Common Tennis Injuries!
Fall tennis season will be here before you know it. While tennis is an exhilarating game for players and fans alike, many do not realize the extent of injuries that can be caused by playing this sport. Tennis injuries are extremely common, even for the pros.
Learning how to identify, prevent, and heal tennis injuries is crucial if you want your game to be safe and successful. Here are some tips to keep you on the court or get you swinging again!
Preventing tennis injuries requires just a few simple techniques that can be worked into any tennis player’s training routine. Following these tips will significantly reduce the risk of injury:
- Dynamic Warmup: Flexibility is important to every tennis player’s performance, and it is often overlooked. namic stretching program prior to competition accomplishes the warm up goals of increased body temperature, range of motion, and agility without any negative effects on performance. In fact, some research shows a positive impact of a dynamic warm up on performance. A dynamic stretching program prior to competition accomplishes the warm up goals of increased body temperature, range of motion, and agility without any negative effects on performance. In fact, some research shows a positive impact of a dynamic warm up on performance.
- Train Off the Court: Many tennis players, and athletes in general, believe that the exercise and skills they are practicing on the court are sufficient to reach their top performance. In reality, without training off the court, many tennis players cannot become well-rounded, strong athletes, which could result in major injuries during a game.
- **Tip: Functional movement training, which includes lunging, sprinting, and weight transfer, and balance training are important types of conditioning that players should engage in outside of tennis. This training will help their footwork, core rotation, and ability to reach for tennis balls coming their way.
- Pick the Right Racquet and Shoes: Injuries in tennis are commonly caused by not using the correct equipment. Additionally, many players avoid buying tennis shoes, and use running shoes as an alternative. Tennis players need a shoe that supports the foot during the quick side-to-side movements or shifts in weight associated with the game. Buy a shoe that provides stability on the inside and outside of the foot and has ample flexibility in the sole beneath the ball of the foot.There are a few injuries in particular that most commonly affect tennis players. Always remember that if you experience one of these injuries during or after the game, you should never play through the pain. Instead, treat it properly and get back on the court when it is fully healed!
- Common Injuries and Healing Them
- If a tennis player’s racquet does not have the correct grip or the strings are too tight, tennis elbow, among other injuries, could result. Our team of Trainers and Physical Therapist advise players to “choose a grip size/racket that is comfortable. A grip that is too large will force you to squeeze the racket more tightly and tire your arm. At the opposite extreme, a small grip may cause you to whip the racket and eventually cause arm or elbow problems. Always give your racket a test run prior to playing a full match.”
- Rotator Cuff Tendinitis: Rotator cuff tendinitis occurs in the muscles that start at the shoulder blade and connect to the upper arm bone. This injury is often caused in tennis by excessive overhead serving. It can be recognized by experiencing pain when the arm is raised over the head. If you notice this pain, first try to ice the affected area. If after a week the pain is still present, contact your physical therapist to discuss further steps toward recovery.
- **Tip: Many incidents of Rotator Cuff Tendinitis are caused by serving with the arm at 90 degrees. Instead, tennis players should aim at holding their arm at about 135 degrees when serving, which will minimize the chance of injury.
- Tennis Elbow: Improper backhand technique can often result in tennis elbow. Buying the proper tennis racquet can decrease the risk of this injury. However, if there is still pain present in the elbow, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is a great way to heal it. If the injury does not improve over time, seek medical advice. Typically, physical therapy can also help tennis players rehabilitate the area and get back on the court.
- **Tip: Do not hesitate to let someone, such as a coach or an athletic trainer, know when you are feeling pain. They should be able to provide you with the correct tips and exercises to avoid the problem.
- Lower Back Pain: Lower back pain is caused by running, jumping, and twisting while playing tennis.
- **Tip: Try to avoid asphalt and synthetic courts and play on a grass or clay court instead. Seek medical advice, or speak with a physical therapist if pain persists, and try a soft tissue massage to release tension in the lower back.
Following these simple tips will help keep you injury-free as you step onto the court. If you DO experience pain or injury while playing, Naples Personal Training can provide you with a rehabilitation program to get you back in the game as soon as possible