September 2, 2019

What are the most common injuries in tennis?

Exercise | Hand, Wrist and Elbow | Health Tips

This is part of the ultimate guide to sports medicine

Tennis was originally known as lawn tennis; it used to be played on grass courts by Victorian men and women. According to tennisindustry.org, around 17.9 million people play tennis today.

There are four major grand slam tennis tournaments: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open

The U.S. Open starts in late August every year and the best tennis players in the world travel to compete in it. Once again the tournament will be held in Queens, New York like it has been since 1978.

Tennis injuries are common among all ages; even athletes at the highest level experience them. Dr. Andrew Vicar, OrthoIndy sports medicine physician, will discuss how to treat and prevent common tennis injuries.

Read more about understanding and preventing sports injuries in children

What are the most common injuries in tennis?

 “The most common injury I see is a fall or slip, landing on the wrist,” said Dr. Vicar. “This could result in a simple sprain resolving quickly or a fracture requiring the care of an orthopedic surgeon.”

1. Tennis Elbow: This condition is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged (tendinopathy) from overuse and leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.

2. Tennis shoulder injuries: Shoulder impingement, shoulder bursitis or a combination of more than one of these conditions are common in tennis players.

3. Tennis injuries hip: Hip labral tears, hip bursitis, snapping hip syndrome and hip arthritis are just a few of many hip injuries a tennis player may experience.

4. Common tennis injuries wrist: Wrist injuries from tennis can happen from a traumatic event or from chronic repetitive motions and can damage tendons, ligaments, bones and nerves. 

How do you treat tennis injuries?

According to Dr. Vicar, any pain that persists should be evaluated, making it the first step of treatment. Follow the  R.I.C.E technique along with NSAIDs. If symptoms do not improve, schedule an appointment to see a physician.

Your physician will ask you for a complete medical history and when you started experiencing pain, have you describe your symptoms and conduct a physical examination. “If the patient has severe acute pain, they would need X-rays to rule out a fracture,” said Dr. Vicar.

Your physician may recommend physical therapy to improve range of motion and strength. If rest and physical therapy do not relieve the pain, a steroid injection can be helpful. Lastly, if all non-operative pain management techniques don’t work, surgery may be the best option.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A SPORTS MEDICINE PHYSICIAN

How can tennis injuries be prevented?

  • Make sure you have the right gear. Dr. Vicar suggests you, “choose tennis shoes with good support and make sure you have a modern racket fitted for you.”
  • Warm-up and cool down. Make sure your body is ready to compete to help prevent injuries. Cooling down can help reduce heart and breathing rates which can prevent pooling of blood in the lower extremities.
  • Focus on technique. Evenly distributing your weight and being aware of where you are putting stress on your body, can help prevent overuse injuries.

According to Dr. Vicar, making sure you are physically fit to run backward can help decrease the chance of a tennis injury.

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McKenzie Muchow

By McKenzie Muchow

McKenzie is the current Marketing Coordinator at OrthoIndy. McKenzie is responsible for online reputation management and creation of individual physician websites. McKenzie graduated from Butler University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications with a concentration in journalism. She has been with OrthoIndy since January 2018.

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