common injuries of tennis
The ball goes up and the arm goes back and bends. Then the arm straightens while going up. The arm lurches forward and hits the ball across the court. The body leans forward as the arm follows through. All of these movements take place in a few seconds. A voice says, “You try now.” Your arm goes through the same motions. The ball lingers by the net and drops down right in front of the net. You’re disappointed. You try again, this time it goes over the net to the other side. You’re joyful and happy and grateful all at the same time. This is the far, far beginning of the turnaround. The serve is by far the most difficult tennis skill. It will take years to master but it is one of the most important skills. The serve is the move to begin the game, to “serve” the ball.
Did you know that more than 78,000 tennis-related injuries are treated each year?
When you play tennis you could get injuries to the eyes, neck, shoulders, back, arms, elbows, wrists, hands, and feet.
The yearly incidence of tennis elbow in the general population is 1-3%. Tennis elbow often leads to limitation activities of daily living and absence from work. Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis. It got its name because, obviously, tennis players get it a lot.
It is inflammation or degeneration of the tendon that attaches to the bony bit (lateral epicondyle) on the outside of the arm or elbow. The main tendon involved is that of the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle. Even though the injury is called tendinitis (inflammation of the tendon), a more common occurrence is thought to be tendinosis (degeneration of the tendon).
For treatment, apply ice or cold therapy to the to elbow, rest, wear a brace or support to protect the tendon while healing and strengthening, and have it checked out by a doctor.
Here are some tips to keep you safe:
- always take time to warm up and stretch, warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling or running or walking in place for 3-5 minutes.
- wear tennis shoes with good support to prevent ankle injuries
- for extra support wear two pairs of socks or specially padded tennis socks
- to prevent blisters on your hands, dry your racket handle frequently
- avoid landing on the ball of your foot, which could result in an Achilles tendon injury
- have a first aid kit on hand at facilities and be able to use it
- be prepared for emergency situations and have a plan to reach medical personnel
- before learning a new skill make sure you are properly prepared
- make sure you have proper instruction on how to do new skills
- do not force anyone to do something they don’t want to or can’t do