It is common to see people getting injured while playing tennis. It happens because of the amount of force that is exerted on various areas of your body like feet, shoulders, knees, and wrists. However, you can prevent these injuries with the help of the right gear, technique, and right warm-up. Taking simple precautions can also help in preventing tennis elbow, jumper’s knee, and stress fractures.
Here’s a look at the common tennis injuries and how to prevent them:
- Tennis elbow
Tennis elbow causes inflammation of the tendons, which joins the forearm and outside elbow. Tennis elbow majorly happens from the repeated wrist strain which the players exert while swinging the racket. This happens when a backhand stroke is played without using the right technique.
You can relieve some stress on muscles and tendons in the forearm and elbow by switching to a two-handed backhand stroke. You also need to make sure that the racket is properly fitted. It should not be too big or too tightly strung as well. Using a wrist brace can also help.
- Shoulder injuries
A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons which surround the shoulder joint. It enables multi-directional motion as well as stability. Tennis moves can aggravate these tendons and cause rotator cuff tendinitis. Common symptoms are swelling, pain, inflammation, weakness, and restricted motion.
You should allow the shoulder to rest between the games. Drink sufficient fluids and perform some stretches before and after the game. Application of ice and anti-inflammatory can help the body in recovering. Discuss with the doctor if you suspect rotator cuff injuries and exercises for strengthening the shoulder without affecting existing tendinitis symptoms.
- Stress fractures
These are small cracks in the bone. Tennis players suffer from stress fractures in feet as well as legs because of running and jumping on hard asphalt repeatedly. It can also develop in the lower back due to overhead extensions and bending. The pain flares up during physical activity and leads to swelling, bruising, and tenderness.
You should monitor the intensity of training. It is better to warm up slowly and gradually. Stretch a lot and keep hydrated. Don’t increase intensity suddenly and exert yourself. Strengthen your body by low-impact exercises like swimming and biking. A tennis instructor can help in improving your technique.
- Jumper’s knee
The patellar tendon attaches the kneecap to the shinbone and helps in leg movement. Jumping can put a strain on this tendon and cause pain and swelling. Jumping, kneeling, and going and up and down the stair can lead to severe knee pain.
Jumper’s knee can be prevented by moderating the workout intensity as well as warming up in the right manner. Adding a low-impact workout to the exercise routine can help.
- Ankle sprain
Sprained ankles are a result of the ligament in the ankle stretching too far or getting torn, leading to swelling, pain, and stiffness.
You can avoid ankle sprain by wearing supportive gear. Choose a firm, stable, and well-fitting tennis shoe that has good shock absorption. Put a tape or ankle brace to reduce the amount of strain.
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