Injuries from tennis often occur because players exert a tremendous amount of force in highly concentrated areas of the body such as elbows, shoulders and ankles. Fortunately, with the right technique, you can prevent common tennis injuries.
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a common tennis injury characterized by inflammation of the tendons joining your forearm and outside elbow. While it can occur from many activities, tennis elbow gets its name because of the repeated wrist strain that tennis players exert when they swing a racket—especially during a backhand stroke executed without proper technique.
Switching to a two-handed backhand stroke is one way to relieve some of the stress on the muscles and tendons in the forearm and elbow. Another is to ensure you have a properly fitted and strung racket. If your racket is too big or strung too tightly, you’ll be adding unnecessary strain on your tendons with every swing.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, allowing for multi-directional motion and stability. Tennis moves such as a “slam” or even a standard overhead serve can aggravate these tendons. Symptoms include inflammation, pain, swelling, weakness and restricted motion.
The key to preventing this common tennis injury is allowing your shoulder to rest between games, drinking plenty of fluids and engaging in the right stretches before and after you play. Ice and anti-inflammatories are also helpful post-game to help the body recover.
Sprained ankles occur when a ligament in the ankle is stretched too far or torn, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Ankle sprains are common in many sports, but there are simple ways to reduce your chances of sustaining this injury from tennis.
Ankle sprains can best be avoided by lacing up in proper footwear and wearing supportive gear. You should always select a firm, stable, well-fitting tennis shoe with good shock absorption. Other ways of preventing ankle sprains are to incorporate balance and strength training exercises to your fitness routine.
Common injuries from tennis are preventable with the right kind of preparation and maintenance. Given that the sport continues to attract many players from all different age groups every year, it’s important that experts and novices learn the ins and outs of injury prevention.
If you’ve been injured playing tennis and you want to get back out there, or if you want to learn more about injury prevention, talk to the doctors at ProOrtho. With help from an expert in orthopedic health, you can get personalized advice to help you safeguard the health of your joints, shoulders and back.
Curious about other health, exercise, or pain management tips? Contact the top orthopedic doctors at ProOrtho today. Request an appointment here.