It was great to see Andy Murray return to playing competitive tennis recently after his hip injury and hip resurfacing surgery. This emphasized to everybody at ESP Physio the physical demands that playing tennis puts on your whole body.
Due to the acceleration, deceleration and sudden change of direction in addition to the repetitive one sided nature of the sport it is no surprise that Tennis players can suffer such a wide variety of different injuries. As participation levels increase in Scotland and with Wimbledon Fever upon us we will see more and more tennis related problems this summer.
Tennis elbow – irritation to your forearm extensor tendons caused by the repetitive overload of playing tennis. This can cause different problems depending on if you have an ageing tendon or an acutely painful tendon.
Lower back pain – Serving, reaching for drop shots and stretching to reach a return can all put stress on the lower back. The pain could be caused by torn muscles, irritated discs and joints. It’s important to get lower back pain assessed and treated before is starts to become a long term problem
Hip Pain – The hip joint is essentially designed to allow range of motion in order for you to place your feet where you need them to be. Again with consideration to the rapid change in direction and in some cases the extreme range of motion that the hip is exposed to (think Novak!) the hip joint and cartilage can be vulnerable to injury. Most hip pain can be helped with physiotherapy treatment and exercises to help strengthening the joint. In rare cases such as Andy Murray surgery may be required to reduce the pain and restriction.
Anterior Knee pain – With increased jumping, lunging and turning movements the knee joint tolerates lots of different stressful forces. This can cause pain to the joint, tendons and with slips and falls damage to the ligaments and bursae.
If you are playing with pain or a physical restriction such as a loss of movement or stiffness then we would suggest that you get a physiotherapy assessment to establish the source of the pain before a treatment and rehabilitation program commences.
However if you have issues with tennis elbow or hip tightness then try these two exercises.
Stage 1 – wrap the band around the forearm just below the elbow joint. Create tension on the band and curl the weight through 30-45 degree’s of range. Aim for 3 sets of 6-8 reps but stop if you get pain above 4/10.
Stage 2 – as stage 1 but with the wrist in a neutral position.
Stage 3 – as stage 2 but with the palm turned down.
This is a great stretch for loosening the posterior joint capsule and surrounding gluteal muscles. It is also a nice way to open the joint up and let it get some air! Hold for 30-60 seconds for 3-5 sets. As you get better try to bring the shin bone forward so your knee joint is at 90 degree’s bend.
If you want to identify some of the issues you have and resolve them to become a better tennis player then call us on 01324 227 370 and book in for a physiotherapy assessment.