With the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions and outdoor courts now open, thoughts turn to hitting the courts. However, the enforced isolation period following the winter season may bring about the little tweaks and aches and pains, or more serious injuries.
Take the time now to try and prevent this from happening by listening to your body.
It may be that certain muscle groups are weaker or tighter than they should be or they feel unbalanced due to you having a more dominant side. These are all going to affect your game. This can be remedied by strengthening the weaker parts and stretching the tighter ones.
Injuries however, may need intervention and the Regenerative Therapy Centre may be able to help you.
First let’s talk about common tennis injuries:
Lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, refers to the inflammation of the tendons joining the forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow. This condition is similar to golfer’s elbow, but it occurs on the outside of the elbow rather than the inside. Tennis elbow is often the result of overuse, and while it can occur in non-athletes, it is common among athletes who play tennis and other racquet sports. Symptoms of tennis elbow include pain or burning on the outside of the elbow and weak grip strength. You may find that the symptoms are worse with forearm activity.
Rotator Cuff Tears
The rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles and tendons that come together to provide stability and mobility to the shoulder. The rotator cuff can tear gradually, as a result of overuse, but can also result from an acute injury. Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include pain, tenderness, and weakness in the shoulder, difficulty lifting the arm, and snapping and crackling noises while moving the shoulder.
Because tennis serves require a combination of hyperextension, or bending the back, and side-bending and rotation of the trunk, stress fractures are a common injury. This motion puts stress on the vertebrae in the lower back and can eventually cause a fracture in the portion of the vertebra called the pars interarticularis. This can eventually result in a condition called spondylolisthesis, in which the vertebra shifts forward. Stress fractures are not always painful, but can result in pain in the lower back that gets worse with activity.
Patellar Tendonitis or Jumpers Knee
The patellar tendon attaches the kneecap to the shinbone and aids in the movement of the leg and supporting our weight when walking and jumping. Jumping, in particular, can put excessive strain on this tendon, and repetitive jumping, which is often a part of tennis, can cause microscopic tears and injury to the patellar tendon. Patellar tendonitis can cause pain and swelling, and the affected area can feel warm to the touch. Jumping, kneeling, and walking up and down stairs can increase the pain.
It is very common for tennis players to suffer from ankle sprains. Because tennis can be a fast-paced game, a sudden sideways motion can cause the ankle to twist, stretching out or damaging one of the ligaments in the ankle. A sprain can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the ankle. The ankle is often unstable, and bruising can occur as well.
A lot of these injuries can be prevented by wearing shoes with good ankle support and making sure your racket not only has a good grip but is also the right size for you. If you suffer from backache it would be advisable to review your technique as you may be overarching and likewise, ankle injuries can be caused by landing on the balls of your feet – a one to one with a coach could help you spot these issues. Warming up and regular breaks can also help you to stay injury free.
However, if you are still carrying injuries and rest or a trip to the physio has not helped, why don’t you consider a consultation with one of our Consultants who can advise on a suitable regenerative treatment that would suit you?