Since the sport of tennis demands speed, agility, power, and aerobic fitness from participants, it’s not uncommon for players to suffer from a variety of injuries. One way to reduce the chance of an injury is to understand exactly why and how they occur. We’ll take a look at some of the most common tennis injuries and explain how physiotherapy can help you get back on the court as soon as possible. Many injuries are the result of repetition as essential joints, tendons, and muscle groups are often overused. Other injuries are often caused by acute incidents or specific trauma. Overuse injuries generally affect the arms, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, rotator cuffs, lower back, and/or ankles because of constant pivoting and direction changes.
Probably the most infamous injury in the sport is tennis elbow, which is technically known as lateral epicondylitis. This injury is the result of inflamed forearm tendons close to the elbow. The tendon tissue is typically damaged from constantly gripping the racquet.
Strains and Stress Fractures
Stress fractures and muscle and ligament strains aren’t restricted to tennis players as they’re common in most sports. It’s common for the muscles to tire and wear down from overexertion and this places more stress on other areas of the body. A muscle can strain due to a quick and/or sudden movement on the court and can usually be treated with rest, ice compression, and elevation, which is known as the RICE principle. If the muscle tear or strain doesn’t respond to RICE, its recommended that you visit a medical professional for advice, including a physiotherapist.
At Spectrum Physiotherapy we can help by improving your endurance, balance, agility, flexibility, mobility, and strength through specific exercise programs such as isometric exercises. These exercises are designed to help the muscles build up a load tolerance tiring the muscles or causing pain. Our team of experienced therapists can also analyze and help improve your tennis technique to cut down on injuries. We’ll be able to show you how to make sure your individual joints aren’t being overloaded or overused. It’s important to fully and properly rehabilitate after a tennis injury to make sure there’s no recurrence of it.
We’ll be able to correctly diagnose your medical condition and create a unique and personalized rehabilitation program which is designed specifically for you. Your joints and soft tissues will be examined and we’ll be able to help relieve the tightness, stiffness, and pain. Some of the hands-on techniques which may be used include RICE, acupuncture, taping, strapping, massage, strengthening exercises, stretching, yoga, medication, orthotics, ultrasound, and TENS machines etc. As well as treating your injury, we’ll be able to offer advice on the type of tennis equipment you should be using.
For instance, the type of racquet used and the string tension should be suitable for your size, experience, and style of play. You also need to make sure you’re wearing the right type of footwear for the courts you play on. If you’re feet don’t properly grip the surface you could easily suffer a lower-body such as a strain, sprain, tear or fracture. In some instances it may be recommended that you perform exercises to correct your foot arch or wear orthotics. Some players should also learn how to brace or tape certain areas of their body to help reduce the chance of a joint injury. Remember, that the proper preparation for tennis is important. You should always stretch, warm up and cool down and maintain an adequate level of fitness.
Like all other sports, you can basically suffer any type of injury while playing tennis as the possibilities are endless. Your goal is to then have it properly diagnosed and treated to you can return to your normal activities. You may have a common or uncommon tennis injury, but whatever it is, our team of therapists at Spectrum Physiotherapy of Newmarket will help you fully rehabilitate and have you back on the court as quickly as possible.