As with every sport there are certain injuries that are more common in playing one game rather than another.
Obviously because tennis is a stop and start and very much an impact game then strains and muscle pulls are common.
Tennis is a complex sport requiring hand-eye coordination and full body participation to run, swing and hit. Because of these demands, endurance, flexibility and muscle-conditioning exercises are important to prevent injuries.
Amongst some of the more mainstream tennis injuries are listed below;
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
The rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons that originate from the shoulder blade and attach to the upper arm bone. These muscles and tendons allow the shoulder to move in many directions.
As a result of overuse, you can develop tendinitis, or inflammation of the tendons. Rotator cuff tendinitis in recreational players usually results in excessive overhead serving. This is more likely to occur if you you hold your arm at a 90-degree angle from your side while you are serving.
Treatment for this condition is rest, ice and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Tennis elbow, or lateral humeral epicondylitis, is a painful condition caused by inflammation or small tears of the forearm muscles and tendons on the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow is caused by overloading the forearm muscles due to faulty backhand technique.
Poor racket selection and grip size can help the problem.
Treatment of this condition involves rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) and perhaps NSAID’s .
Wrist strains seem to be related to the laid-back grip position, rotating the palm upward and quickly turning your wrist over as you hit the ball in order to achieve topspin. The best grip position for preventing wrist and elbow injuries is the hand-shake grip, with the racket making an L position with the forearm.
Back Pain seems to be related to an exaggerated arched, or swaybacked, posture used for power production during service strokes. This exaggerated position stresses the small joints and soft tissues of the spine.
A conditioning program designed to strengthen abdominal and back muscles and to increase flexibility can minimize pain.
The most common knee problem in tennis players is the front of the knee. This is due to chondromalacia (softening of cartilage) of the knee cap or tendinitis. This is thought to be related to the spring up action of the knees when serving.
The treatment usually involves RICE, but frequently needs to be complemented with NSAID’s and a short-arc knee strengthening program.
Calf and Achilles Tendon Injuries
The common underlying cause in both calf muscle and Achilles tendon injuries is a tight calf muscle-Achilles tendon unit. This muscle-tendon unit crosses both the knee and the ankle. You can tell your calf muscle-tendon complex is tight if you cannot raise the ball of your foot higher than the heel of that foot with the leg extended.
Treatment can consist of casting or surgery, but surgery is recommended for most.
Whether you choose to play tennis for enjoyment or just to get fit, we hope that you can steer clear of some of the more serious injuries.