Common Tennis Injuries

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Common Tennis Injuries

While the game of tennis has always been more injury-prone, there is very little awareness knowledge about injuries and stress-related issues. Here we take a look at various tennis injuries and its preventions.

Per the NHS, sports injuries can be caused by:

- An accident, such as a fall or heavy blow.

- Not warming up properly before exercising.

- Using inappropriate equipment or poor technique.

- Pushing yourself too hard. 

Almost any part of the body can be injured, including the muscles, bones, joints and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments.) It is the ankles and knees that are particularly prone to injury. Well, with tennis-fever striking ahead of Roland Garros 2018 it is important to understand common tennis injuries and fitting ways to prevent them.

Common Tennis Injuries

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow refers to the inflammation of the tendons joining the forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow. Often the result of overuse, this condition can occur in non-athletes but is most common in athletes who play tennis and other racquet sports. Symptoms can include: pain or a burning sensation on the outside of the elbow and weak grip strength. You may find the symptoms are worse with forearm activity. 

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff comprises of four muscles and tendons that come together to provide stability and mobility to the shoulder. Tears in this area can form due to overuse, but can also be triggered by an acute injury.  Symptoms can include: pain, tenderness, and weakness in the shoulder; plus, difficulty in lifting the arm and snapping/cracking noises while moving.

Stress Fracture in the Back

Stress fractures are a common tennis injury, as the sport requires a combination of hyperextension or bending the back, side-bending and rotation of the trunk. This motion puts stress on the vertebrae and can cause a fracture to form. It’s important to note: stress fractures are not always painful, but can result in lower back pain which worsens with activity. 

Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)

The patellar tendon attaches the kneecap to the shinbone and aids in the movement of the leg. It also helps to support weight when walking and jumping. A key part of tennis, repetitive jumping can place excessive strain on the tendon, causing microscopic tears and injury. Symptoms can include: pain, swelling and often the area feels warm to the touch. 

Ankle Sprain

As tennis is a fast-paced game, it is very common for players to experience ankle sprains. A sudden sideways motion can cause the ankle to twist, stretching out or damaging one of the ligaments in the ankle. Symptoms can include: pain, stiffness, and swelling. Bruising can also occur. 

How to Prevent Tennis Injury

Size Up

Ensure that you buy the right-sized tennis shoe, with added support to prevent ankle injury. Select a racquet with the correct grip size and string tension to suit your shape and movement. Pay attention to the size and weight of your racquet and if you’re unsure, ask a professional. It’s important to match your tennis equipment to your needs and skillset

Technique

Always pay attention to your technique. Try to minimise how much you arch your back when serving and balance your upper body weight by bending your knees and raising your heels. When jumping, attempt to land flat rather than on the balls of your feet. Lost? Try working with an instructor to refine your skills. 

Warm-Up

A good, thorough warm-up before a game can help to lessen your chance of injury. To prevent injury from serving, core shoulder-strengthening exercises will help and will also improve your technique. 

Take a Break

Sure, practise makes perfect – but don’t overdo it. Your body needs time to recover between practice sessions and matches, and overexertion can affect both how well you play and how susceptible you are to injury.

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