“Thanks to Health Actions, my throwing arm is back to 100%.”
For millions of players across the country tennis is a year-round sport, but as the weather turns warmer, people play more frequently. Indoors or out, at local courts or center court at Wimbledon, fitness is the key for tennis players to perform well and avoid injury.
“Each year, thousands of recreational tennis players experience injuries ranging from overuse of the shoulder or elbow to injuries of the lower back, knees and ankles,” said Michele Beltram, PT, a physical therapist at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.
“Tennis is a complex physical sport that requires strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, speed and agility. To help build fitness levels and avoid injury, it is important that individuals participate in a proper warm-up and stretching regimen, especially if they are playing more at this time of year.”
Players at all levels should target endurance, flexibility and muscle-conditioning exercises, and remember to check with a physician before beginning any exercise or sports program. Kessler offers these recommendations to help avoid injury.
Despite training and conditioning, injuries may still occur, including:
Rotator cuff tendinitis, a painful inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff resulting from overuse, weakness and/or poor body mechanics.
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), a common condition that often results from overuse or improper body positioning or strokes in which the elbow ahead of the racquet.
Injuries to the lower back, knees, calves and ankles, that may occur when reaching for or returning a shot and the body is extended, running, or when quick, twisting movement of the legs occurs.
Individuals are advised to discontinue play if experiencing any pain, and ice the affected area; if pain persists, see a doctor. In addition, an evaluation by a physical therapist can help assess strength, range of motion, and overall conditioning and an individualized exercise program can then be developed.