Tennis Tips To Avoid Injury
Though it’s not as high-impact as other sports, tennis is still a physically demanding activity. Because of the constant and swift repetitive motions that the sport requires, tennis injuries, especially musculoskeletal ones, often occur. Below are some common injuries of the sport and how to avoid them.
Common Tennis Injuries
Also known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow involves the inflammation of the tendons connecting the outside elbow and the forearm muscles. Most of the time, tennis elbow occurs after overworking or overusing the elbow. You may experience tennis elbow if common forearm activities are painful, you have pain or burning on the outside of your elbow, or if your overall grip strength is weakened.
Tears in the rotator cuff
Four muscles and tendons meet in your shoulder to provide stability and mobility in what’s known as the rotator cuff. If you overwork or overuse your shoulders, your rotator cuff can gradually tear and cause pain or weakness in your shoulder. You can also struggle to lift your arm or experience cracking noises when your shoulder moves.
Back stress fractures
Playing tennis requires many rapid twisting and swinging movements. The hyperextending, bending, and rotating places stress on your lower back and can fracture the portion of the vertebrae (pars interarticularis) or shift the vertebrae forward (spondylolisthesis). While stress fractures aren’t always too serious, you may experience more pain with more wear and tear.
Also known as patellar tendonitis, this tennis injury happens when too much strain causes tears and damage on the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone. Swelling and pain are the most common symptoms and common leg movements, such as jumping, walking, or kneeling, can cause more pain.
One of the most common athlete injuries, a sprained ankle happens when the ankle twists or stretches out to the point of damaging an ankle ligament. Pain, stiffness, bruising, and swelling are common symptoms.
How To Prevent Tennis Injuries
Invest in the right gear
Proper equipment can make a difference in both your game and health. Supportive tennis shoes reduce your chance at sprained ankles, tennis socks give you more foot padding, and a racquet with the proper grip size and string tension can reduce elbow and shoulder stress.
Be mindful of your technique
Do you arch your back too much when you serve? Are you bending your knees and raising your heels to balance your upper body? Proper technique can not only improve your gameplay but can place less stress on your body and prevent injuries from occurring.
Train and warm up
What you do before you play can help you not get hurt on the court. Warming up your muscles, stretching and exercising, or strengthening your core and shoulders are a few ways you can prevent serious tennis injuries.
Don’t overwork yourself
While you might want to train hard to be a better tennis athlete, remember rest is as important as practice. If you don’t take breaks, your body won’t recover and the overexertion can cause serious harm.
How To Recover from Tennis Injuries
If you’ve dealt with a serious tennis injury, the professionals at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine can help you recover and regain mobility. Our experienced sports medicine team will soon have you back on your feet and performing everyday activities free of pain. Please request an appointment online or give us a call at 904-825-0540.
Albert Volk, MD
Board certifications in Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Dr. Volk specializes in an all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repair of the shoulder.
Casey McClone, MD
Board Certifications in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. McClone specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain for patients of all ages with ultra-sound guided injections.