Starting your Tennis Routine in 2015: Common Injuries to be Cautious
January 14th, 2015
by Do It Tennis
filed in Tennis Lifestyle
You are on the top of your game, playing tournament after tournament and spending hours on the court. You are making a comeback until suddenly, what’s that ache nagging you in your arm/calf/ hamstring? You’ve got an injury. What do you do now?
Most tennis players at least once in their tennis lifetime have the unfortunate experience of being injured. Although everybody reacts differently to physical activities there are a few injuries that are more common than others. Perhaps the most commonly talked about injury in tennis is Lateral Epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow. Tennis elbow occurs on the outer side of the forearm near the elbow. This pain can be uncomfortable and may even require a break from your tennis playing. This injury is caused by overuse, so a break from playing tennis may be what you need to recover. Additionally, icing and compression, and even a counter pressure brace, can help with the pain. Other injuries are common simply due to the nature of the game. Injuries to the lower extremities such as hamstring, quad, calf, and shin are due to the stop and go sliding movement tennis players often experience in their practice. Ankle instability is also common from the pivoting; and knee pain is quite common from the pounding on the ground. This is why both proper tennis shoe type and tennis shoe size are very important. Furthermore, an insole to provide arch support or even just cushion to absorb some of the shock is very important. Back injuries are another common injury from the rotating and twisting motion of the torso from ground strokes, as well as the extending and flexing involved in serves, making engaging and strengthening your core necessary for preventing these injuries. Upper body injuries such as wrist, shoulder and elbow are caused by the force and weight of the impact every time the tennis ball hits the racquet. Bad form and over use can also cause all of these injuries.
The use of “R.I.C.E”, also known as Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, can help you recover more quickly from these injuries. Rest is crucial to overuse-injuries, and can speed up the recovery process. Ice will help with the pain and inflammation and should be done for about 15 minutes off-and-on. Compression will also help with the inflammation and increase blood flow to the injured area, further aiding the healing process. Compression cuts down on the pain and muscle fatigue. Elevation will decrease swelling and increase blood flow back to the heart which in turn also speeds up recovery. Besides using R.I.C.E, there are also other methods to preventing injuries. Changing your mechanics with the instruction of a tennis coach or physical therapist can be very helpful, as well as having the proper tennis racquets and other equipment, for your type of play and needs can be invaluable.
Stop by your local tennis shop for expert advice that can make the difference between a long successful tennis season and a short painful one.