Research has shown that there are around 54 injuries per 1000 tennis matches played. Whether you are a recreational club player or an aspiring junior please read what you can do below to avoid the Top 5!
1. Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is an inflammation and often degeneration of the tendons of the forearm as they attach to the humerus (upper arm) bone. This issue is caused by prolonged gripping activities such as hammering, driving screws, weight lifting, playing certain musical instruments, canoeing, digging in the garden, driving, and of course, racquet sports like tennis. The success of rehabilitation of tennis elbow is dependant on first controlling the inflammation. Depending on the severity of the condition, this may be alleviated simply by rest or with the use of anti-inflammatory medication. Modalities that we will use to reduce the pain may include massage, dry needling, stretching, strengthening, taping and icing at home. A tennis elbow strap can also be a useful aid. A progressive eccentric strengthening program will be prescribed by your Physio to allow the tendons to adapt to the load.
2. Shoulder Pain
Frequent overuse of the rotator cuff muscles (a group of small muscles responsible for holding the ball in the socket and providing coordinated movement) can lead to shoulder tendon pain, often with an accompanying bursitis. It is essential for tennis players to have good strength and movement co-ordination of the ball and socket joint and the scapulo-thoracic joints that make up the shoulder complex.
3. Calf Strain
The older we get the more prevalent these become and a good one can put you out for up to 6 weeks. The good news is that there are plenty of things, usually strength related, that you can do to prevent injury and even improve your court speed. Get your calf strength and length assessed by us and we’ll let you know where you need to be to reduce your risk of injury.
4. Sprained Ankle
Research has shown the injury incidence in people with taped ankles was 4.9 ankle sprains per 1000 participant matches, compared with 2.6 ankle sprains per 1000 participant matches in students wearing ankle braces. This compared with 32.8 ankle sprains per 1000 participant matches in subjects that had no taping or bracing. If you would like to have your ankle taped pre tennis or be taught the most effective taping technique please contact us. We are also full of great rehab ideas to prevent recurrence.
5. Lumbar Spine Stress Fracture.
A stress fracture of the back, or lumbar spine, is one of the more common bone injuries in young tennis players. Lower back stress fractures are usually characterised by an ache in the lower back which is exacerbated by sporting activities and eased by rest. If a lower back stress fracture is suspected, a Specialist will be involved and appropriate imaging requested to confirm diagnosis. An extended period of rest and a comprehensive rehab program will be developed by your Physio. Take home message: if you are a young tennis player with recurrent low back pain, get it seen to early to avoid a prolonged forced rest period.
We hope that all the tennis lovers out there have got something out of this and have enjoyed the Rafa, Novak and Federer show for another year!