Despite the fact that tennis is a relatively safe sport when compared to soccer or even basketball, injuries do occur. Tennis elbow is a common condition which develops as a result of overusing the muscles that bend the wrist backwards. Since these muscles are used every time a tennis ball hits the racquet, tennis elbow condition can be prevented by strengthening the wrist muscles and using the proper technique.
Sprained ankles are other common tennis injuries which arise as a result of sudden sideways movements, especially if the court is slippery. Symptoms of sprained ankles include painful joints which are also swollen because of the bleeding that occurs when the ligaments are damaged. Sprained ankles can be prevented by applying an ankle brace.
Shoulder bursitis is another common tennis injury which develops as a result of repeated tennis strokes, like the serve. Symptoms of this condition include pain in the shoulder joint. Shoulder bursitis can be prevented by exercising the shoulder muscles to improve their flexibility and strength.
Calf strain is another relatively common tennis injury, which arises when the calf muscles are torn after being forcibly stretched. This usually occurs when the tennis player makes quick and sudden moves to react to an opponent’s shot. Calf strains can be prevented by warming the muscles effectively before a game, which can be done by doing jumping jumps or jogging.
Stress fractures of the lumbar spine or lower back are other common injuries that tend to develop in adolescent tennis players. These injuries arise when training is rapidly increased. When the muscles tire the stress is transferred to the bones, which may not be able to quickly adjust to it and therefore they crack.
Symptoms of stress fractures include lower back pain, which is worsened by bending backwards when serving. Back stress fractures can be prevented by learning how to serve under an experienced coach to ensure the correct technique is used. Strength and endurance training exercises should also be done to reduce the risk of developing back problems while playing tennis.
Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer