Tennis is particularly strenuous sport, which requires prolonged and repetitive exertion. Although this can be very rewarding, without proper technique, Tennis can be the cause of numerous health issues.
Whether you are an amateur or a professional sports person, it is helpful to be aware of the types of Tennis injury you might acquire and their causes, so that you can avoid the common pitfalls and any unnecessary obstacles to your game.
Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of Tennis injury:
Types Of Tennis Injury – Overuse Injuries
⅔ ‘s of Tennis Injuries are due to overuse. These kind of injuries are caused by repetitive trauma and typically affect a muscle or joint, in Tennis often in the upper limbs at the elbow, shoulder or wrist.
The most well known overuse injury associated with this sport is Tennis Elbow, about which I have written in the past, although ironically this is not particularly common for Tennis players.
These upper limb injuries are often due to high-velocity repetitive movements associated with racquet swings. Although Tennis overuse injuries rarely require hospitalisation, they can greatly interfere with participation in sport and may take considerable time to fully resolve.
How to Prevent Overuse Injuries
The two central ways to prevent a Tennis overuse injury are:
- Warm Up – gradually build to your level of activity over time. This includes both warming up and stretching pre and post game on the day, as well as increasing activity over a longer term. This will allow time for your body to acclimate to the stresses and will reduce health risks.
- Equipment Selection – The appropriate racquet will be determined by your size, experience and style of play. If you are an avid player or starting to take up the sport, it may be advisable to discuss this with a sports and exercise consultant or professional coach.
Types Of Tennis Injury – Acute Injuries
⅓ of Tennis Injuries relate to trauma or acute impact. These typically affect the lower limbs, especially at the knee, ankle and thighs.
Typically an acute injury will affect the ligaments, muscles or bones and result from a single trauma. Many Tennis movements can cause this, including:
- Jarring movements
Most people are familiar with acute injuries, which include sprains, breaks, fractures and muscle tears. These can be severely detrimental to your game in the long run and more commonly require emergency care. A sprain or break can permanently affect your balance, agility or strength and should not be ignored.
How to Prevent Acute Injuries
Acute injuries are much harder to prevent, as they are often quite sudden and relate to an unintentional movement. However, there are some key things to consider when training that can decrease your chances of acquiring an acute injury:
- Build Up Strength and Control – avoid high impact or excessive motions until you have a sensible degree of habitual activity and are maintaining good strength. This will mean your joints and muscles are ready to deal with the stresses required and you are less likely to sprain or tear your body tissues.
- The Right Equipment – consider using sportswear that supports your frame and movements, so you are less reliant on your body. These often take the form of orthopaedic shoes or bespoke orthotics, which can stabilise and reinforce the way you move.
- Acquire Good Technique – speak to a coach or sports and exercise consultant to make sure you fully understand the movements and biomechanics involved in Tennis.
Get Professional Advice
If you are unsure about how to plan and train for your game there are professionals who can help you.
At my practice, I work closely with an expert team of medical and complementary healthcare practitioners, who I trust to care and make a difference for my patients, including:
- Gait Specialists
If you have any further questions or would like to book in, please do get in touch:
Tel. 07540 123 227
Address. 27 Harley Street, London, W1G 9QP