Tennis is fast, fun and thrilling. It can also be a shock to the arms and shoulders as well as the lower back and legs. Here is a look at the common injuries in the game.
Strain on the tendons of the long forearm extensors is so common they named the injury after it! The long tendons are put under a great amount of force when the racquet is gripped. After time they become irritated and inflammed. This can become a chronic issue. Treatment varies from massage, ultrasound and taping to corticosteroid injection and sometimes surgery.
Fatigue of the game can result in the player losing “form” and letting the shoulders slouch forwards, particularly when anticipating a serve. The head of the humerus (arm bone) slides forwards and squeezes the rotator cuff muscles (which stabilise the shoulder joint). This is another injury, which can become quite chronic and haunt the patient on and off. Treatment involves calming the tendon with ice / ultrasound / mobilization then postural correction to encourage better positioning of the shoulder joint.
Another eponymously named injury! This occurs in the inner tendon of the calf muscle, near the knee joint. Tennis involves very fast, sudden sprinting moves throughout the game, from side to side. Sometime the muscle contracts so ferociously that it pulls away from the less elastic tendon, causing a small tear and a lot of inflammation. If treated immediately with ice, rest and appropriate taping this can heal relatively quickly but this is dependent on the size of the tear.
Other injuries include hamstring strain, lower back muscular and disc strains and wry neck. The key to avoiding injury is with an appropriate warm up, working on both strength and mobility alongside enjoying playing the game.
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