It's important for tennis players of all skill levels to pay attention to their bodies when playing.
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In fact, tennis injuries most commonly result from overuse and improper technique, according to Dr. Mark Schweppe , an orthopedic surgeon at Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine – Winston-Salem .
“Many tennis injuries occur when tendons become inflamed, causing tendonitis,” Schweppe said.
As a result of this inflammation, many players struggle with the condition known as tennis elbow. “Tennis elbow causes pain on the outside or lateral aspect of the elbow,” he said. Schweppe also noted that players’ shoulders and knees are common sites for tendon pain.
“The first line of treatment for pain associated with inflammation is always conservative,” he said. “Rest, ice and oral anti-inflammatory medications are typically effective.” If pain persists, depending on the issue at hand, physical therapy may be the next step.
Schweppe suggested a few actions players can take to avoid injuries associated with the sport:
- Stretch before playing.
- Use proper technique.
- Play with a racket that is strung at the correct tension to reduce the risk of injury.
Schweppe said it is important for tennis players to pay attention to their bodies when they play.
“Tennis players should seek medical attention for symptoms that persist or don’t get better with rest and anti-inflammatory medications,” he said. “If a tennis player falls and injures a shoulder or elbow, or sustains an ankle sprain, it would be wise to have those injuries evaluated by a medical provider.”
Schweppe said tennis is a great sport for participants of all ages. He encouraged older players to use clay courts, as they are more forgiving on bones and joints than hard courts.
“As long as they are medically able, there’s really no age limit on when folks should stop playing,” Schweppe said. “It is great cardiovascular exercise!”