- How can I avoid injuries at tennis?
- What is tennis elbow?
- How can I prevent tennis elbow?
- How is tennis elbow treated?
How can I avoid injuries at tennis?
Tennis should be a fun game, but too often people take up tennis and then give it up just as quickly because they get injured. As with all racquet sports, the key to remaining injury-free in tennis is to take the time to engage in a proper warm-up routine before going on court.
Here are a few simple tips to help prevent injuries on the tennis court:
- warm up for five to 10 minutes before going on court. This can be as simple as jogging on the spot, stretching or a combination of both. Stop when you begin to perspire.
- wear tennis shoes, which give good support to the arches and the ankles. For added support invest in support socks from a reputable sports shop.
- try to avoid playing tennis on a very hard surface, which has no 'give' in it, such as asphalt or cement. Lower back injuries are very common among tennis players who play on hard surface courts, but they can be avoided by putting special heel inserts into shoes to absorb the shock.
- avoid arching the back unnecessarily when serving or reaching for an overhead shot. Instead, bend your knees and raise your heels so that your upper body weight is evenly balanced.
Always bring a first-aid kit to your tennis game and know how to use it. Have cold compresses ready for bruises and sprains and keep antiseptic creams and non-adhesive dressings in your first-aid kit for small cuts and abrasions.
To prevent blisters from forming on your hands as a result of gripping the racket handle, coat the handle with sawdust or powdered chalk to keep it dry during the game.
What is tennis elbow?
This is one of the most common injuries among tennis players and is described as an overuse injury. While it is very common among all racket sports players, any repetitive movement can actually cause it. It is characterised by pain on the outer part of the elbow, particularly when gripping a racket, and there may also be pain in the area over the outer elbow.
'Tennis elbow affects the outside of the elbow'.
How can I prevent tennis elbow?
- perform gradual stretching exercises for the wrist on a regular basis to build up muscle strength.
- bend your arm on forearm shots. This means that the biceps and shoulders take the force of the swing, rather than the elbow bearing the full brunt of it.
- start backhand swings from the shoulder and try to avoid placing your thumb behind the racket's grip.
- bend the arm and serve with a firm wrist when serving the ball.
How is tennis elbow treated?
Since Tennis Elbow is an overuse injury, one of the first principles to adopt if you develop it is to take a complete rest from tennis for several days. Other treatments include:
- apply ice packs to the affected area frequently and avoid moving the arm in such a way that it hurts.
- use a support bandage or other form of strapping to give support to the muscles of the forearm.
- take painkillers or anti-inflammatory tablets to reduce pain and inflammation.
- take another look at the handle of your tennis racket, and get professional advice about its suitability. It may be necessary to change the size of the racket handle.
If you are still in pain after a few days, or if the pain gets worse, seek the advice of your GP.
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