Tennis has always been one of the most popular sports worldwide. Not only does it require accurate coordination skills but also fitness and agility. Unfortunately, there are also several scopes for injuries.
There are multiple types of injuries associated with tennis. It also differs, to some degree, for competitive and non-competitive tennis players. Depending on their nature, they can either be temporary or have permanent and devastating consequences.
Nevertheless, they are preventable with the help of careful and proper training and technique.
What are the 5 Most Common Tennis Injuries?
Tennis injuries are caused either by overuse or by some accident. In fact, two-thirds of tennis injuries are said to be a result of overuse, while the other one-third is from some accident.
1. Tennis Elbow
Tennis Elbow is one of the most commonly heard about injuries. It is caused as a result of the overuse of hand and forearm muscles, the ones that predominantly help in wrist movement. It causes pain in the elbow region and is not limited to tennis players.
This injury affects the muscles most needed for swinging a racquet. However, it is preventable with the use of proper techniques and equipment. Sufficient training is also effective in preventing this injury. Even if the pain does occur, it is best to consult a doctor at the earliest to prevent further deterioration.
2. Tennis Toe
A match of tennis requires the players to be quick on their feet, which is why they must also pay attention to how their feet are faring. Tennis toe is caused when the toes jam against the toe-box of the shoe, as the player moves quickly during the game.
It essentially causes a hemorrhage under the toenail. This is often excruciating and requires immediate medical attention. The best way to prevent this is to wear proper shoes, with sufficient space for the toes to stretch comfortably. It is also advised to keep short toenails.
3. Muscle Strains
Muscle strains are a very common tennis injury, especially for beginners. They occur due to sudden extreme movements such as stretching or rising to meet a shot. This is why it is important to get a proper warm-up session before starting the match.
Stretching sessions must be adequately done before every game. There should be slow and leveled steps instead of sudden bursts of extreme exercises. Remember to stretch your legs as well as your arms for a proper and well-rounded session.
The stretching sessions should be at least for five minutes or till the player feels their muscles are loose enough.
4. Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
This is another injury that is caused by the overuse of muscles, particularly the rotator cuff muscles. These are tendons and muscles that stretch from the shoulder blade to the upper part of the arm bone. When they get inflamed, it causes this tendinitis.
This is mostly seen in professional players but can also occur for other players if they exaggerate their overhead serves. It can be prevented by rectifying the technique at the slightest hint of pain.
Doctors advise to put on ice and rest the area of inflammation. If the pain does not subdue, it is best to seek professional help. Repeated pains of this nature should not be treated lightly. In such cases, the player must revise their technique and training.
5. Calf and Achilles Tendon Injuries
The calf and Achilles tendons are considered as a unit that stretches across the knee and the ankle. This injury occurs when this unit is very tight. A way to understand this is by rising on the ball of your foot with the leg straight. If it does not rise higher than the heel of that foot, the unit is tight.
This injury is caused when the foot is suddenly pushed off and due to the inflammation of the Achilles tendon. It can even lead to the tearing of the Achilles tendon, which is a more serious injury even if it does not cause much pain. The effect of it is that you cannot rise on your injured foot.
Even tears in the calf muscles are common. It can occur due to overuse of muscles or sudden exaggerated movements. It is best to do relevant stretching, using proper techniques and wearing proper shoes to prevent these injuries.
Prevention is always better than cure. This is why it is important to follow proper techniques and training methods. If there are any underlying conditions, you must go for an evaluation and only play if the doctor says it is alright to do so. Tennis injuries, if not treated properly or prevented, can keep you from playing the game altogether.