Did you know that the rate of retirements due to injury at the Grand Slam level has doubled since 1992, and based on Davis Cup data, 75% of all injuries occurred on hard courts (common in Australia)!
It’s possibly not surprising, given Tennis involves many different types of shots such as; groundstrokes, serves, volleys and half-volleys. These shots are being hit repeatedly over the duration of matches with a high amount of force being produced. As some matches can last several hours and are usually played on consecutive days during tournaments, it is common to see injuries occurring more frequently.
At the Professional level both the Men’s and Women’s tournament schedule run from January to November. With there ‘offseason’ running for only four weeks, injury prevention strategies throughout the season are a must for all players. At the junior and amateur level, injuries tend to occur during the summer season when tournaments are usually being played over consecutive weeks.
Common tennis injuries by body region include:
Shoulder: Rotator cuff tendinopathies/impingements
Spine: Facet syndromes
Elbow: Medial & Lateral epicondylitis
Wrist: Ulnar side sprains, extensor tenosynovitis
Abdominal: Rectus abdominis strain
Foot/Ankle: lateral ankle ligament sprains
Q- So you picked up an injury from playing tennis, should you just rest?
In the majority of cases the answer is no! Very few musculoskeletal injuries require complete rest to heal. First and foremost, you should stop activities than cause the area injured pain and get the injury assessed by a medical professional – a physiotherapist ideally.
While undergoing rehabilitation for your injured area, it is important that other areas of your body don’t lose strength, flexibility and endurance. This is a commonly overlooked part of rehab, returning too early to only suffer another injury to a completely different area is seen often.
Q- How do you know the best fix?
Get a Tennis specific assessment.
Tennis is a sport utilizing the entire kinetic chain of the body. Key shots such as the serve are complex; requiring specific flexibility, stability and strength in different areas of the body. For example: lack of counter hip rotation during a serving action will increase the load to the lower back structures, which may lead a lower back injury.
At Precision Athletica we have formulated our own Athletic Assessment for tennis players based on the latest research. From here we can identify areas of injury risk and guide you on the best strategies to improve these aspects.
Hopefully you found this article by Tennis Physio – Joe Marnicel, useful. Joe’s next article will start outlining what is involved in Tennis specific athlete assessments from a physio’s point of view!
If you are a Tennis player with an injury or looking to increase your Tennis performance, please get in contact with us. We treat tennis players of all different ages, abilities and athletic levels, and would be happy to answer any questions, offer advice or carry out an assessment.
You can reach Joe either by calling Precision Athletica on 02 9764 5787, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org