Tennis Injuries

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Tennis Injuries


Tennis, a dynamic and exhilarating sport, offers numerous health benefits. However, it also carries a risk of injury due to factors like high-speed racquet impact and repetitive movements. Commonly affected areas include the spine, legs, and particularly the dominant arm.

This article, with insights from a physiotherapist’s perspective, aims to inform tennis enthusiasts about injury prevention, proper equipment use, and the importance of professional advice.

The Reality of Tennis Injuries

Despite its name, tennis elbow is surprisingly not the most common tennis-related injury. In the general population, tennis injuries occur at a rate of approximately five per 1,000 hours of play. Hospital admissions for these injuries stand at 33 per 100,000 players, though most injuries do not require hospitalisation.

Common Causes and Injury Types

Lower Limb Injuries

Predominantly affecting the ankles, knees, and thighs, these result from the sport’s demanding physical nature, including sprinting and pivoting. They range from acute, like ankle sprains, torn calf muscles, Achilles tendon ruptures to chronic conditions, such as knee tendinopathy.

Upper Limb Injuries

Elbow, shoulder, and wrist injuries often arise from high-velocity and repetitive arm movements, leading to conditions like tennis elbow, rotator cuff tears or wrist sprains.

Back Pain

Common due to the rotational movements in groundstrokes and the complex motion in serves. While most injuries with be back muscle strains, over use injuries such as back stress fractures can occur.

Tennis Injuries
Tennis Injuries

Tennis Equipment: Making the Right Choices

  • Racquet Selection: It’s crucial to choose a racquet that matches your play style, experience, and physical stature. Especially for those with arm and shoulder issues, professional guidance is key.
  • Playing Surface Maintenance: Regular checks can prevent accidents and enhance play quality.
  • Ball Selection: Use balls suited for your playing surface and avoid wet or flat ones.

Children and Tennis

  • Age-Appropriate Equipment: Children should use gear matching their age, size, and skill level.
  • Modified Programs: Encourage participation in beginner programs like Hot Shots, which use modified equipment to foster skill and technique development.

The Right Footwear and Support

  • Shoe Advice: Tennis shoes, typically more robust than running shoes, should be chosen with professional help. They must cater to the sport’s multidirectional nature.
  • Foot Support: Exercises and possibly orthotics might be necessary for certain foot types.
  • Joint Support: Players with previous joint injuries should consider taping or bracing, after consulting a professional.

Identifying Risk Factors

  • Court surface type.
  • Condition and type of tennis balls.
  • Racquet selection and string tension.
  • Shot technique.
  • Weather conditions.
  • Footwear suitability.
  • Physical fitness level.
  • Volume and intensity of play.
  • Prior injury management.

Other Tennis Tips: Prevention is Better Than Cure

  • Preparation: A comprehensive warm-up, stretching, and cool-down routine is essential.
  • Fitness: Maintain a fitness level appropriate for tennis demands, focusing on conditioning exercises.
  • Technique and Practice: Good technique minimises injury risk. Regular coaching can help develop correct skills.
  • Diversity in Practice: Avoid over-repetition of a single shot type. Practice a variety of strokes to balance muscle use.

Conclusion: Embrace the Game Safely

Tennis is a sport that combines fun with fitness but requires awareness and precaution to prevent injuries. Regular consultation with a physiotherapist can guide you in equipment choice, technique refinement, and injury prevention strategies.

Remember, the best way to enjoy tennis is to play it safely and smartly. So, whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting, always seek the advice of a physiotherapist to stay at the top of your game.

Article by Zoe Russell

Sports Physiotherapy FAQs

sports physiotherapist brisbane

Sports Physiotherapy is the specialised branch of physiotherapy which deals with injuries and issues related to spokespeople. Practitioners with additional formal training within Australia are Sports & Exercise Physiotherapists.

What is Sports Physiotherapy?

Sports injuries do differ from common everyday injuries. Athletes usually require high-level performance and demands placed upon their bodies, which stresses their muscles, joints and bones to the limit. Sports physiotherapists help athletes recover from sporting injuries and provide education and resources to prevent problems. Each sports physiotherapist usually has sport-specific knowledge that addresses acute, chronic and overuse injuries. Their services are generally available to sportsmen and women of all ages engaged in sports at any level of competition.

Members of Sports Physiotherapy Australia (SPA) have experience and knowledge of the latest evidence-based practice, professional assessment and diagnosis of sports injuries, and effective hands-on management techniques and exercise protocols to assist recovery and prevent future damage. SPA members have access to the most recent advances in sports physiotherapy. You'll be pleased to know that most PhysioWorks physiotherapists and massage therapists are particularly interested in sports injury management.

General Sports Physio FAQs

Injury Management

Sports Massage

Sports Insurance

More Information

Understanding Common Muscle Injuries: A Comprehensive Guide

Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, can result from various causes and can affect different areas of the body. Managing and preventing discomfort requires a clear understanding of these common muscle injuries. This comprehensive guide aims to explore several sources of muscle pain, including injuries in the neck and back, strains in the lower limbs, conditions in the upper limbs, systemic causes, and more.

To provide valuable insights into the management of common muscle injuries, this guide offers answers to frequently asked questions and suggests products that can aid in your recovery. Access additional information about each specific injury by clicking the provided links.

Neck & Back Muscle Injuries

Lower Limb Muscle Injuries

Upper Limb Muscle Injuries

Haematoma-Related Myalgia

Fatigue-Related Myalgia

Systemic Causes of Myalgia

More Information: Myalgia

FAQs & Products

Common Ligament Injuries

Ligament injuries are common in the human body, often causing pain, discomfort, and limitations in mobility.

Various body parts are prone to ligament injuries, such as the knee, ankle, shoulder, wrist, hand, and spine. Among the most prevalent are knee ligament injuries, which include ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) injuries, as well as MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) and LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) sprains.

In addition, ligament injuries can affect other areas, such as the shoulder, leading to AC (Acromioclavicular) joint injuries and dislocated shoulders. Wrist and hand ligament injuries, including thumb and finger sprains, are also common. Furthermore, ligament injuries can occur in the spine, resulting in back and neck sprains and conditions like "text neck" and whiplash. Understanding these common ligament injuries is essential for prevention, early diagnosis, and effective treatment, enabling individuals to regain their functionality and resume their daily activities.

Knee Ligament Injuries

Ankle Ligament Injuries

Shoulder Ligament Injuries

Wrist & Hand Ligament Injuries

Spinal Ligament Injuries

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