Common Tennis Injuries

Many injuries that young tennis players receive are due to overuse from long hours of practice and competition on the tennis court and repetitive swinging motions. The injuries are a result of muscle imbalances in shoulder girdle strength, flexibility, and poor swinging techniques.

  1. Shoulder pain: could be caused from bursitis, impingement, or rotator cuff tendinitis

How to prevent: become educated in appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises for the shoulder/rotator cuff muscles, as well as learn biomechanically correct swinging techniques

For immediate relief: use a cold pack for ~ 10-15 minutes to decrease inflammation; see a doctor so he can prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication and possible physical therapy

  1. Tennis elbow: also called lateral epicondylitis; pain with elbow and wrist extension (bending back wrist)

How to prevent: do not play with wet tennis balls, be sure your racket is not strung to tight and that the racket is the proper size; strengthen muscles around elbow and learn proper stroke techniques

For immediate relief: fill up a paper cup with water and freeze it; when frozen, remove cup from freezer and tear off top of cup; place the ice directly on the painful elbow; move in a circular direction for 3-5 minutes; perform 2-3 times daily; see a doctor so he can prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication and possible physical therapy

  1. Stress fractures in the lower leg or foot: an overuse injury which occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock

How to prevent: be sure your shoes are not worn out; decrease the amount of pounding and physical stress; attempt to play more on clay courts rather than hard courts; do not ramp up your intensity too rapidly, increase it slowly

For relief: Unfortunately there is not a quick cure; participating in pain free, low weight bearing activities/exercises for 6-8 weeks (AQUATIC THERAPY is a great choice to help speed your recovery process); cross train; incorporate calcium and Vitamin D rich foods in your meals; use proper tennis/running shoes

  1. Back pain: 95% of the time it is a muscle strain due to overuse, instability, poor flexibility, and muscle and postural dysfunction.

How to prevent: core stabilization and flexibility exercisesposture training

For relief: apply ice to your back for 10-15 minutes; talk with your doctor about pursuing physical and or aquatic therapy