Tennis Elbow and Beyond: A Closer Look at Tennis Injuries

shutterstock 181769753 Tennis Elbow and Beyond: A Closer Look at Tennis InjuriesThe 2014 US Open starts today. One of the major stories prior to the start of the tournament is that Rafael Nadal is sitting this one out due to injury. At only 28, Nadal has already won 14 Grand Slam singles titles but his aggressive playing style has taken a toll on his body. Nadal has suffered from many different injuries — mostly to his knee and wrist — over his career; this is the fifth tournament in his career where he has been sidelined due to injury. It leads many to wonder if Nadal would be the greatest tennis player of all time if he could only get his body to cooperate.

Whether you are a professional tennis player or you play for fun, injuries can always occur and ruin your game. In honor of the US Open, let’s take a closer look at tennis injuries and how they can be prevented.

Common Tennis Injuries

Overuse is the most common reason for tennis related injuries. Approximately two-thirds of all tennis injuries occur because of overuse. The other third is due to sudden injury or an acute event.

Tennis Elbow

You know an injury is common when it is named after the sport where it frequently occurs. Lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow, is a strain of the muscles and tendons in the elbow through repetitive motions. Tennis players can get tennis elbow by practicing their backhand swing repeatedly.

Shoulder Injuries

Swinging a tennis racket and firing off a powerful shot can put a great deal of stress on your shoulders. Tennis players often suffer from shoulder injuries.

Rotator cuff injuries are common. The rotator cuff helps position your shoulder in the socket. If you have a weak rotator cuff, it can cause irritation in the socket tissues as it moves around. This can lead to inflammation in the tendon or the bursa (Shoulder Bursitis), causing pain when you swing your racket overhead.

Lower Limb Injuries

Tennis is a full body workout and players must sprint from one side of the court to the other. The sudden pivot as a player takes off can put stress on the knee joints, tendons and ligaments resulting in knee injuries.

Any sport that requires running has the risk of ankle injuries. A sprained ankle is one of the most common tennis injuries. Even the greats like Roger Federer and Andrew Murray have suffered sprained ankles.

Preventing Tennis Injuries

With any sport, proper training and condition is crucial to injury prevention. This means warming up before a match as well as maintaining your fitness even in the offseason. Tennis is a fast paced sport that requires not just muscle strength but also endurance. You need to be able to sprint back and forth, backwards and forwards, throughout the match.

When strength training, focus on the shoulder muscles to help prevent rotator cuff injuries. Strengthen and stretch the wrist and forearm muscles to prevent tennis elbow, as these tend to absorb the most impact from the ball hitting your racket. Work on your core and back to further reduce the chance of injury.

For tennis, technique is extremely important not just to win but also to extend your career by reducing the risk of injury. Make sure you have the proper form for each type of swing. That said; try not to repeat the same swing too many times in a row. Mixing it up helps prevent overuse injuries but is also more in line with how a match will be played.

In addition, make sure you have the right equipment. Pay attention to the grip size of your racket. Make sure your footwear is supportive. If you are experiencing even minor pain, consider taping the area or wearing a brace for added support.

Sources:

http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/tennis-injury-prevention.aspx

http://www.physioworks.com.au/Injuries-Conditions/Activities/tennis-injuries

Tennis Elbow Prevention

Tennis elbow is a condition that affects the elbow which can be quite painful. It’s also known as lateral epicondylitis and can affect individuals other than tennis players. It’s common in people who perform repetitive motion with their elbows, such as golfers, painters, carpenters and others individuals who use their arms.

Tennis elbow occurs when the tendon along the outside of the elbow moves unnaturally, causing inflammation and irritation. One way to help prevent the tendon from moving out of place is by wearing tennis elbow braces. They apply gentle compression on the elbow to give it extra support and alleviates the pain.

Check with your doctor if you think you may have tennis elbow or are experiencing pain in your elbows. You can also learn more about tennis elbow with one of the following links:

 

Aircast A60 Ankle Brace – Great for Tennis!

Ankle injuries can occur quite frequently while playing tennis. A tennis player’s chances of rolling an ankle are very high, due to the side to side movement and sudden changes in direction while on the court.

Many professional tennis players wear ankle braces while playing. In fact, British tennis star Andy Murray wears an Aircast A60 ankle brace. Like many tennis players, he’s sprained his ankles multiple times and now wears a tennis ankle brace for prevention and added support.

The Aircast A60 is designed to provide support at the weakest point in the ankle. Each side of the brace is molded at a 60 degree angle to help guard against ankle sprains and rollovers. In addition the Aircast A60 ankle support is:

  • Easy to put on because of its single strap design
  • Breathable and lightweight because of its unique material, keeping your foot cool and dry
  • Anatomically designed for a sleek and comfortable fit
  • Great for sports – fits easily in your shoe

Get ready for your next tennis match with an Aircast A60 ankle brace and you can start preventing ankle injuries!

Tennis Ankle Injuries – Do I need an ankle brace?

tennis ankle braces1 Tennis Ankle Injuries   Do I need an ankle brace?

Tennis Ankle Braces

We are often asked about the importance of wearing an ankle brace or ankle support for tennis or other court sports.  There are usually two groups of people:

1. Those that have never sprained their ankle

2. Those that have sprained their ankle in the past

For those of you in the group that have never sprained your ankle the only reason you’d consider wearing an ankle brace is for prevention.  So is worth strapping on an ankle brace just as a precautionary measure?  To you I say yes.  It only takes one ankle sprain to make you more suceptable to ankle sprains in the future.  In other words, the more you sprain your ankle the more you will sprain your ankle.

Now that you are aware of how common ankle sprains are, you should be convinced you might want to get a pair of ankle braces. Note we recommend wearing braces on both ankles even if you only have issues in one of them.  You want to be balanced and protect your good ankle as well.

So which ankle brace is best for tennis?

All around ankle stability:

Aircast A60 Ankle Brace – Worn by pro Andrew Murray – Lightweight, good stability, slim fit

DonJoy Stabilizing Ankle Brace – Lightweight, good stability, slim fit – very similar to if not a tad better than the popular ASO ankle brace used by a lot of tennis players.

Kallassy Ankle Brace -Worn by a lot of pros including Michael Chang – Made from a sock of neoprene, but very comfortable.  Similar feeling to an athletic tape job.

For Extra ankle stability -

DonJoy Velocity Ankle Brace – This brace is truly the sturdiest brace on most comfortable brace on the market.  It is a bit bulkier than some fo the softer braces listed above, but slimmer than all the other hard shell ankle braces on the market. If you are suceptable to ankle injuries you need this brace – DonJoy did a great job on this one.