Article by John Miller
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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Last updated 19-Jan-2018 02:08 PM
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