Tennis Injuries & Prevention
Learn about the symptoms, treatment and prevention of many common tennis injuries.
Learn About Tennis Injuries & Prevention
If you’ve ever been injured playing tennis or as a result of playing tennis, it’s likely an event that that you recall well. It may have made it extremely difficult to perform at a high level, kept you off the court entirely or even impacted your life off the court.
The fact is, if you play tennis there’s unfortunately always a chance of injury. And while some players may be more prone to injury than others, it can be helpful to learn about the different types of tennis injuries, how to spot them and what you can do to treat and prevent them.
Just like any sport, tennis players are susceptible to a wide variety of injuries. There are freak accidents, such as the tragic injury James Blake suffered, and then there are more common tennis injuries that are prevalent in the sport due to the type of stress that is placed on the body.
The most common type of injuries include a group of injuries that typically result from overuse or repetitive movements that eventually lead to injury. Perhaps the most famous of all injuries being tennis elbow, which is a result of the overuse of tendons in the elbow.
Other types of common tennis injuries often involve the shoulders, back, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles. One factor that may lead to many of these injuries is the fact that tennis is frequently played on an extremely hard and unforgiving surface. Add to this many quick and repetitive movements as well as the stop and go nature of tennis where players are moving quickly and changing directions and it becomes clear how many injuries may occur.
While not always the first course of action, many players will be able to take steps toward prevention of injuries rather than simply treating them as they pop up.
Perhaps the best way to prevent any injury is to learn more about them and how they typically occur. As a result, you’ll gain greater insight into what causes it so you can take steps to avoid or mitigate the likelihood of it occurring.
For example, in young players, stress fractures are common and a result of intense training where the muscles tire and subsequently more stress is placed on the bone. Being aware of this will help both players and coaches know when to call it quits to help keep players healthy.
In addition, regular exercise as well as proper training and technique can go a long way to helping avoid injury. So it’s important for players to be aware of the different types of injuries that they may encounter as well as the types of exercises and training they can perform so they can take the necessary steps to prevent them.
Beyond simple awareness, another great way to help prevent or lessen the severity of an injury is to know the symptoms. This way, instead of finding out about an injury after it’s impacting your ability to play tennis, you can stop before things get worse.
It can also be helpful to know the symptoms for common tennis injuries so that you know when to seek help rather than simply “playing through it.” We all want to be physically and mentally tough players, but not to the point where we’re kept off the court because our bodies won’t allow us to continue play.
Unfortunately no matter how hard we all try, most players are likely to experience an injury at some point in their tennis career. For some, the severity may be less than others, but it’s also important to know that the vast majority of common tennis injuries are treatable.
In some cases this may involve a prolonged period of rest. For others it could be the modification of a particular tennis shot to decrease the amount of stress placed on their body. Some players may even benefit from the addition of a simple brace to help support or take pressure off the injury.
Of course if you have an injury that is concerning you we always recommend that you seek help from a licensed healthcare professional. They will help ensure your injury is properly diagnosed and often times provide you with a variety of methods for treatment.
This is also a fantastic case for in-person professional tennis instruction. While there is a lot you can learn online and through self practice, a certified tennis professional can also help evaluate your strokes and provide suggestions for how you can modify them to mitigate a repeat injury. This way you can get back out on the court as soon as possible and have confidence in your game.