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With Wimbledon & the US Open finished for this year, this leaves many of us inspired and reaching for our rackets (in the outdoors, or indoors!) However, even the top tennis players such as Williams, Murray and many more, get injured, so it’s no wonder many of us hobble off the court with some tennis-related injury.

Tennis is played on a variety of surfaces – grass, hard court surfaces and clay, which require variations of speed, co-ordination and power. Due to the high speed impact, repetition and use of your whole body, as a result, it predisposes us to ankle, knee, hip, spine, shoulder and wrist injuries.

Some common Tennis Injuries

1. Ankle sprain:

Sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn. Any instability or weak muscles can increase the risk of spraining your ankle. In tennis – The fast pace, quick direction changes and jumping involved in tennis predisposes you to a higher risk of going over on your ankle.

To avoid this injury:

  • make sure your muscles are adequately strengthened and properly warmed up before playing to reduce the rick of injury.
  • integrate balance, co-ordination and proprioceptive exercises into your training to reduce the chance of ankle sprains and improve control.
  • wear appropriate, supportive footwear.

2. Tennis Elbow:

“Tennis elbow” is a condition characterised by pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow. It usually results from repetitive-strain or over-use of the wrist extensor muscles.

To avoid this injury:

  • Include an appropriate warm-up and cool-down with stretching to increase the mobility in your spine, and prevent muscle stiffness.
  • Include deep core strengthening into your training regime to support the spine.
  • Wear good, supportive footwear with cushioning to absorb some of the impact.

3. Shoulder Pain (Rotator Cuff Tendinitis):

Most shoulder pain in tennis is a result of an inflammation of the rotator cuff muscle tendons – a group of four muscles that surround and support the shoulder joint, which help it to move in all directions. When these muscles are de-conditioned or weak, there is greater “play” of the head of the joint in the socket.

To avoid this injury:

  • Strengthen your rotator cuff and other shoulder muscles to ensure they can cope with the repetitive forces and impact of hitting the ball
  •  Stretch before and after playing to prevent tight muscles and inflammation
  •  Ensure your technique is correct to reduce the force going through this joint and muscles during each stroke

The above helpful tips on how to avoid common injury during tennis will help you enjoy the sport to it’s full potential in no time.

Article written by Sally Dixson, Chartered Physiotherapist

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