Tennis is a popular international sport catering to all ages and skill levels.
But playing tennis can lead to injuries.
Many of these are caused by overuse, not enough muscle strength, training too fast, and sudden movements.
By statistic, the rate of tennis injury in the general population is five injuries per 1,000 hours of participation.

Some factors affecting your injury risk:

  • Different court surfaces;
  • Condition of tennis balls used;
  • Type of racquet;
  • Playing technique;
  • Weather extremes;
  • Inappropriate footwear;
  • Poor physical conditioning;
  • The amount and level of participation;
  • Poor injury rehabilitation.

How to avoid the most common tennis injuries:

Tennis elbow.

Improving your technique. If you just started playing tennis, it’s likely that you’ll need to improve your skills. Work with a trainer or take a few tennis lessons to learn the right way to grip your racquet and to serve and return.

Strengthening your muscles. Resistance training can help build and strengthen the muscles in your arm. When they’re stronger, they can handle the force of movement and resist injury. ‌

Regular warm-ups. Stretching and warming up before you play helps prevent injuries. Spend five to 10 minutes getting the blood and oxygen moving to your muscles. ‌

Getting the right racquet. Using a lightweight racquet or moving up a grip size can put less pressure and stress on your tendons and muscles. This can prevent tennis elbow.

Shoulder injuries.

In both recreational and professional tennis, shoulder injuries are the second most common. This is because of the high force and speed needed to overhand serve, smash overhead, and in groundstrokes. This can place stress on the shoulder.

Some of the same practices like warming up and stretching can also help prevent shoulder injuries. You can also:

Do resistance training. Building rotator cuff muscle strength will help you have a stronger shoulder. Try using an exercise band with light resistance and flex and extend the wrist. Do this three to four times a week. ‌

Exercise. Staying in good shape can help you lower your overall risk for injury. Combine your resistance and strength training with cardio exercise in cycling, running, swimming, or other exercise. ‌

Wear a brace. A shoulder brace can help support movement when you play. You should only wear this during a tennis game, not while you sleep or throughout your regular day.

Jumper’s knee.

Tennis can cause different kinds of knee pain because of the side-to-side movement and the repetitive jumping. The force of hitting the ground can cause tendon injury and inflammation. Playing on hard surfaces like the tennis court can also make injury more likely.

You can prevent a jumper’s knee by warming up your muscles before you play. You can also:‌

Strengthen your quads. Stronger quad muscles on the front of your thigh help stabilize your knee. Try adding squats, lunges, or leg raises to your exercise program.‌

Stretch. Stretching before you play is one of the best ways to prevent jumper’s knee. Make sure to include stretches for your hamstrings on the back of your thighs, quads on the front of your thighs, and your calf muscles.

So how you can prevent injuriesfrom occuring in the first place:

Warm-up exercisesAlways warm up, stretch and cool down.
Muscle strengtheningGood preparation is important
Manage load on the bodyIt’s important to listen to your body and recognise if you have an ache that should be rested.
Avoid playing with a pre-existing illness or injury.
Use the right equipmentUsing shoes that are not designed for the surface you are playing on or not suitable for your style of play can also lead to injuries to the ankles, knees and even the lower back.
Think about your techniqueRecognising when you may be doing yourself more harm than good when it comes to how you actually play the game is a mature thing to do and it takes humility. But, looking yourself in the mirror and changing things up before you cause yourself a bad injury is well worth it.

Alexander Zverev Injury – Roland Garros 2022

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