Tennis is a very enjoyable game to play, however some of the shots and movements in the game can be very repetitive causing them to have a toll on the health of your joints and muscles. If you take your tennis seriously and train regularly then it is very important that you look after and maintain your body as best possible.
Common injuries can include:
- Elbow injuries – tennis elbow is a very common injury which is caused through an over extension or extra pressure at the lateral epicondyle, thus causing pain on the outer side of the elbow.
- Lower back injuries – lower back injuries are more common in people with a history of lower back problems. The most common lower back injuries include disc herniation and muscle strains. These can be from bending down to pick up the ball, awkward movements and twisting motion during shots or reaches.
- Muscle strains – these can include injuries in the calves, hamstrings, quads, hips, lower back and upper body too. These can largely be avoided by warming up before hitting any balls and cooling down and stretching afterwards.
- Ankle - due to the constant back and forth movement across the court, this can put the ankles under pressure causing muscle strain and ligament sprains.
- Shin splints – the fast-paced nature of the game, with sudden stops and starts, can cause damage to the muscles attaching to the front of your tibia (lower leg), causing pain and localised swelling.
The main causes of tennis related injuries are:
- Poor technique
- Weak muscles
- Spinal misalignments
- Not warming up properly
- Inadequate equipment (using incorrect shoes or wrong sized racket)
- Previous injuries
- Trauma – from falls, bumps and slips
Symptoms of tennis injuries include:
- Back pain
- Joint Pain
- Leg pain
- Muscle spasms
How to avoid these injuries:
- A good fitness regime to strengthen your core muscles and improve your overall fitness level.
- An efficient warm-up and stretching routine to prepare you muscles before hitting any balls. This will lower the chance of straining your muscles.
- Get some lessons! Even if you are an experienced player, it can be easy to fall into bad habits. A tennis coach will pick up any flaws in your technique and recommend ways in which you can improve your game.
- Chiropractic care to maintain your spinal health.
Many tennis injuries respond very well to Chiropractic adjustments which aim to encourage efficient joint motion, increase flexibility, reduce muscle tightness and improve alignment.