What types of injuries are most common in tennis?
About two thirds of tennis injuries are due to overuse, with about one third being due to a traumatic injury or acute event. Overuse injuries most commonly affect the shoulders, wrists, and elbows.
Overuse injuries in tennis most often include “tennis elbow,” which is an overuse of the muscles that extend the wrist or bend it backwards. Players can decrease the likelihood of experiencing this issue with proper muscle strengthening and warm-up activities, as well as attention to proper technique and equipment.
Overuse injuries of the shoulder may occur due to poor conditioning, and strength of the rotator cuff muscles, as the rotator cuff helps position the shoulder properly in the shoulder socket.
Other less common injuries include stress fractures, which may occur when training is increased too rapidly, with tired muscles placing more stress on the bones. These injuries are preventable with proper strength and endurance training, as well as wearing appropriate footwear. Muscle strains may also occur if players don’t adequately warm up and stretch before playing.
How can tennis injuries be prevented?
- Have a pre-season health and wellness evaluation
- Perform proper warm-up, stretching, and cool-down routines
- Consistently incorporate strength training and stretching
- Hydrate adequately to maintain health and minimize cramps
- Wear properly fitted footwear, and use appropriate equipment