Introduction Tennis is not a contact sport but it has its share of injuries caused mostly by overuse and repetitive actions and motions of the players. Common Injuries
Tennis Elbow Inflammation of the tendons that attaches the forearms to the outside of the elbow, leads to Lateral Epicondylitis. This is due to the overuse of the elbow causing symptoms like pain on the outside of the elbow with weak grip strength.
Shoulder injuries The tennis strokes, especially the serve cause repeated stress on the shoulders and cause:
Rotator Cuff Tears Frequent overuse leads to the tears and inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and cause pain when arm is raised. The bursa, a fluid filled sac, gets impinged between the muscles and the shoulder bones and cause the inflammation.
Throwers shoulder syndrome and Postro superior labral tears – are common in tennis and other over head sports
Para Labral cyst –is a silent disease wherea cyst compressing on the nerve root makes the shoulder muscle week
Back Stress Fractures This occurs due to the combination of hyperextension, back bending, side bending and trunk rotation, putting a stress on the lower back vertebrae and causing a fracture in the Pars Interarticularis vertebrae. This can further lead to Spondylolisthesis.
Jumper’s Knee Repetitive jumping puts excess strain on the patellar tendon, which attaches the kneecap to the shinbone and helps in leg motion and supporting weight, causing tears and injury to this tendon, leading to Patellar Tendonitis. Pain and swelling of the kneecap are the symptoms.
Ankle Sprains Rolling of ankle with sole of foot turns inward leads to ligament tear on outside of ankle which might cause bleeding within the tissues with a painful swelling around the ankle.
Calf Strain The calf muscle group situated at the back of the lower leg helps in the push-off action as it pulls up the heel bone. When the muscle is overstretched, a strain occurs resulting in tearing of the muscles.
The constant sprinting, stopping, pivoting, jarring and pounding during a match leads to most of the lower limb injuries, like ankle sprain and knee tendonitis.
Tennis also requires high-velocity and repetitive arm motions that lead to injuries to the upper limbs, elbows, shoulders and wrists.
Rotating the body to hit groundstrokes cause back pain.
Combination of rotation, extension and lateral flexion involved while serving is another cause for back injuries and pain.
Poor physical state of player
The playing conditions are also responsible for injuries, like:
Different court surfaces
Conditions of the tennis balls
Types of tennis racquets
Improper Tennis technique
Proper tennis gear, which includes the shoes, age appropriate racquets etc.
Develop good technique.
Proper warm-ups and cool-downs at the start and end of play.
Strengthening exercises for the core and shoulders help in preventing injuries.
Take adequate rests and avoid over-exerting.
Perform foot arch correction exercises for the ones who require it.