According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine,
- 2/3 of all tennis injuries are from overuse
- 1/3 of all tennis injuries are from acute or traumatic events.
Why Do Tennis Injuries Happen?
No dynamic warmup – Studies show that dynamic warmups greatly reduce injuries in athletes. (Click here for the journal article) Dynamic warmups work by warmup up muscles, tendons, and improving range of motion to an otherwise “cold” body. This greatly helps tennis players on the court, especially in moving around outside their typical base of support. By the way – “mini tennis” does not count!
Over Training – For those of us who love playing, tennis is addictive! However this can lead to over training as athletes compromise recovery for excessive time on the court. This leads to fatigue and wear on muscles and tendons and inflammation ensues.
Previous Injuries – Even a moderate to severe ankle sprain in your early teens can have an effect on your body later in life, especially on your knees. Previous injuries can contribute to biased weakness, that can hurt your game and your form.
Poor Tennis Form – This does not just affect beginner players, but also veteran players as well who have created compensations from improper form. Most commonly seen on the court is when players tend to overuse distal limbs for ball projection in lieu of using proximal, and stronger, core muscles to power their shots. Proper tennis form can significantly reduce future injuries and can only improve your game.
Poor Conditioning – the biggest factor in creating tennis injuries is when the player is not properly conditioned to handle the dynamic and plyometric demands of tennis. For example, rotator cuff muscles need to be strong and have endurance to stabilize shoulder mechanics in serving, forehands and single-handed backhands. Core muscles need to be both flexible and strong to handle power shots; and gluteal muscles need to be dynamically strong to protect lower extremity and knee changes in direction during play.
Stride Strong Physical Therapy treats a multitude of tennis injuries. Our Physical Therapists will evaluate your strength, range of motion and movements to hone in the source of your injury. We treat injuries via a combination of manual and massage therapy, joint work, and also corrective strengthening and endurance exercises to stabilize painful joints. Following is a diagram of the most common tennis injuries we see.