Typical Tennis Injuries & How to Treat Them
With summer and Wimbledon upon us, many of our patients are excited to start participating in some of their favourite outdoor activities.
Tennis is a great way to spend one’s time but improper technique and conditioning may lead to an injury. At Ultra Sports Clinic, we are a team of experts that treat all types of injuries but to help you prevent them, we have listed some guidelines below.
Sports injuries are divided into one of two main categories: acute and chronic.
Acute injuries results from a single incident. It can be a strain or sprain of a muscle, ligament, or tendon. This injury may stem from a fall, a collision or simply twisting your body into an unnatural position. Acute injuries lead to sudden pain in the affected area and can result in an inflammation.
Chronic injuries, on the other hand, are built up over time. These injuries result from continual improper use or simply from overuse of a certain body part. Symptoms like pain and inflammation start to increase over time.
1. Tennis Elbow or lateral epicondylitis.
Also, a common golf injury, tennis elbow occurs when tennis players bend and flex their wrists and elbows, quickly and repetitively. It causes inflammation in the tendons that connect the muscle of the forearm to the bone in the elbow. Unlike golfers’ elbow, which occurs on the inside, tennis elbow becomes inflamed on the outside of the elbow. The medical diagnosis is called lateral epicondylitis. Tennis elbow results primarily from overuse, making it a chronic sports injury.
With tennis elbow, you may experience pain or burning on the outside of the elbow, along with a weakened grip and occasionally localised inflammation. Generally, the forearm can also be much weaker during this period.
The goal of non-surgical tennis elbow treatment is allowing the tendon to heal and optimally load it. Physiotherapy treatment (Myofascial release and strapping) in combination with rehabilitation exercises are crucial to recovery, especially for tennis elbow patients. Learning to rest the elbow in a pain-free position will also mitigate pain.
It’s very important to understand that it takes time to heal! Ultra Sports Clinic will assist and advise you during the recovery process on the next step.
2. Rotator Cuff injuries
The shoulder is central to the operation of the arm and can often have existing degeneration (wear and tear). As you use your shoulders during tennis practices and matches, your rotator cuff will naturally experience wearing. So, a torn rotator cuff could be a chronic injury resulting from long-term overuse. However, it can also be an acute injury triggered by sudden increase stress and load.
With a torn rotator cuff, patients might experience weakness and pain in the shoulder. It may lead to difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position or pain with activities where the hand is above the head.
In order to diagnose a torn rotator cuff, the Ultra Sports Clinic team will assess the shoulder and the biomechanics of the shoulder.
If the rotator cuff has a suspected tear the Ultra Sports Clinic team will refer you to a top consultant for further investigations such as an MRI. Like other injuries, the first possible recourse for a torn rotator cuff could be physiotherapy and rehabilitation. These treatments will be oriented toward rebuilding strength and muscle balance around your shoulder and scapula. The team will work hard to help you regain pain free strength through hands on treatment and a tailored exercise program.
In the unlikely event that the shoulder does not settle, the Ultra Sports Clinic team will waste no time in referring you back to the shoulder specialist for further treatment.
If you'd like some advice around your tennis injury niggles, or have sustained a recent injury don’t hesitate to book an appointment at one of our physiotherapy London clinics or call +44 (0)203 893 5100 to book a free 15-minute consultation with one of our tennis specialist physiotherapists.