As of 2020, the Tennis Industry Association estimated that nearly 18 million Americans played tennis. Perhaps you’re one of them, or one of your loved ones hits the court often.
Either way, you’re familiar with the game of tennis — and the common tennis injuries that come with the sport. Whether you’ve got a sore shoulder, elbow, or ankle, you know that your favorite sport can cause a bit of pain alongside the fun you have while playing.
To get yourself back on the court, we’ve put together a list of common injuries that happen to tennis players. We’ve also gathered some remedies for the pain you feel post-match so that you can rehab yourself and get back out there.
Let’s start with the injury most associated with tennis — it even has the sport in its name. Tennis elbow is a common issue amongst players and, as the name implies, it happens in one of the joints most responsible for your powerful swing.
Experts refer to tennis elbow as lateral epicondylitis. Either way, it means the same thing: a patient is experiencing painful inflammation in the elbow caused by overuse of the joint. In most cases, the pain emanates from the outside of the forearm, but particularly intense cases can radiate down the forearm, too.
The pain from tennis elbow will feel its strongest when you straighten your arm. It can also flare up with particular wrist movements. After all, tendons connect your elbow to your forearm and wrist — everything moves together, so a wrist rotation can cause your tennis elbow to hurt even more.
How Can I Remedy Tennis Elbow?
In most cases, the best way to heal tennis elbow is by resting. You’ll need to take some time off of the court to give your arm the chance to heal. You can ice your elbow and take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen.
You might schedule an appointment with an expert, who may strengthen your arm and elbow with a brace. You could also try platelet-rich plasma therapy, a non-surgical treatment for joint pain that remedies your injury with your own platelets.
In the future, you can try and avoid tennis elbow by reconfiguring your swing to a two-handed backhand. You might also consider speaking to a tennis pro at a sporting goods store or at your club. They can make sure that your racket is right — grip and the tension of the strings are vital to making your racket work for you.
2. Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
Your rotator cuff is actually a group of tendons and muscles that encompass the shoulder joint. Your rotator cuff makes it possible for your shoulder to move in multiple directions; it also stabilizes the joint. If you overuse your rotator cuff, it can get inflamed, just like your elbow, as we mentioned before.
Rotator cuff tendinitis feels different than tennis elbow, of course. You might find it hard to raise your arms in the air. This isn’t good for tennis, as you need to throw your arms in the air to serve the ball.
On top of that, rotator cuff tendinitis can make it hard to move the shoulder. And that’s clearly vital for a good game of tennis, too.
How Can I Remedy Rotator Cuff Tendinitis?
Much like tennis elbow, you can soothe your rotator cuff tendinitis with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice, and by resting your shoulder. You could try PRP therapy, or you could sign up for physical therapy to strengthen the rotator cuff and prevent future injury. More severe cases might require surgery, although you have plenty of options before taking such an extreme step.
You can work to avoid rotator cuff tendinitis by reconfiguring your serve. Most often, tennis players suffer from this injury because they are serving overhead too much.
Changing the angle of your serve — the space between your arm and your side — can reduce your chances of injury. Try and wait until the ball is slightly lower before hitting it, too. This can ensure your arm isn’t directly overhead when you serve.
3. Rolled or Sprained Ankle
All of that running around on the court — and suddenly stopping — can cause an ankle injury, too. If you feel immediate ankle pain and experience swelling and bruising, then you probably sprained your ankle. It can feel wobbly or difficult to walk on the ankle, a sensation that can last for weeks or months, depending on the severity of the sprain.
How Can I Remedy a Sprained Ankle?
You will need to rest and ice your sprained ankle, giving it time to heal on its own. You may need to invest in a pair of crutches so that you can walk without putting further pressure on your sprained joint.
In the future, you can take steps to prevent further sprains. As we said before, tennis requires you to move quickly and suddenly stop or change directions. To make these movements safe, you need to have supportive shoes that protect your ankle and provide support.
This is why it’s vital that you invest in a pair of shoes made specifically for tennis players. These sneakers provide additional support on the outside of the shoe so you can’t roll your ankle as easily. if you want additional protection, purchase a pair of supportive ankle braces, too.
Heal Your Common Tennis Injuries
These are only three of the common tennis injuries that you may suffer on the court. But with the right remedies — and preventative treatments — you can feel better soon and get back into the game.
If you need further therapy, though, we’re here to help you. We’re experts in platelet-rich plasma therapy, which can be used to soothe your tennis injury. Click here to contact us today.