Injuries in any sport are very common irrespective of the level of practice, whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or even a professional. There are no shortcuts to avoid injuries but you can always take certain precautions and keep some tips in mind. It's important to be aware of this because Tennis is one such sport, where if you are not careful enough the injuries can put a question mark on your career.
Types of Injuries in Tennis :
Tennis Elbow :
Tennis elbow is very common with people who play tennis and other racquet sports. In medical terms, it is known as lateral epicondylitis. It’s an inflammation outside the elbow and usually happens when a wrong shot is played with your wrist. If your wrist is too stiff and you hit a shot you might end up having a tennis elbow. It gets worse if you continue doing activities with your forearm even if you don’t play tennis
Ankle Injury :
With quick movements in tennis, ankle injuries are common among players. Quick sideway motion, front and back movements can cause a stretch in the muscles which can damage one of the ligaments in your ankle. Twisting is very common in tennis due to sideways motion which can lead to swelling, pain, and stiffness in your ankle. Sometimes the injury is so bad that the area which is hurt starts turning blue which is a severe case where you require medical help.
Shoulder Injury :
Shoulder injury happens due to excessive and repeated stress on your shoulder while hitting a tennis stroke. It mainly occurs while serving, because while serving, we put a lot of effort and strength trying to make a perfect serve. Shoulder injuries can happen due to various reasons like using a heavy tennis racket, a wrong technique of hitting, etc.
Wrist Pain :
Wrist pain is nothing but pain that can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter if the player is an amateur or a pro. There are several reasons for this; wrong size grip, the improper technique of holding the racket, wrong string tension, etc. Improper equipment can also lead to swelling near the thumb and also wrist twisting.
Knee Pain :
Tennis involves a lot of jumping and leg movements which can cause pain in your knees. There's also a term for it, known as “jumper’s knee”. A sudden drift in your leg movement can lead to a serious injury or pain which is why it's important to have the right shoes for the right court. Your heel support plays a very vital role in avoiding such knee pain. Many players have also faced an issue with their kneecaps being disjointed due to wrong footwork in tennis.
How to Avoid Tennis Injuries :
Use the Proper Technique :
No sports can be played without proper technique and it's the same for Tennis. When we say proper technique in tennis it simply means a right grip, suitable racket strokes, proper footwork, and right swings. All the strokes that we play in tennis involve the whole of your body. While hitting a tennis ball with your racquet, you use your hands, legs, wrist, and waist. While hitting a forearm stroke make sure you hold your racket grip properly with the support of your fingers and while serving try not to arch your back too much to avoid back pain.
Use the Right Equipment
In the initial stages, most of us aren't willing to invest too much in equipment. But as soon as you start practicing regularly, you will realize how important equipment is for your game. For example
Tennis racquets come with different grip sizes (sizes 2, 3, 4, and 5). You can choose a tennis racquet according to your palm size. If a tennis grip is not proper, you might end up having blisters in your hand and also won't get proper grip which will hamper your game.
Right Tennis Racquet :
There are several tennis racquets available in the market to choose from but how to choose the perfect one for you is most important. You should choose a racquet keeping in mind the following things:
Level of practice - beginner, intermediate or advance
Weight of the racquet
Grip size of the racquet
String tension required for your game.
Single head or double hard racquet
The material the racquet is made up of - graphite, aluminum and carbon
Post and Pre-Session Workout
Proper warmup and strength-building exercises give you core strength to avoid any injuries and keep your body fit.
Cooldown is as important as warm-up to relax your stiff muscles.
It's a misconception among many players that the more they push themselves, the better they get.
Regular intervals for rest are also necessary for recovering your body to play more. You can have a few Sundays skipped.
Nevertheless, Injuries are part of a sports person’s life which is not going to stop sports enthusiasts from practicing. To keep in mind that if you respect your body, your body will respect you.