Tennis is an impact sport and is particularly prone to players developing muscle related injuries when participating.
Complex muscle groups and combinations are used in rapid spurts and bursts. It is little wonder that tears, pulls and rips occur when playing. Also a high number of overuse injuries also tend to occur such as tennis elbow or wrist injuries.
A big problem is either improper or inadequate physical training and warm-up exercises. Most overuse injuries can almost be eliminated with the correct training or the change of technique.
The four main injury groups from playing tennis are; Tennis Elbow, Shoulder Injuries, Stress Fractures and Muscle Strains.
Tennis Elbow is an overuse injury of the muscles that are used to bend and extend the wrist. The muscle is often most used when the ball impacts the racket.
To eliminate the problem you need to strengthen the muscles, this can be done by specific exercise and proper warm-up exercises. Proper technique must also be practised during a match together with attention to the equipment that you are using, particularly the racket and the grip.
This is mostly due to poor physical condition even though it is mainly an overuse injury. It is caused by lack of strength of the rotator cuff muscles that surround and support the shoulder, and ensure the position of the shoulder properly in it’s socket.
When the muscles are tired or weak there is sometimes increased play of the ball in the socket causing irritation of the tissue and pain.
A simple exercise of regularly extending the wrist against light resistance with an elastic band will help reduce occurrence of the injury and reduce the pain.
It is a fact that more amateur or junior players suffer from stress fractures than professional players. This is because these injury types commonly occur when training or playing is increased too rapidly.
When the muscles get too tired then the bone comes more into play and it is then that stress fractures occur. When this happens the bone cannot adjust quickly enough to handle the stress and in severe cases breaks.
Although classed as a break these are actually cracks but can give severe pain and discomfort. These fractures occur in the tibia or fibula (leg) and the navicular or metatarsals (feet).
To avoid this happening then a strict training regime must be undertaken with particular attention given to building up strength. Not just playing tennis more often as that will exacerbate the injury more.
Pay particular attention to your sports shoes if this is becoming a problem, chose supportive footwear not brand names.
Because of the nature of the sport strains often occur from quick and sudden moves.
Prior to playing, a warm-up is essential and can help to prevent most muscle strains. Pay attention to also include proper stretching exercises as part of the routine.
The best stretches are moving stretches such as swinging your leg as far forward and backward and swinging your arms in circles.
The warm-up should include a slow and steady jog, jumping jacks or a simple bike ride at low intensity.
If you have concerns or persistent problems then speak to a sports medicine professional or a qualified trainer.
The team of professional coaches at Tennis World Rushcutters Bay will be delighted to provide you with a training plan that will help to alleviate most of the common injuries.
To find out more and to book your court, contact our friendly team today!