Tennis Injuries: Most Useful Tips & Exercises Recommended by Experts

As you know, playing tennis involves your whole body movement. Getting tennis injuries is also a part of being a sportsman.

However, some tennis injuries are lasting and some are temporary or acute. You may have injuries on your arms or your legs since tennis is played with complete coordination of arms and legs as you move around. It is a strong game and the heated matches make the players not miss any shots. Players perform beyond their limits to give their best.

As a result, they sometimes get serious injuries while playing tennis. In this article, I’m going to discuss the most common tennis-related injuries in detail.

The most common tennis injuries are Tennis Elbow, Back Pain, Tennis Toe, Tennis Knee – Patellar Tendonitis (aka Jumper’s Knee), Rotating Cuff Tendinitis, Wrist Strain, and Shoulder Injury. In this case, a proper set of exercises, physical therapy, and other techniques can help.

Let’s look into the details.

Tennis Injuries – A Practical Guide

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Tennis players usually experience chronic and acute injury. The players get acute injuries on the lower body parts such as knees, legs, ankles, or feet.

On the other hand, lawn tennis injuries are most likely to happen on the upper body parts such as elbow, shoulder or backbone, etc.

The tough shot that a tennis player experiences is when he/she is serving. While serving the ball the player feels a lot of pressure on the elbow and shoulders.

Players sometimes stretch their bodies to swing the ball and as a result, they are most likely to have pulled muscle or muscle strain.

So, I’ve gathered the most common tennis injuries that players get to provide you with the information.

The most common tennis injuries are:

  1. Tennis Elbow
  2. Back Pain
  3. Tennis Toe
  4. Tennis Knee – Patellar Tendonitis (aka Jumper’s Knee)
  5. Rotating Cuff Tendinitis
  6. Wrist Strain – Wrist Injury
  7. Shoulder Injury

1. Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow injury is one of the most common injuries players usually have when playing tennis.

The coordination and movement of the elbow and arm are mostly involved. The racket weight and the pressure while hitting the ball may cause arm pain in tennis.

Causes of Tennis Elbow

The main cause of elbow pain or injury in tennis is the inflammation of tendons. These are the tissues that contract your forearm muscles to the fingers. This happens because of the overuse of these muscles.

When a player hits the ball with his racket with great pressure, he might stretch his arm more than the capability.

In this case, the tissues are torn causing inflammation and injury to your elbow. The over compulsion is the main cause of this injury.

How to Prevent Tennis Elbow

The precautions and care tips for the tennis elbow can help you put a stop to having it. First of all, you should focus on learning the right ways of hitting a stroke.

You should be focusing on the racket strings as well. Check your racket has proper string tension.

Additionally, an unnecessary strong hold of the racket can cause strain in your forearm muscles. Wearing an elbow protection strap is also a good practice to avoid any mishap.

Moreover, an arm-friendly racket is also a great help to prevent tennis elbow.

Exercises to Prevent Tennis Elbow

There is always a cure for every disease. Similarly, elbow tennis can be treated by doing some physical exercises to avoid worsening conditions.

The elbow gets injured mainly because of the poor grip power. Exercises for some tennis elbow injuries that can be cured without any surgery are:

  • Spinning the Dumble
  • Fist Clench
  • Extending Wrist with the help of a dumble (2 pounds)
  • Curling or Flexion of the wrist
  • Towel Twisting

Before doing any exercise yourself at home do consult a doctor if the injury is quite serious. Otherwise, the exercises mentioned above are the best movements to get rid of that growing pain. Along with exercises, you also need a proper stretching routine.

Equipment To Prevent Tennis Elbow

As mentioned before, wearing an elbow strap can be helpful. You should wear it below your elbow and cover it when you are playing tennis. This strap can help you prevent the injury and dissipate the growing pain.

Note: Do read my separate detailed article on tennis elbow to learn more about exercise, cure, causes, and a lot more.

2. Tennis Knee – Patellar Tendonitis (AKA Jumper’s Knee)

Tennis knee is another common injury among tennis players. They constantly have to run and jump over and over again. This often leads to knee injuries.

The tennis knee, also known as Jumper’s knee, is caused when the tendons of the knee become inflamed.

This injury happens when the kneecap of the player continuously rubs with the other bones. A player suffers a lot of pain from this tennis injury.

Causes of Tennis Knee

The tennis knee is commonly caused because of overexertion of the knee. When a player is stroking the ball he has to run or jump quickly.

This directly puts great pressure on your knees at once. Due to which the player gets a tennis knee. The pain is severe and may become lasting.

The knee tendons become swollen and because of running and jumping excessively the knee cap rubs with other bones and becomes weaker.

In addition, the player may also get a knee sprain, leg-stretching, leg aching, or may pull apart cartilage. Due to these, an athlete can have arthritis that weakens his/her bones.

Some injuries are chronic and build up over time. The damage, pain, and hurt gradually increase.

If not treated on time this often becomes permanent damage. The players do not remain strong enough on the knee area and might quit playing tennis.

How to Prevent Knee Pain in Tennis?

To avoid having knee pain or injuries you should wear good tennis shoes to have perfect step and grip on the ground.

The right and comfy shoes help you jump and run easily and protect you from falling and having knee pain to some extent.

You should also consider practicing running, jumping, and stopping so that you have good strength.

Most importantly, you should warm up before the game begins. This is a crucial part before doing any kind of body or muscle movement or any tennis drill.

Equipment to Prevent Tennis Knee

There are several ways to prevent tennis knees. These include proper medication, regular checkups to the physicians should not be ignored if the injury is severe.

If you have serious pain in your knee that is a call that you are experiencing high-impact physical activities.

Severe pain in the knee may be reduced by putting on a knee brace. Avoid putting weight on your knees.

Your physician may advise you to take a break from playing and rest properly.

3. Tennis Toe

The tennis toe is the most painful injury a player experiences in tennis. It is also called “runner’s toe”. It is one of the most frequently happening injuries in tennis.

The tennis toe is commonly caused because of the pressure on the toe. The constant pressure causes blood storage in the nail of your toe.

This is such a painful injury. Usually, the tennis toe happens when a player is continuously moving around, jumping, or stopping.

Causes of Tennis Toe

The causes of having a tennis toe are very common yet pinching and painful. This is a bittersweet pain and disturbs the player while playing.

Moreover, this also happens when the shoes of the player are smaller or bigger than his foot size. The toe rubs against the shoe and gives rise to pain.

Due to the smaller toe area, the blood starts depositing at the back of the nail hence the player suffers a lot of pain.

In some serious cases, you’ll need to see the podiatrist release the pressure from your toe and run out the blood. This will ease your pain and help you get back to your game!

How to Prevent Tennis Toe?

It is not a big deal to treat tennis toes at home. If the injury is serious and you are suffering severe pain then you should schedule a meeting with a doctor/ podiatrist.

But when should you think your tennis toe is serious?

So, the answer is very simple. You can observe it by the color of your nail.

When the blood deposits behind the nail of your toe it sometimes heals with simple remedies. But if your nails have turned purple or blue then you must consult your doctor.

The tennis toe often heals by draining the blood out by drilling a hole on your nail. However, sometimes the tennis toe becomes more severe and your podiatrist might pluck out your nail.

Note: The nail can recover back but it will take months for it to grow.

The injury prevention of tennis toe is easy and quite simple. First thing first, you should make sure that the shoes you are wearing are a perfect fit for you. Tape the toe with the other toe next to it.

They are not too big or small than your foot size. Secondly, you should keep trimming your nails from time to time.

This will not let your toes rub with the shoes and put pressure. Many tennis-related injuries are healed easily by doing specific exercises or treatments.

Do proper warmup before starting any physical activity.

As a tennis player, you already know it is excessive footwork included while playing. You consume your feet movement to jump and run and swiftly stop.

To help your feet bear the pressure on the toes, you should look for the best running tennis shoes to heal this injury or at least prevent it.

Exercises to Prevent Tennis Toe

Doing exercises for curing tennis toe is preferred as a good practice. Some exercises that can help you prevent tennis toe are mentioned below:

  • Raising, Curling, and Pointing the Toes
  • Stretching Your Big Toe
  • Resting and Scattering Toes
  • Grasp the towel with toes in a curling motion
  • Picking up the marble with the help of your toes
  • Walking Barefoot on the sand
  • Toe Extension
  • Roll the ball (a golf ball)
  • Stand against a wall and stretch your feet backward (similar to wall pushup position)

Equipment to Prevent Tennis Toe

Good shoes can help you prevent the tennis toe. Wearing the right shoes helps you get away with the discomfort and run comfortably.

4. Back Pain

Back pain is another common tennis injury that most tennis players face. Playing tennis is a tough row to hoe. You have to move everybody part including the back.

While hitting a shot you have to bend down your back or twist your back right or left. This causes a lot of stress on your back and results in severe back pain.

Causes of Back Pain in Tennis

Back pain in tennis is usually caused by the overextension of the back. You have to move your body at every angle.

Running and twisting your back over and over again causes back pain. The back pain eventually builds up and the targeted area is your lower back.

Over time your pain will get worse when you perform any activity. The back pain in tennis players is very common.

Due to the flexion, rotation and extension combine and cause back pain.

Therefore, it is important to balance and maintain the number of physical activities you perform.

How to Prevent Back Pain?

You should be very careful in case of serious back pain. If the pain is severe and it is growing to the legs and you feel a tingling sensation in your legs. Then you must consult your good doctor to avoid any serious problem.

Consider doing exercises to increase your body strength and more flexibility. Set up a routine to do core and back exercises at least two times a week.

Before playing you should warm up thoroughly and cool down your body after the game. If you are having back pain then you should avoid doing high-impact activities for a while.

Exercises to Prevent Tennis Back Pain

There are several exercises for eliminating tennis back pain. These exercises should be a part of your routine even when you are not on the court.

Keeping your fitness is the key to strengthening the back muscles. To get rid of the back pain issues you should practice the exercises to increase your core strength.

I have researched and put together some of the best core exercises that can be beneficial for you as a tennis player. You should consider doing these exercises:

  • Planks
  • Superman Pulls
  • V-ups
  • V-sits
  • Plank Knee Crosses
  • Leg Raises
  • Elbow Plank Twists
  • Taping Shoulder Planks

These exercises will keep your back tall straight and strong. Your back muscles will be more flexible and have the strength to cure the back pain.

Remember: If you feel pain while doing any one of the above exercises. Do consider consulting a good doctor/ fitness trainer.

5. Rotating Cuff Tendinitis

Rotating cuff tendonitis has another word known as impingement syndrome. It is a condition in which your shoulder tendons are affected.

Tendonitis influences your muscles that help your shoulder to move. If you are having this condition then it means that your tendons are damaged or inflamed.

For tennis players, it happens as usual. It is caused when you lift a heavy professional racket to hit the ball.

The stress fracture occurs when you serve the ball with greater power which causes damage to your tendons as a result you experience severe pain.

Causes of Rotating Cuff Tendinitis

There are many reasons for rotator cuff injury other than playing tennis. It is also caused by other motives as well such as sleeping on one side of your shoulder injury every night, staying in one position for a while, and taking part in activities that involve heavy lifting.

In terms of tennis injuries, this is also known as tennis shoulders. The shoulder pain builds over time. It is treated and can be cured with exercises if not severe.

How to Prevent Rotating Cuff Tendinitis?

How would you know the symptoms of tendinitis? Okay, you can come to know whether you have it or not.

Some of the symptoms are feeling pain and swelling on your shoulder.

If you have tendinitis then you might be unable to sleep because of the severe pain. This is an alarming call to you of having impingement syndrome.

You do not have to worry at all! Because I have mentioned the safety precautions for tennis shoulders or rotating cuff tendinitis here.

In the initial stages, you can treat rotating cuff tendinitis by avoiding heavy works, applying cold packets to the affected area.

Furthermore, you can also have physiotherapy sessions if the basic treatments are not helping and get physical therapy.

Another treatment that your doctor may suggest if it is not recovering is steroid injections. These injections are injected into the tendons to recover the damage and eliminate inflammation.

The final treatment is reached out when the non-surgical treatments do not work. Surgery it is!

A bunch of people has recovered after getting their rotating cuff tendinitis surgery. Surgical treatment provides complete recovery from tendinitis and is successful.

Note: We don’t recommend any kind of surgery or treatment as a final thought. This article provides just information. However, you must still consult your doctor before taking any action.

Apart from all these treatments, you can do proper care of your shoulder at home as well.

  • Keep the right posture
  • Give rest to your shoulders
  • Don’t carry loads
  • Avoid sleeping on the same side the whole night.

Exercises to Prevent Rotating Cuff Tendinitis

Once the swelling on your shoulder has vanished your pain will reduce eventually. Now you are good to go for doing some exercises to make you feel fit and perfect!

Some of them are as follows:

  • Reverse fly
  • Doorway Stretch
  • High-to-Low- Rows
  • Side-lying External Rotation
  • Lawnmower Pull

Wrist Strains

Wrist sprains or wrist injuries are the commonly happening tennis injuries to any tennis athlete. The player goes through writs strains when he/she experiences great pressure on his wrist. Wrist injuries can be very painful but are treatable.

The players usually fall daily the ground when playing a match. During this occasion, a player places his palm on the ground to avoid falling. When your hand touches the ground it bends toward your forearm muscle and you feel extreme stress or pressure on your wrist.

As a result, you get wrist strains. Severe pain in the wrist can be because of the ligament breakage.

Causes of Wrist Strains

Regardless of putting pressure on the wrist, there are some other reasons for having wrist strains.

You can also feel pain in the wrist if it is twisted or being hit hard. The wrist strains occur when the ligaments that connect your wrist with your hand are torn.

How to Prevent Wrist Strains in Tennis?

Want to know the symptoms? Let me put all of them for you on the list.

  • Constant pain
  • Swelling on Wrist
  • Tenderness Around the wrist
  • Inability of Motion
  • Weakness

To diagnose and confirm the injury your doctor will suggest an X-ray or MRI. It would be better to follow the instructions given by the doctor for personal satisfaction and recovery.

You should also keep your wrist at rest for a while. Do not pick anything heavy. Try to avoid putting stress on your wrist too far from your ability.

When you are playing you can avoid getting tennis injuries by staying careful. Practice carrying the racket and hard shots so that your wrist would not disbalance. You should also do exercises that enhance your muscles strength.

Exercises to Prevent Wrist Strains

To prevent wrist strains it is important to practice daily. Learn to balance, lift heavy loads, and play on good ground.

A slight disbalance can cause injury to your wrist. Therefore, it is necessary to take each step very carefully while playing tennis.

Performing some exercises might also help you improve your muscle and heal your wrist pains. Some of the exercises to get away with that bitter pain are as follows:

  • Wrist Stretch (extending)
  • Flexion
  • Wearing a Resistance Wristband (flex and extend)
  • Squeezing the tennis ball

If you feel pain or discomfort after doing the above exercises then I would recommend you schedule a meeting with your doctor.

Equipment to Prevent Wrist Strains

Wearing wrist guards and bands provide flexibility to your wrist and hence prevents wrist strains while playing tennis.

Preventing Tennis Injuries – Practical Guide and Tips for All Tennis Pain

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So far, we have learned about the possible tennis injuries along with their symptoms, causes, and exercise to avoid. Let’s see some of the practical tips that can help you prevent any kind of injury on the tennis court. After all, health is wealth.

The journey of a tennis player is all about ups and downs. Sometimes you have to experience chronic injuries and sometimes critical ones.

Besides that tennis is a sport full of passion and determination. Therefore, these injuries should not become a hurdle between your passion and hard work.

To overcome the risks of having tennis injuries you should be very focused and follow these simple and helpful tips.

1. Practice

Practicing the game tricks daily helps you know the tactics to avoid having injuries. You can also practice tennis by yourself if you don’t have a partner yet. But following the precautions is a must.

2. Take a rest

Playing continuously can make you feel tired. This can result in experiencing pain is mostly used body parts such as your legs shoulders and arms.

Therefore, to enjoy the full benefits of tennis, taking short intervals of rest can help you prevent tennis injuries and perform better.

3. Exercises

You should consider doing exercises that make your core stronger and strengthen your muscles. Some of the exercises for tennis players are:

  • Standing T
  • Lateral Lunges
  • Knee Hug
  • Rolling Foam
  • Squats
  • Medicine Ball Slam

4. Wearing Resistance Bands

Before going to the match ground you should check whether you are perfectly attired or not? Wearing resistance bands helps you a lot when playing. These bands allow more flexibility to your wrist muscles and hence you do not have any wrist strain.

5. Warm-up

Warm-up is the most important part of playing tennis. Doing a good warm-up (for at least 15-30 minutes) a little before the match prepares your body to move in every direction. As a result, you do not face muscle strains.

6. Use the right Equipment

Look for good pieces of equipment before playing tennis. You can take advice from a professional player to get the perfect equipment or check our top best-selected tennis racquets.

7. Good Tennis Shoes

Wearing shoes that perfectly fit on your feet is a plus to the prevention of tennis toes. Look around the market or ask an expert to help you find the perfect fit.

8. Court Surface

Play matches on a clean and ready-to-play court. This will keep you safe from dis-balancing and falling. There are various tennis court surfaces you can play on. Remember to choose the surface according to your skills and level to keep your game less risky.

Most Common Causes of Tennis Injuries

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The most common causes of tennis injuries are lack of practice, exercise, warm-up, or poor techniques. Some players do not care properly about these basic points and face pain and injuries.

When you do not focus on doing proper exercises you might experience pains such as ankle pain, leg stretching, tennis toes, wrist strains, foot sprains, and tennis arm pain.

These all are the most common tennis injuries you will face as a player. The reason for having these pains is not doing exercises or warmups for muscle strengthening and flexibility.

Moreover, the main cause is putting pressure too far on your body. This leads to pain in muscles and injures your body parts.

The most common reasons for tennis injuries are:

  • Wrong Tennis Equipment
  • Wrong Court Surface
  • Poor Techniques

1. Tennis Equipment

Choosing the right equipment for playing a tennis match plays a mandatory part in preventing you from injuries. Wrong equipment not only brings pains to your body but also you will develop poor skills and techniques. As a result, you may not reach the full potential of your skills and reach the next levels.

Purchase a good racket that is professional as well as it should not weigh more than you are capable of holding it. There is a lot more to look at when choosing a tennis racket. We have covered all that information in our racket buyers guide. Do read it as well.

2. Court Surface

For proper step grip, you should play tennis on a hard court. Hardcourt is considered good. These courts do not let you fall and are clean and solid. On the hardcourt, there are fewer chances of slipping, and your playing techniques are enhanced.

3. Poor Techniques

Tennis is not about just hitting the balls with the racket, it is more than that. That is, hitting the tennis ball with proper technique and angles.

However, using poor techniques can only promote injuries. This is a hallmark of a non-professional and non-experienced approach.

Some of the poor techniques are:

  • Holding racket with a too light or too hard grip
  • Your racket is too light or too heavy
  • Putting pressure on your forearm
  • Poor timing of hitting the tennis ball

Tennis Injuries Statistics

The injury rates for junior players are 0.6 – 1.7 per thousand hours of playing tennis. While on the other hand, the range of tennis injuries for senior competitive players is a bit higher ranging from 2 – 6 per thousand hours of tennis play.

Summary

The long and short of the story is that every athlete faces injuries while playing tennis or even any sport. These injuries are the challenges that make you stronger not only in sports but in normal life as well. However, these injuries should not be an obstacle in your way to a successful career. Because these challenges keep you going and reach your goals so remember you are not going to give up!

So, you must take care of yourself especially when any of the above injuries happen. Do an on-time treatment to avoid hurdles to your tennis career.

I hope you must have learned a lot from this tennis injuries guide. If you need more details, let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share this article.

FAQs

1. What are the most common tennis injuries?

The most common tennis injuries are

  • Tennis Elbow
  • Rotating Cuff Tendinitis
  • Tennis Knee
  • Back Pain / Back Stretches

2. How can tennis injuries be prevented?

There are various tips and precautions a player must keep in mind to avoid any possible tennis injuries. Some tips are as follows:

  • Choose the right racket, neither too light nor too heavy
  • Develop your playing techniques properly
  • Give your body enough rest
  • Don’t put too much pressure on your shoulder, arm, or wrist

3. How do you treat tennis injuries?

There are many ways to treat tennis injuries depending upon the type of injury you have. For example, for wrist injuries, you can use wrist bands and wrist exercises to treat. The same goes for the shoulder, arms, and back.

4. How often do injuries occur in tennis?

Like any other sport, tennis is prone to injuries most of the time because a player has to run, bend, hit, and do a lot more movements on the court which may result in, sometimes, injuries. It means there more chances of getting injured in tennis.

However, using the right tennis racquet and techniques can help prevent injuries.

5. Can tennis balls cause injuries?

The answer is yes because the player has to hit hard the coming ball which may result in stress on the wrist, arm, and shoulder. If not hit properly, this can result in a serious injury.


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