Tennis Injuries

john miller physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Tennis

tennis elbow

Tennis Elbow... plus more!

Tennis a great sport. However, tennis can cause injury to many parts of the body due to the high speed on racquet impact, repetition and use of your spine, legs and especially your dominant arm. This can predispose you to a variety of shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle, hip and spine injuries.

The best known tennis injury is tennis elbow - but, despite its name is relatively uncommon in tennis players!

Tennis is a sport that can be played on a variety of surfaces (grass, artificial grass, hard court surfaces and clay), which requires speed, power, endurance, balance and coordination. As a result, injuries can and do occur.

What's the Incidence of Tennis Injury?

The rate of tennis injury in the general population is about five injuries per 1,000 hours of participation. Hospital admission for tennis injuries are at a rate of 33 injuries per 100,000 tennis players. Admittedly, the majority of tennis injuries do not require hospitalisation!

What are the Common Causes and Types of Tennis Injuries?

Lower limb (ankle, knee, and thigh) injuries are the most common tennis injuries. They are caused by the sprinting, stopping, pivoting, jarring and pounding nature of tennis. Lower limb tennis injuries are acute (e.g. ankle sprain) or chronic (e.g. knee tendonitis).

Upper limb (elbow, shoulder, wrist) injuries are usually caused by the high-velocity and repetitive arm movements required in tennis. These injuries tend to be overuse in nature (e.g. tennis elbow).

Back injuries and pain are common due to the rotation required to hit groundstrokes, and the combination of rotation, extension and lateral flexion involved in the serve.

Tennis Equipment

Use a tennis racquet suitable for your style of play, experience and size. Tennis players, especially those with arm and shoulder injuries, should seek professional advice when selecting a tennis racquet and choosing string tension. Ask an experienced tennis coach.

Check and maintain the playing surface to ensure it is in good condition and free of hazards.

Use tennis balls appropriate for your playing surface. Avoid using wet or flat/dead balls. 

Children & Tennis

Children should use equipment suitable to their age, size and skill level. 

Encourage children and beginners to participate in modified tennis programs such as Hot Shots or similar beginner programs delivered by local clubs and coaches. These modifications introduce new players to tennis through modified equipment such as mini-nets and decompression balls. This will help new players develop good tennis skills and correct technique.

Use the Right Equipment

Seek professional advice on footwear. Most tennis shoes are more robust than running shoes due to the multidirectional requirements. Full board last shoes are common.

Foot arch correction exercises and/or orthotics may be required for some foot types.

Players with a history of joint injury should seek professional advice about taping or bracing before play. You can find selection of tennis related braces etc here.

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Tennis Injury Risk Factors

  • Different court surfaces.
  • Condition of tennis balls used. Pros change them every seven games.
  • Type of tennis racquet.
  • Tennis shot technique.
  • Weather extremes.
  • Inappropriate footwear.
  • Poor physical conditioning.
  • The amount and level of participation.
  • Poor injury rehabilitation.

Other Tennis Tips

  • Good preparation is important.
  • Always warm up, stretch and cool down.
  • Maintain an adequate fitness level. Undertake conditioning and training exercises specific to the physical demands of tennis.
  • Good technique and practices will help prevent injury
  • Seek instruction from a qualified coach to develop correct skills and techniques.
  • Avoid over-repetition of any one type of shot. Practise a range of tennis strokes including groundstrokes, serves, return of serves, overhead smashes and volleys.

This article is based on http://www.smartplay.com.au/ImageLibraryAssets/Resources/National/sport-specific-2008-Tennis-fact-sheet-nat.pdf

Common Tennis Injuries

  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinitis
  • ACL Injury
  • Adductor Tendinopathy
  • Anterior Ankle Impingement
  • Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head
  • Back Muscle Pain
  • Bicep Tendonitis
  • Bulging Disc
  • Bursitis Knee
  • Bursitis Shoulder
  • Calf Muscle Tear
  • Chondromalacia Patella
  • Cramps
  • de Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Dislocated Shoulder
  • DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Facet Joint Pain
  • Fat Pad Syndrome
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)
  • Gluteal Tendinopathy
  • Golfers Elbow
  • Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome
  • Groin Strain
  • Hamstring Strain
  • Heel Spur
  • High Ankle Sprain
  • Hip Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)
  • Hip Labral Tear
  • ITB Syndrome
  • Knee Arthritis
  • Knee Ligament Injuries
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament
  • Medial Collateral Ligament Sprain
  • Meniscus Tear
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Morton's Neuroma
  • Muscle Strain
  • Neck Arm Pain
  • Neck Headache
  • Neck Sprain
  • Osgood Schlatter's
  • Osteitis Pubis
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Patella Tendonitis (Tendinopathy)
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
  • Peroneal Tendonitis
  • Pes Anserinus Bursitis & Tendinitis
  • Pes Planus - Flat Feet
  • Pinched Nerve
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plica Syndrome
  • Poor Hip Core
  • Posterior Ankle Impingement
  • Posterolateral Corner Injury
  • Retrocalcaneal Bursitis
  • Rotator Cuff Calcific Tendinitis
  • Rotator Cuff Syndrome
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Severs Disease
  • Shin Splints
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Shoulder Tendonitis
  • Side Strain (Abdominal)
  • Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylolysis (Back Stress Fracture)
  • Sprained Ankle
  • Stress Fracture
  • Stress Fracture Feet
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Thigh Strain
  • Tibialis Posterior Tendinopathy
  • Trochanteric Bursitis
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    Common Injury Treatment Information

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • Soft Tissue Injury? What are the Healing Phases?
  • What to do after a Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Core Exercises
  • Scapular Stabilisation Exercises
  • Rotator Cuff Exercises
  • Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Active Foot Posture Correction Exercises
  • Gait Analysis
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Balance Enhancement Exercises
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Orthotics
  • Real Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Walking Boot
  • ACL Injury Prevention
  • Ankle Strapping
  • Brace or Support
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Knee Arthroscopy
  • Neurodynamics
  • Prehabilitation
  • Running Analysis
  • Scapulohumeral Rhythm Exercises
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  • FAQs Tennis Injures

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
  • What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
  • The Best Core Exercises
  • Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
  • How Does an Exercise Ball Help Back Pain?
  • How to Strap an Ankle
  • Post-Run Soreness: Should You Be Concerned?
  • Rotator Cuff: What is it?
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are Common Adolescent / Children Leg Injuries?
  • What are Growing Pains?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What is the Shoulder Impingement Zone?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • What's Your Core Stability Score?
  • When is the Best Time for a Pre-Event Massage?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
  • Tennis Related Products

    Tennis Injuries

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    Last updated 17-Feb-2017 06:01 PM

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