

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How to Use Goldenseal Herb As an Acne Treatment

Herbal practitioners now think of Goldenseal as a ‘natural acne’ treatment, anti-inflammatory and mild antiseptic/astringent. Also Goldenseal can help with digestive problems, loss of appetite and liver pathologies. The astringent effect is on the mucous membranes of the lungs, the gut and the bodies’ skin. Goldenseal tastes quite bitter, encouraging the appetite and helping digestion and eliciting bile secretion.

Goldenseal has direct antimicrobial effects, but it may also work on intestinal bacteria, which are reduced in numbers after taking Goldenseal. This in turn leads to decreased digestive problems and also helps in clearing the skin of acne spots and body toxins.

Goldenseal, is thought of as a mucous membrane stimulant, however, it does not have to come into contact with mucous membranes to have this effect. If you chew some Goldenseal in your mouth for a few minutes, you can feel the sensation of tingling on the linings of your nose. There also is an increased flow of mucous from the membranes leading to a very runny nose. Also Goldenseal contains astringent properties, which also opposes that flow of mucous. It is a strange effect, with the result being a runny nose if the sinuses are blocked, but being checked by the astringent effect of Goldenseal. Looking at the traditional herbal mechanisms of action, it is thought this effect of increasing mucous flow, brings about firstly, the evacuation from the body of noxious substances, but also initiates the antibacterial effects of the mucous on the membranes and skin of the body. So, Goldenseal is regarded as being very useful for the internal membranes, but also externally on the skin of the body in the fight against acne bacteria.

So, take Goldenseal 3 times a day, generally for 8 – 12 days:

3 – 4 grams of root or herb, as a tea

3 – 4 mL of tincture extract

For acne skin, apply cool compresses of the herb. This simply means brew the herb in hot water, strain and put the herb in a thin piece of cloth. This can then be applied to the acne skin of the face, back and chest. Initially, a hot sensation will be felt on the skin, but this will pass – followed by a pleasant ‘glowing feeling’.

This astringent effect from Goldenseal will bring about increased blood flow to the superficial skin of the body, which in turn will stimulate tissue healing and speed up the resolution of acne spots. Also, the Goldenseal will exert its anti-bacterial affects and so reduce the acne-causing-bacteria that give us the characteristic spots and scars of acne. This is a soothing, natural acne treatment that deserves more recognition by doctors and patients alike, in the ongoing fight against acne.

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Monat Renew Shampoo And Revive Conditioner

Monat is a hair health company that has distributed hair care products through independent distributors and online since only 2014. They offer science supported, naturally based formulas for the purest hair health care experience. I found this new company accidentally by making a new friend via social media, a pioneering Monat representative. She also began as a consumer, a VIP Monat customer, who was in search of a superior shampoo.

As my Pure & Natural Dollar Tree shampoo and conditioner ran low, I knew I wanted to find a luxurious new, natural brand to compliment my untreated hair. As a new mom you realize all the beauty treatments you forfeit after having children due to time, money and safety. I have little time for manicures and pedicures, don’t tan (naturally or artificially) and try to keep all my household and personal care to a chemical minimum. I want to feel pretty!

I didn’t know what to expect trying Monat for the first time. I didn’t do any prior research, I just wanted to feel the product for myself. As instructed I shampood twice with Monat’s Renew Shampoo, once to remove residue and another to benefit from Monat’s formula. The smell was pleasant and rich, like grapefruit. I felt the clean, if you can believe that. Shampoos I have used in the past feel like they are adding something to my hair, rather than removing and cleaning. This shampoo felt like it had actually cleaned my locks without stripping and damaging them, the “squeaky” clean they tell you to feel for. After putting the Monat Revive Conditioner in my hair I was able to easily comb and remove loose hair with my shower comb, something I’m not usually able to do. The instructions guided me to leave the conditioner in for 10 minutes, so I shaved my legs and cleaned my body while it conditioned. The scent matched the Renew Shampoo.

A great scent is a huge money-maker (like how Aussie and Herbal Essences capitalize on), but that’s not enough for me. I need to know the ingredients, see and feel it’s superiority. I was so surprised by the results I discovered from only one shampoo and condition by Monat. You remember the totally convincing infomercial by Wen? It was just like that! I air dried and brushed my hair and no exaggeration, my hair laid and volumized just as it did the last time I bought a 20.00 blow out at Supercuts.

Now having proven itself special, I had to dive in deeper to find out what made this product different from others readily available at the super market. Monat’s website provided full disclosure on their ingredients and sciences, which I appreciated and found convincing. In short, Monat’s science explains how this product provides the ideal environment for hair growth causing less hair loss and aging, and facilitates better regrowth. It mimics your body’s natural oils and protects your hair from environmental damage by the product’s ability to absorb the negative UV rays, something I find especially appealing as a dessert dweller.

Based on my experience with it and considering it’s cost at almost 4.50 per ounce (10 times the cost of other “natural” brands), I recommend it to people looking for luxurious and safe hair treatments on natural, color treated or vulnerable hair types. Even using it sparingly, which you’ll easily be able to do according to reviews, will offset your cost. Research I did on similar quality products came to about the same.

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5 Key Elements of a Successful Hair Salon

You’ve decided to open your own hair salon, selected the right location, hired qualified hair stylists and purchased the necessary equipment. Sounds like you have everything you need, right? Wrong. You’ll need to have a good handle on the following key elements if your hair salon is to succeed.

1. Quality Staff

Running a successful salon also requires attracting and retaining quality staff. People become attached to their hair stylists. They want to know that they can call their salon and get an appointment with their favorite stylist. Clients become nervous when they are told that their trusted stylist no longer works at the salon. They will often follow their stylist to another salon. This would mean that you would lose that client forever.

2. Competitive Pricing

You will also want to consider pricing carefully when running a successful salon. You will need to know the pricing at other salons in your area. You will then have to make pricing decisions for your salon. If you decide to charge more that most salons in the area, can you justify that decision? Do you offer clients something different and better?

3. Superior Products

Running a successful salon is not just about hair cutting and styling. Many people go to their favorite salon in order to purchase higher end hair care products. If you do not maintain your stock appropriately, clients will not be happy. If they feel you do not regularly stock their favorite shampoo, they will soon start buying their shampoo someplace else. This has a significantly negative impact on your revenue, making the running of a successful salon virtually impossible.

4. Alternative Treatments and Services

Anybody who spends time and money on their hair is likely to pay attention to other parts of their body. You’re in a great position to benefit from this. If you have the space why not offer a few beauty treatments as well? A little nail bar would be popular as would eye brow shaping, hair removal or a make-up stand. There’s a whole host of other beauty related services you can offer on the side.

5. Happy Clients

Of course, happy clients are the first key component to running a successful salon. Without happy, returning clients, your salon would quickly close. You will want to make sure that every client who leaves your salon has a smile on their face. If they do not, take a few minutes to talk to the client and make sure that your employees were courteous and friendly. After all, no one wants to pay someone to be rude to them. Negative word of mouth spreads quicker than positive word of mouth, but you can prevent this before it happens by making sure each client is happy before they leave your salon.

Running a successful salon is not a mysterious venture. All you need to do is ensure the happiness of your clients, retain a quality staff, price competitively, and stock appropriately. All of the other details will simply fall into place.

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Composition And Advantages Of Hair Conditioners

Natural oils are in use for centuries to condition dry and dull human hair. It is often referred as a viscous liquid that is massaged and applied to the hair. It is such an amazing product which changes appearance and texture of hair. A quality hair conditioner may contain sunscreen, oils and, moisturizers together with some other ingredients. It is generally used after giving a wash to the hair with any shampoo.

Although natural oils have been used for centuries, hair conditioning, yet the modern methods of hair conditioning were introduced in 1900 in Paris. The newly introduced product could only gave a soft touch to men’s hair, mustaches, and beards.

In recent years, modern technology and research had made it possible to introduce such hair conditioners which do not give any heavy or greasy feeling to its user, as these are made of ammonia, alcohols, and silicone.

Various types of hair conditioners are available in market now a days, which are as follows:

Ordinary conditioners, which after using a shampoo, we can generally apply directly to our body.

Leave-in conditioners are made of chains of unsaturated fatty acids. These chains are less viscous and add a thinner greasy layer to the hair. Their viscosity imparts them oily characteristics. It can be used just like a hair oil, and keeps hair straight and smooth.

Hold conditioners, which work just like gels and can keep your hair in a shape as you wish to give them.

Pack conditioners, which are extremely viscous and highly concentrated, these bind the hair together and glue them as you wish to give a desired shape to the hair and keep them intact for a longer time. These are usually made of fatty acid chains, which add a thicker layer to the hair.

The most important ingredients of hair conditioners may include but not limited to oils, moisturizers, and preservatives. They may also include sun screen, which protects it against color loss and degradation of protein molecules. The sun screens used in hair conditioners are quite different to those used in skin products. They are usually acidic in nature; their acidity is all due to organic acids such as citric acid in them.

How important hair conditioning is, just imagine the difference between a barren and a fertile land. A barren land is devoid of any grass, plant or tree, while a fertile land gives a pleasant look with lush green plants, grassy landscape, and flowery plants and trees. same is the difference between dry and dull hair and well-conditioned hair. Our hair are often exposed to dirt, pollutants, and hair coloring chemicals. They make them prone to damage and frizzy look. A conditioner steps in to restore them back their vigor and luster.

Hair conditioners and shampoo usually go together. Shampoo serves as a cleansing agent, while conditioners protect and impart beauty to the hair by coating a thin layer over the surface of the hair. The main disadvantage of using a shampoo quite frequently is that while cleansing the dirt of hair, it also layer of cuticles which cover and protect hair shafts, thus making hair vulnerable to damage and getting weaker and thin. Contrary to this, a conditioner adds a thin layer of moisture to these cuticles and protects hair.

Hair add too much to beauty and personality. Healthy hair need too much care and attention. Many quick home remedies are available in the market to protect and give a beautiful look to your hair. Hair conditioning is one of them. You may prepare and use them at comfort of your home, or buy them from a super store, but the point is how to apply them in a best manner to achieve the best results.

In the end some words about natural conditioners. They have the same impact on your hair as artificial conditioners might have, rather they can produce better results than those available in markets. They include natural ingredients such as olive oil, eggs, yogurt, banana, and many others which have no side-effects at all. They are easily available in the market and more cost-effective. Today various naturally made conditioners are also available in the market that can save you time and money, and above all, they are better for health of your hair.

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How Can You Remove Moles?

There are two basic ways of removing moles; you can have a mole removed by a doctor, or you can remove your mole naturally. When it comes to your body, you should be wise about the choices that you make and fully understand what you are doing. Whether you should go with a medical procedure or you should remove your mole using natural methods, understanding a little bit more about moles is the first step in deciding what to do.

There are two common types of moles that people can have. The first type of mole appears at birth or early on in life as a result of sun exposure. These are the kinds of moles that typically do not change. The other type of mole that people can have is the ones that are constantly growing and may appear to have changes in color. These types of moles need to be monitored closely by a doctor and will need a biopsy from a skin specialist in order to be sure that it is not cancerous.

Although it may seem like a minor condition, getting a mole removed is a medical procedure. There are a few common methods for mole removal that most doctors use. One method is known as cryotherapy. When a mole is removed with cryotherapy it is frozen with liquid nitrogen and then the frozen mole is lanced away. It depends on how deep the mole’s infiltration is within the skin that will determine how much needs to be lanced away. Excision is a surgical procedure that is done when a larger mole needs to be removed under local anesthetic. The surgeon will use a scalpel to cut the mole and a border of good skin surrounding it. Depending on the depth of the excision, stitches will be placed either deep within the skin, or on the upper surface of the skin. Another procedure that is done to remove moles is laser therapy. Laser therapy is a surgical procedure that uses a mild intensity laser beam to burn the mole off of the skin. Whether or not this procedure is an option depends upon the depth of the mole within the skin. With these types of moles it is possible for the mole to come back since it is not possible for the laser to penetrate deeply enough. While it is probably the best mole removal treatment that you can have done, it is up to the dermatologist or skin specialist to decide the best course of action for your mole removal. A benefit with the laser therapy is the healing process. After the procedure is done the area around the mole will become red or brown. The skin will then produce a scab over it as it heals for the next couple of weeks eliminating the need for stitches. Another benefit to the laser therapy is that scaring is not an issue.

Removing a mole naturally is a valuable option. Many have gone to doctors, spent a lot of money but still their moles have not been removed. By treating the mole naturally using special herbs like calendula, tea tree and echinacea or by using home remedies to treat your moles, you can save yourself a lot of time, money and best of all scars!

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Homemade Face Masks: More Effective Than Store Bought Products

Homemade face masks have been used for hundreds of years to moisturize skin. Most of the top skincare ranges in our modern times contain active ingredients that are much the same or derived from the same ingredients – whether chemically derived or natural – as what the likes of Cleopatra or other famous beauties enjoyed.

When you hear the names DMAE, Papain, Coq10, Liposomes, Peptides, AHA’s, EFA’s, Copper, Alphalipoic Acids etc. you probably think of someone in a laboratory concocting a face cream with a special scientific mix of one or more of these ingredients.

This is the case for many commercially made products, but most of us – the average consumer – don’t realize that we are surrounded every day with plants, seeds, herbs, fruits and oils that are also rich in these nutrients. They may have different names or go unnoticed because when you go shopping at your supermarket you won’t see a melon labelled with a sticker that says “contains high concentrations of papain, AHA’s and Alphalipoic acid”.

They also won’t tell you that these melons have amazing exfoliating and cell stimulating properties for skin that can be readily utilized in homemade face masks and that when used with other ingredients like virgin coconut oil, can provide a powerful moisturizing and rejuvenating skin treatment that is far more potent than store bought products!

Nutritionists will tell you that eating a fresh orange is far better for you than drinking processed juice… why? Because fresh ingredients contain all the vitamins and enzymes that are damaged or destroyed under heat and processing. The same applies to using homemade face masks, treatments and lotions you make at home using fresh ingredients, you are taking the best of all of the nutrients including vitamins, enzymes, liposomes and more – and delivering them directly into your skin.

Ingredients like the ones below have many benefits for your skin:

Avocado is high in fatty acids and oils. Very moisturizing for skin especially avocado oil

Almond is also high in fatty acids and great for moisturizing for skin

Cucumber is healing, refreshing and lightening for skin

Tropical fruits like pineapple, pawpaw and papaya contain papain and other enzymes and fruit acids to gently remove skin cells and stimulate new cell growth

All fruits are rich in vitamins like vitamin C and A which are great for skin both repairing, brightening and healing

Wheatgerm, Apricot, Macadamia or Hazelnut oils are very high in essential fatty acids helping moisture travel deeper into the skin.

Banana is rich in B vitamin and C vitamin making it an an excellent base for home made masks

Eggs are high in sulphur as are dried then soaked and rehydrated apricots (good for acne) and make a good base

Citrus fruit: rich in vitamin C and fruit acids making it great for lightening skin and for acne

Honey and Aloe Vera: are natural humectants meaning they attract water. Also good for acne and honey is antmicrobial, antibacterial and antioxidant

Essential oils: oils like melaleuca (tea tree) and lavender are antibacterial, antimicrobial so are great for acneic skin and for oily skin and blackheads. You only needs a few drops of these in masks and there are whole range of essential oils that contain powerful antiaging properties and can be used in bases for natural skin masks and oil serum blends

Parsley, neroli and geranium are great for red veins and rosacea

Yoghurt or whipped cream are very moisturizing and contain lactic or malic acid so slough off dead skin cells

Argan, Olive, Grape Seed, Flax Seed. Jojoba or Coconut Oil are super moisturizing, rich in vitamins and protect your skin as well (coconut and sesame oils have a low SPF protection)

Evening primrose and carrot seed oils are rich in EFA’s, liposomes vitamins and more. Using carrot in homemade face masks or carrot seed contain vitamin A and C and are very moisturizing especially when combined with EFA rich ingredients in homemade face masks because EFA’s help your skin absorb all of these elements deep into your skin.

Seeds and nut meal (ground nuts and seeds) and oatmeal are excellent for homemade exfoliating face masks and also contain beneficial EFA’s. Oatmeal is excellent for itchy skin when mixed with cool chamomile tea.

You can make a whole range of homemade face masks from these ingredients – you can add exfoliating ingredients to a base of banana, avocado, honey, yoghurt or cream. You can add mashed or pureed carrot with papaya and honey for a rich vitamin boost.

Don’t leave tropical fruit masks on your skin for any longer than ten minutes because the enzymes act very quickly and are very powerful.

From these ingredients you can experiment and have fun making your own unique blends.

You can follow these up with a serum made from the oils above which you can make by using the serum wizard here: http://www.naturalskincarerecipes.com/wiz2 which will allow you to select your skin type and condition and suggest a formula for you. You can make and apply this after your natural face mask under moisturizer to nourish and treat any skin condition or type. Your skin will feel soft young and amazing!

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Shuttlecock Woes – A Layman’s Guide to Common Badminton Injuries

A rather common opinion about badminton is that it is one of the safest games possible-a fun, family game innocent of malice and devoid of any real danger of injury. Such notions are highly probable, given the immense popularity of the game worldwide, as entertainment for children during playtime as well as a serious Olympic sport.

However, contrary to popular opinion, badminton players are also prone to injury-some so intense in nature that they may take months to heal completely. According to one study conducted by a Denmark-based group of doctors and published in 2006, badminton injuries occur at an average rate of 2.9/person every 1000 hours of play time. Despite being a non-contact sport, where there is no physical contact between the opposing players, badminton injuries happen frequently-mostly due to over use of certain parts of the body and sometimes because of accidents happening suddenly and painfully. Mostly they occur in players who wear the wrong shoes, do not warm-up, warm-up more than required, sport bad technique, are overweight or generally unfit. Injuries are witnessed in players who have not indulged in sport for a while as well as in seasoned players who have overused body parts such as wrists, ankles, knees and elbows to name a few.

Acute/Accidental injuries:

Ankle Sprains- Although still wanting in detailed statistical studies, some research papers have shown that on an average, ankle sprains constitute more than half of all reported badminton injuries. An ankles sprain can be described as the stretching and or tearing of ligaments and muscles in the ankle. In extreme cases, there may also be damage to tendons, bones and other joint tissues. The resulting bleeding within tissues can cause sudden edema and swelling of the ankle, which in third degree sprains, often takes more than 6 months to heal completely. Ankle sprains are accidental in 99% of the incidences and happen when the player lands on his partner’s foot or on the floor with his own foot turned inwards, outwards or flexed. The extremely quick directional changes required during badminton, often cause the feet to roll over or twist, resulting in a sprained ankle. Fatigue, extra body weight and shoes with more than normal ‘grip’ are frequent contributors to such injuries.

Meniscus Tear- This also goes by the layman-friendly alias ‘Torn Cartilage Knee Injury’ and is as painful as a sprained ankle. During the intricate footwork required during a badminton game, the meniscus or cartilage, which provides a soft cushioning between the thigh and shin bones, sometimes ruptures, causing pain in the joint-line of the knee, swelling and inability to flex the leg completely. This may sometimes also be accompanied by an injured or totally ruptured ligament, which increases the pain factor and healing time. Normally, the swelling and pain settles down easily for most people. However for some sportspersons, the knee can become prone to knee locking or ‘giving way’, in which case, surgery is required.

Muscle Strain- Unexpected movements, such as a sudden overhead smash, may put muscles in various parts of the body under pressure, thereby causing a disruption of fibres in the affected muscle. This can result in pain, swelling, bruising and in extreme case, loss of function. Muscles commonly affected are the hamstring, knee, shoulder and calf, to name a few.

Ocular hurt- A Malaysian study reportedly called badminton the ‘sport which presented the greatest ocular hazard in Malaysia’. Another Canadian study backed up these claims saying that 30-58% of all eye injuries in Canada caused by racquet sports were attributed to badminton. This may seem funny to a layman, since a shuttlecock looks anything but devious, with its lightweight feathery appearance, compared to the heavier balls used in tennis and squash. Although the frequency of eye injuries on an average is more in squash than in badminton, the latter does account for injuries which are greater in severity. This is partly because the bottom round of the shuttlecock fits into the eye orbit and also because of the extremely high speeds achieved during badminton. Badminton is widely considered to be the fastest racquet sport in the world and shuttlecocks have been known to reach speeds of more than 300 km/hour. On 25 September 2009, Malaysia’s Tan Boon Heong set the international smash record of 421 km/hour in the men’s double’s category at the Japan Open 2009. This is 1/3rd the speed of sound at sea level, so one can imagine the effect of a shuttlecock travelling at that speed and hitting one’s eye. It would be painful to say the least.

Fractures- Fractures are fairly rare in badminton, although some have been reported. They normally happen when another player’s racquet hits a player’s arm or leg or if the player himself falls down heavily or if another player missteps and falls/steps on him/her.

Chronic/overuse injuries:

Achilles Tendonitis- Loosely defined, Achilles Tendonitis or Achilles Tendonipathy is an inflammation of the heel cord of the foot. In reference to badminton, it can be described as a chronic degenerative change in the Achilles Tendon (a cord of inelastic tissue connecting bone and muscle running from heel to calf) occurring due to repetitive jumping and running, worsened by poor warm-up techniques. More common as one ages, it also tends to worsen with activity.

Tennis Elbow- Do not be mislead by the nomenclature of this particular injury. Tennis Elbow is often seen in sports other than tennis and very frequently among badminton players. The injury, known as Lateral Epicondylosis among the medical fraternity, is a chronic overuse injury which occurs due to the inflammation of the tendons of the forearm on the outer part of the elbow. Players who indulge in repetitive backhand strikes are often subject to Tennis Elbows. Change of grip size, lack of recovery and excess stretching tend to make them worse.

Golfer’s Elbow- This particular injury is similar to Tennis Elbow in mostly all respects except for the location of the injury. While Tennis Elbow causes inflammation on the outer part of the elbow, Golfer’s Elbow usually occurs on the inner side of the elbow with the pain sometimes radiating along the forearm. It is also a chronic degenerative problem, mainly caused by an overuse of the wrist.

Jumper’s Knee- As the name suggests, this injury often comes on due to repeated jumping on hard surfaces. Known in medical terms as Patellar Tendonitis, the Patella Tendon located below the knee cap is affected over a long period of jumping and landing during badminton. Activity normally worsens the tendon damage and a rupture may sometimes follow with lack of rest

Rotator cuff injury- The most prominent shoulder injury to affect badminton players over time, typically a rotator cuff injury is brought on over time by repeated stress to the shoulder area while playing overhead shots in badminton. It usually begins as a lingering irritation in the shoulder known as an ‘impingement syndrome’, which if left uncared for, worsens to develop partial tears in the rotator cuff muscles. Further activity and stress can cause a complete tear in one or more muscles in the area.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction- The Sacroiliac Joint connects the sacrum at the base of the spine to the ilium of the pelvic region. Continuous badminton playing with low core stability causes an anatomic issue in this joint, which results in chronic lower back pain. The condition is known as Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction and affected players are advised to refer a physician for a complete evaluation of the condition.

Neck sprains- Focusing on the shuttlecock for long durations and turning one’s neck accordingly in various directions, can cause the neck to be extended beyond the normal angles, especially while playing smashes and strikes around the head, thereby causing neck sprains.

Cramps- A cramp can be described in a badminton player as a sudden and intense pain caused mainly in the leg area due to major loss of fluid, overheating of the muscle and fatigue. Although the suddenness of a cramp could warrant it to be placed in the “acute injury” category, it is considered to be a chronic injury, since it happens after playing badminton for a long time.

Abrasions and blisters- Common yet less malignant as compared to the rest of the above-mentioned conditions, abrasions occur mostly on the hands and knees due to direct contact with hard surfaces when the player falls or scratches himself. Blisters occur due to pus or fluid formation under the skin caused by extended periods of gripping a racquet, an abrasion not being cleaned or healed properly and heels or toes being continually encased in shoes or being in direct contact with a hard surface for long periods.

Prevention and cure:

It would be wise to adhere to the oft heard rule in the exercise arena “You don’t get fit to play a sport, you play a sport to get fit!” Therefore it is advisable for badminton players of all ages and levels to take a few important pre-game precautionary measures, which include but are not limited to increasing fitness levels, better nutrition, decreasing weight, getting the proper shoes, grips and other attire, warming-up before playing and improving playing technique.

One cannot stress enough the importance of a good warm-up session before and cool-down session after a heavy game of badminton. A typical warm-up should include about 5-10 minutes of gentle jogging , spot walking or skipping, followed by short stretches of 30 seconds each, slightly longer stretches on the tighter muscles ending with stretches for certain individual muscle groups like shoulder, hamstring etc. If the player wishes, he/she may also follow this with certain specific exercise drills such as push-ups, sit-ups and the like. Stretching releases tension within muscles, allows freer movement and circulation and not only prepares the body for heavy-duty badminton, but also the mind. Begin the game with around 5-20 minutes of gentle shots with your partner and then gradually increase the pace and tempo of your game. Ideally one must end a game with cool down exercises and stretches too.

Shoes and grips especially are of utmost importance in preventing ankle and elbow injuries respectively. Gripping a racquet too hard or long can bring on a Tennis Elbow, while wearing heavy grip non-supportive shoes cause ankle sprains and Achilles Tendonitis.

To prevent elbow issues, take extra care to buy a good quality racquet which fits precisely into the palm of your hand. Turn your racquet into a powerful, injury-preventing instrument by adding more grip to the handle, taking care not to add too much to disrupt the racquet balance. For those of you, who already have suffered from Tennis Elbows before, it would make sense to wear a Tennis Elbow Compression Strap, which works by reducing tension on the elbow tendons.

Badminton requires the player to slide across the court and hence it would be a good idea to get shoes which have a good arch support, shock absorbers to prevent injury to the ankle, heel cups to keep the heel protected and special soles which do not provide much room for friction with the ground below. Take care to buy a shoe which has a combination of these qualities in order to be assured of all rounded protection. Never wear jogging or basketball shoes for your badminton game and make sure you keep a pair of good badminton shoes aside meant solely for badminton.

A few other recommended products for badminton injuries include orthotics and insoles, knee and Achilles straps, ankle braces, shoulder supports and blister socks.

To prevent eye injuries, many research scientists recommend that certified plastic polycarbonate glasses be worn by beginners and experienced badminton players alike.

Lastly, as a generic rule, make sure you are always well stocked up on water or isotonic sports drinks, especially while playing badminton in hot weather, since like all other sports, badminton too tends to sap the fluids and cause dehydration.

When a badminton injury has already happened, quick and correct procedures are essential for a speedy cure. In case of acute injuries like sudden sprains, strains and tears, the first step towards healing is correct diagnosis. This must be followed by the rest, ice, compression and elevation protocol which is absolutely necessary for recovery. Special care must be taken to keep weight off the injured area and lengthy periods of rehabilitation are a must. In case of a sprained ankle a removable plastic cast walker may be necessary to provide the required support. Tennis Elbows can usually be alleviated by rest and ice therapy, but in the more severe cases, pain relief and anti inflammatory medication and sometimes corticosteroid injections are required. Golfer’s Elbow on the other hand is usually treated with tape, elbow guards, manual therapy and stretching. When Achilles Tendonitis occurs, ice packs are normally helpful, but a minimum rest period of three months is required for the body to produce the collagen tissue in order to repair the injured tendon.

Sounds scary? It doesn’t have to be! Badminton can continue to be a fun sport for all those who have even a smidgen of interest in it. The fear of injury need not come into the picture at all, if the necessary precautions are taken and if players choose to keep themselves intelligently informed about the protocols to be followed- in case of injury.

Keep the shuttlecock flying fearlessly and treat yourself to a great injury-free badminton blast!

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