Tennis is a demanding sport. Between constant pivoting, explosive sprinting, and quick side stepping, few other sports require the same level of agility as tennis. Now consider the intense focus and coordination needed to return serves at 100+ mile per hour while maintaining that agility.
Unfortunately achieving these physical feats also means tennis players are prone to certain injuries. The most common tennis injuries include injuries to the lower extremities, but of course “tennis elbow” was also given its name for a reason. Read on for the most common tennis injuries to look out for.
1. Tennis Elbow
Many studies have been performed to determine the rates of various injuries among tennis players and upper extremity injuries are always cited as one of the most common injuries. Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is the inflammation of the lateral epicondyle tendon in the elbow and occurs from overuse of the joint. Despite tennis elbow’s name, it is relatively uncommon among tennis players who use proper form in their swing, but it’s something that beginners should be aware of so that they can prevent it, as it can become chronic.
2. Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
Similar to tennis elbow, rotator cuff tendonitis forms through the overuse of the joint resulting in inflammation. Serving is often the culprit when it comes to rotator cuff tendonitis, since an overhead racket swing requires more shoulder power than a standard tennis swing. This is also typically a flaw in technique, which can be resolved through proper coaching.
3. Ankle Sprain
The quick pivoting required for playing tennis doesn’t come without the occasional price. Ankle sprains are a very common injury among tennis players. When the ankle is sprained, ligaments in the ankle are torn or partially torn. There are varying degrees of ankle sprains with most requiring only rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). More serious injuries may require a walking boot or crutches for a couple weeks if it’s too painful to walk on. A high ankle sprain is more serious and usually requires these extra steps.
4. Knee Tendonitis
Serving a tennis ball is a demanding action, with the fastest serve of all time clocking in at 163.7 MPH by Samuel Groth. A lot of serving power is generated in the legs and this can put considerable stress on the knees when jumping during a serve, particularly on the patella, or knee cap. This is another injury that’s best treated with RICE, and can also be prevented with knee strengthening exercises.
Even though these are the most common injuries found in tennis, tennis players, like any athlete, are subject to any type of injury on the court including fractures, ACL tears, back sprains and more. It’s always important to warm up properly and use proper technique to prevent injuries from occurring.
MMAR Medical carries a wide selection of tennis braces for patella injuries, tennis elbow complications, ankle sprains and more. Visit our store or contact us to learn more about our sports injury solutions.