Tennis is a sport that has significantly stood the test of time. Men, women and people of all ages enjoy the physical activity and challenge of this popular game.
With its popularity, however, comes a higher risk and occurrence of injuries. In 2007, more than 21,000 people were treated for tennis-related injuries and conditions. These risks shouldn’t stop you from playing, and some simple steps can be taken to try to prevent common injuries from occurring.
Be cautious of the type of environment you’re playing on. Hard surfaces, such as cement, asphalt, or synthetic courts, have no “give” and can be damaging to your bones and joints. Wear inserts in your shoes that can absorb some of the shock if you choose to play on these types of surfaces.
Remember that even the fittest of players still take time to warm up and stretch. Cold muscles are more prone to injury. Three to five minutes of light cardio – jumping jacks, running, or walking – and then slow and gentle stretching are good ways to warm up.
Dress appropriately before you play. It’s important, especially if you play tennis regularly, to invest in a good pair of tennis shoes fit to support your feet and ankles. Wearing two pairs of socks or specially padded socks can add support to prevent ankle injuries. Drying your racket handle frequently can prevent blisters on your hands.
Proper technique is also one of the best ways to prevent injury or excess wear and tear. Serving or hitting overhand can cause back problems if you arch back more than necessary. Bend at your knees and raise your heels so your upper body weight is better balanced.
To avoid an Achilles tendon injury, avoid landing on the ball of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is also a relatively common condition that can occur if your foot is overused.
If you have more questions about how to prevent injuries, or seek treatment for an existing condition, please call us at the Bone & Joint Center.