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Common Foot Injuries in Tennis Players

November 5th, 2015 by Do It Tennis

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Common Foot Injuries for Tennis Players

As a tennis player you are on your feet a lot. This means you’re more prone to suffering a foot injury. Some foot injuries are very common to tennis players. Here are some of those common ones and ways to help prevent them.

Heel spur: Heel spurs are calcium buildups under the heel from the straining and stretching of the plantar fascia. It happens over time and is common in athletes that are pounding on their feet a lot. Thus, tennis players are likely to get it because of the pounding on the court. You may also be at risk for heel spurs if you are wearing shoes that don’t fit or aren’t supportive enough.

• You can help prevent heel spurs by wearing shoes that fit properly, warming up and pacing yourself during your activity.

Stress Frecture: Stress fractures are another kryptonite to tennis players. It is a typical over-use injury that can occur from years of wear and tear. It can be caused by muscle overload, when your muscles are so fatigued they are unable to protect and absorb the shock. In time, that overload can cause a small crack in your bone and lead to lots of pain (and time off the tennis court). Stress fractures commonly occur when you increase your activity levels suddenly or if you introduce a new surface to your routine. With a stress fracture you will feel pain while doing your activity but then the pain will go away when you rest. To find out for sure there are many tests out there that can help diagnose it.

• The best way to prevent stress fractures is to make sure you ease your way into - or back into - a sport. Pace yourself and start off slow with new sports. Cross training can help to keep your body moving without overdoing it in just one sport. Allow your body to rest if you are having any pain or swelling.

Tennis toe: Some tennis players suffer the nagging injury of tennis toe. It’s when blood pools under the big toe toenail. This can be uncomfortable and cause pressure while playing. Wearing the wrong-sized tennis shoes can cause this discomfort if there is friction with the toenail and the tennis shoe.

• The main way to prevent this injury is to keep your toenails short so there isn’t any extra rubbing and make sure your tennis shoes fit. A toe cap can help protect your toenail. It acts as a protective layer and will reduce friction against your toenails and keep the blood from pooling and causing pressure. You could also tape your big toe and second toe together as an extra precaution.

Ankle sprains: Ankle sprains are also very common in tennis players. Ankle sprains are stretching and tearing of ligaments in the ankle. It can happen on the outside of the ankle, which is more common, or on the inside, which is less common. This injury is caused by your foot rolling under your body. Some sprains are worse than others based on the degree of tear, and amount of blood and bruising. People commonly suffer sprains from playing tennis, and some tennis players are more predisposed to spraining their ankle due to instability or weak muscles. The most unpleasant part of having a sprain is that they can easily return, and since they can take some time to heal you could be off the tennis court for a while.

Best treatment is the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

• To prevent suffering ankle sprains make sure to wear supportive tennis shoes and work on coordination and balance. Stretch your ankles to increase flexibility and do specific exercises to strengthen them. If you have had a sprained ankle in the past, it may be a good idea to tape your ankles or wear an ankle brace to help your ankle stay stable while your playing. 

There are so many factors that can have a part in causing an injury. Practice good habits to help avoid these injuries. Make sure that you are wearing the proper-sized tennis shoes and warming up before you workout or play a match. If you do suffer an injury, make sure you take the proper precautions to do what you need to recover and get back to playing tennis. Most importantly rest when you need to rest!