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Tennis – Common injuries and treatments

As the tennis season approaches a lot of us will be dusting off our racquets and donning our tennis shoes. However, it is all too common that an overly enthusiastic return to sport can result in injury; below are some tips on how to help prevent injury, and information on the treatments available.


Tennis elbow

If you play tennis regularly you will have heard of this condition; it is an injury caused by the overuse of the muscles used to extend your wrist. This often happens when playing tennis due to the impact of hitting the ball with the racquet, this action causes the muscles in your wrist to contract. The pain usually occurs on the outside of the elbow and worsens whenever you participate in an activity that causes you to use these muscles.


Helpful tips include ensuring that you are using the correct sized tennis racquet as well as making sure it is matched to your ability. You can usually ask for advice in a sports shop where they will discuss the appropriate grip and tension of the racquet. Using a tennis elbow strap can help to prevent symptoms from worsening and will provide the inflamed part of the muscle with some much-needed rest. Ice compresses can also be beneficial in treating this type of injury, generally, 15 minutes wrapped in a towel after activity is advised, repeated as required (for no longer than 20 minutes at a time).

Shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries usually occur due to the overuse of muscles that have not been strengthened, stretched or warmed up properly. The rotator cuff muscles are often involved; these muscles help to stabilise and correctly position the shoulder joint in the socket. When these muscles are injured it can affect a multitude of activities and everyday tasks such as retrieving items from a cupboard, carrying shopping and even putting a jacket on.

It is always best to see a manual therapist, such as an osteopath, to confirm this condition. An osteopath can provide you with a personal exercise and rehabilitation programme as well as hands-on treatment to improve your range of movement, muscle tension and help with your pain. Having regular massages and ensuring that your body is warmed up before playing tennis can also help as this will keep your muscles supple.


Stress fractures

Stress fractures can occur in the shins or feet due to a rapid increase in your training regime. They can also occur in your back, caused when your back is arched and rotated whilst serving which places pressure on the vertebrae. To avoid stress fractures, gradually increase your training regime ensuring that you also perform thorough warm up and cooling down exercises. Try not to overarch your back when serving.

Muscle strains

Muscle strains are usually acute in nature and can happen after fast or sudden movements. You can help to prevent these by making sure that you are thoroughly warmed up before playing, and also by maintaining good flexibility through stretching and massage therapy.

If you are experiencing any pain in your muscles or joints it is always best to seek professional advice.
A 30 minute consultation with one of our osteopaths costs just £25; during this assessment, you will be examined and provided with a diagnosis and treatment plan. A single treatment session costs between £40-£50 depending on whether treatments are bought singly or as part of a course (typically 4 or 6 sessions).

Massage prices are £40 for 45 minutes or £49 for 1 hour.

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