Top 13 Tennis Injuries You Should Know About [In Depth]

injuries in tennis

Addicted to playing tennis? Not giving up daily sessions at the tennis club? It is true that the benefits of tennis are many, but there is always a risk of tennis injuries that can change everything. What are the most common injuries with which tennis players are affiliated?

Since tennis is one of the most aggressive sports, from those that require a constant lack of concessions, it leads to the effects of transcendence along with melancholy and depression. This combination of body and mind can, in the end, result in minor to severe injuries, from one-time to persistent, from an accidental event to overuse injuries.

Most tennis-related injuries are due to overuse. The most common type of injury is a sprain or strain in the lower back, shoulder, neck and wrist. Tennis players should take time off from playing if they feel pain anywhere on their body that doesn’t go away within 24 hours.

At the end of the day, tennis is a game that requires movement and skill to be played at its best. Learning how to play correctly can help you avoid injuries when playing on hard courts or clay surfaces, or the most dangerous grass ones.

What injuries can you get from tennis? How common are tennis Injuries?

The  elite tennis player trains and plays an average of 2.3 hours a day over an average of 6.1 days a week. The average point in a game requires 8.7 changes of direction with each change producing a load of 1.5-2.7 times the body weight on the knee. The biomechanical and physiological requirements that arise with the frequency, intensity and duration of the game lead to high exposure to injuries.

These factors are especially problematic in those who have not built proper endurance and strength whose job is to reduce the extreme loads acting on the upper and lower limbs. The incidence of injuries in tennis players  varies and in studies ranges from 0.05 to 2.9 injuries per year. The most common injuries occur in the lower limb and include tears in the meniscus in the knee, muscle strain and ligament strain which make up 39% -59% of all injuries. At the same time 20% -45% occur in the upper limb and 11% -30% occur in the center of the body (abdomen and back

Efforts to reduce these injuries should focus on improving endurance, practicing dynamic balance, agility, strength and technique.

common tennis injuries

Who is more likely to get injured – professional or amateur tennis players?

Injuries characterize everyone when he is playing incorrectly. But the intensity of the injury is greater among professional tennis players.

The injuries as a result of overuse are more characteristic of the amateurs. Among professional athletes there is awareness of proper training, and planned construction of an effort bar.

In contrast, traumatic injuries are more common among professional athletes because their activity is more aggressive than among amateurs.

How to avoid injuries in tennis?

Playing tennis is a fun part of our lives but precautions must be taken to try to reduce damage and reduce the risk of a typical injury.

  1. The best way to prevent injury or overexertion when playing on a hard surface court is by wearing appropriate shoes and padding for your joints (preferably with shock absorbers). This will help reduce any wear and tear from running back and forth too much across the court.
  2. It also helps if you have someone or some app that can monitor how long you play so it can tell you when it’s time to take a break.
  3. Tennis players should make sure they stretch before their match as well as after in order to avoid muscle strains that could lead to more serious injuries like pulled muscles, ligament tears.
  4. Increase the training load gradually- One of the most common causes of tennis injuries is playing at a high intensity and without sufficient preparation. You may have everything you need to compete for hours, but playing right away will wear your body down quickly. To reach your specific goal, it is necessary to create a well-organized training schedule with an average tennis coach.
  5. Wear protective equipment for hot days- equip yourself with sunglasses, and a good hat for these hot summer days to protect you from the sun.
  6. Prepare the body for the activity by warming up and stretching before and at the end of the workout.
  7. It’s also important not to wear worn out shoes because they won’t provide proper support during long matches.
  8. Listen to your body, if it signals warning signs of pain and inflammation, address it in a timely manner and treat

List Of Tennis Related Injuries

  1. Ankle sprains

You might go from left to right on the court and once got caught by your opponent and slept on the court surface. Feeling a bit of pain when moving the ankle, later that night it will become swollen. That’s an ankle injury in tennis.

Ankle sprain is defined as a sharp, rotational, internal movement in the ankle area, which causes stretching and even rupture in the ligament fibers that connect it to the bones. 

For the most part, the pain caused by a sprain passes by itself and contrary to popular belief does not require rest. In more severe cases, it can be treated with physical therapy and appropriate footwear when needed.

  1. Stress fracture injuries

In case you don’t give up on tennis and don’t let yourself rest even for a single day, you might risk yourself with stress fracture injuries on your bones, due to the excessive overload.

Fractures are small cracks in the bone that are caused as a result of heavy load due to overplaying tennis. In fact, the bone fails to absorb the consistent load applied to it. 

Stress fractures can appear after strenuous activity, such as long matches and training, but also due to normal daily activities that do not require special effort, in cases of sensitivity or problematic medical history. 

The pain as a result of a stress crisis may be extremely sharp and will appear at both rest and exertion. The typical treatment is physiotherapy to reduce pain and inflammation and strengthen muscles along with fitting insoles and footwear when needed.

  1. Crutch Area Injuries

Stretching tendons in the crutch area is a common injury in any game that involves ball, such as tennis, soccer and basketball. 

In these sports activities there are common repetitive lateral movements of the pelvis and thigh. Treatment for tendon stretching in the area will include rest, cooling and bandages. 

To avoid this, a gradual and controlled training program should be built. An injury that is not well treated can become chronic – a condition that is more difficult to recover from.

Be sure to have a good solid footwork and watch for potential points on the court where you could slip and stretch your crutch, it could really hurt.

  1. Tennis Hamstring Injuries

This one is quite common on the professional tennis tour. Stretching the hamstring or the back thigh muscles is typical of sports activities that require quick and sharp movements of the thigh muscle, such as tennis, running and football. 

This muscle is especially difficult to heal because it is a muscle that participates in daily activities that are performed frequently. 

For this reason, it is not possible to allow the muscle the rest it needs. This is an injury whose recurrence is high. Treatment focuses on relieving pain, stretching and strengthening muscles.

  1. Shin Splints In Tennis

Another common tennis injury for tennis players. Shin Splint is a common name given to pain located in the front of the calf, resulting from overuse or repeated hit to the tissue. 

The injury can be to the calf itself or to the muscles and tendons adjacent to it near the ankle. 

In severe cases there is swelling and redness of the skin as a result of the inflammatory process created in the area. 

Treatment focuses on lowering the inflammatory process, and includes pain management, injury rehabilitation, rest, stretching and touch therapy.

  1. Bunion Tennis Injury

A spur, or a bunion, is one of the major causes of heel pain. The signs are pain and inflammation of the thick ligament in the lower part of the foot, with an emphasis on sharp pain that appears on the first step of the foot in the morning. 

The pain gradually decreases, but may reappear after prolonged standing or in the first step after prolonged sitting. A spur is especially common in defensive tennis players that run a lot, heavyweight players and in situations of improper footwear. 

Therefore, the treatment will include adjusting the insole to correct the position of the foot, functional training to strengthen the lower limb and proper footwear.

  1. Tendonitis Inflammation Injury

A tendon is a thick tissue that connects the muscle to the bone. Tendonitis occurs when there is over-stimulation of the tendon. 

Symptoms include pain and tenderness in the area where the tendon connects to the joint. The most common areas for tendonitis are the shoulder, elbow, knee and heel. 

The aggravation of the condition is a tendon rupture, which sometimes requires repair of the tendon in a surgical procedure. Most cases of tendonitis can be resolved by rest, physiotherapy and if necessary medication to reduce the pain or inflammatory process.

  1. Muscle Contractions In Tennis

A spasm or muscle contraction is a sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscle group in the body, causing severe pain and limiting range of motion. Muscle contractions result from massive training or strenuous physical work. 

Although this is a condition that is not considered dangerous or harmful but muscle contraction causes temporary paralysis of the limb. 

Most often, muscle contraction can be treated with simple means, such as a heating pad or massage.

  1. Tearing the meniscus in tennis

You often make one wrong movement and you can be off the court for months or even more. Tearing the meniscus has been a curse not only in tennis but in all ball related sports because you often make bad movements when trying to reach the ball, ending in tearing the meniscus.

The function of the meniscus is to pad the knee to act as a kind of shock absorber, and to stabilize the knee through the distribution of body weight loads on its face. A rupture of the meniscus causes pain, swelling and limitation in joint movement. 

In many cases, the rupture is caused by no hitting the area at all, but as part of a series of natural degenerative changes of the joint. In mild cases, treatment includes maintaining and improving range of motion, reducing pain, swelling and rehabilitating the knee. 

In more severe cases, surgical intervention is required, especially when there is a large traumatic rupture and significant joint limitation that does not respond to other treatments.

  1. Tennis Elbow Injuries

Finally, an injury that is known to pretty much every tennis player. However, contrary to false misconceptions, it does not happen because you have the wrong racquet (although having a good racquet for tennis elbow might help), or due to just playing tennis, it is occurring because of lack of technique and wrong movements with the arm for long periods of time which is dangerous.

Tennis elbow is a term for a condition of degenerative tissue or a partial rupture of the rectus muscle origin of the wrist from the outer area of ​​the elbow. The location of the injury is in the tendons of the elbow on the outside or inside due to multiple repetitive movements that eventually cause an inflammatory process in the area where the tendons connect to the bone. 

This condition is reminiscent of inflammation, but it is not a real inflammation but a reaction to abnormal tissue formation. A tennis elbow (or golf elbow) causes pain in certain movements, and when it lasts a long time can become chronic. 

Like I said, despite its name, the syndrome is not related to tennis in most cases. The treatment includes rest combined with a gradual training program for muscles and tendons under the supervision of a physiotherapist, until full return to activity.

  1. Tennis Wrist Injury

The wrist is not as common of sight for injury in tennis players, but it can happen.

The way you hold your tennis racquet may be the source of wrist pain. If you have any kind of shoulder or elbow injury, it is always a good idea to get it checked out first before trying any home remedies. But if all else fails and the pain persists for longer than two weeks without improvement, consider changing your grip on the racquet–you might find an alternative solution that doesn’t cause as much strain on your wrists.

For example, if the pain originates from holding your racquet with an Eastern Grip then there’s probably tendonitis at the base of your thumb.

  1. Toe and foot injuries in tennis

A big toe injury can be painful and it is something that you want to avoid. You may have heard, “the nail beds are the most important part of your feet” for a reason – if you maintain proper length on your nails and wear comfortable shoes, this type of injury might not happen in the first place!

Tennis players who play for years can develop abrasion of the toe base joint. This condition sometimes requires treatment with a surgical operation after which it is possible to return to play.   

  1. Shoulder Injuries In Tennis

As a result of the shoulder joint being one of the most mobile joints in your body, it is also susceptible to injury.

The shoulder joint bothers many tennis players. Mainly due to imbalance of the shoulder muscles and changes in the range of motion in the shoulder in those who play for a long time. If these conditions are not treated, there may be damage to the tendons in the shoulder and cartilaginous structures within the shoulder joints. 

Tennis is different from other sports because many of its playerscontinue to play even aged 40 and older. At this age, the chances of shoulder injuries has increased: 50% of the players in this age group suffer from shoulder pain due to overstimulation of the tendons and repetitive movements or due to a bone protrusion. 

As tennis players age, they are at higher risk for injury. They should be aware of the risks and take proactive measures to prevent such injuries from happening. One way is by warming up before playing a match or practice session. It’s also important that they stretch after training sessions in order to reduce muscle soreness and keep their muscles healthy. This will help them avoid further joint-related pain down the line as well!

Some of the shoulder pain eventually comes down to minimally invasive surgical treatment. The good news is that a very high percentage of those who undergo surgery return to play tennis.

Famous tennis players injuries

  1. Juan Martin Del Potro

Del Potro is one of the most unfortunate talented tennis played to have ever step on the court. Beating Roger on the US Open final in 2009, in his prime, is a remarkable achievement and he is indeed a threat to any top class player in any day he feels healthy. Problem is, Delpo has consistently been dealing with injuries, going through his 4th knee surgery this year. We all remember when he returned to the 2016 Olympics, beating Novak (again), while crying to the cheering of the crowd.

  1. Roger federer

At the start of 2016, The swiss maestro have reportedly slipped while bathing his kids in the bathtub, resulting in a knee injury. He want through knee surgeries since and have been absent from the tour for a year almost. We all know what happened when he came back then. Winning 3 more grand slams and many more titles to his name.

  1. Rafael Nadal

There is no other player that you can associate an injury in tennis other than the great spaniard. He has shown great sign of consistency and spirit of not giving up even when things are though, going through the most injuries in his career. You can’t see him without wearing a bandage on his knees, or some plasters on his fingers due to blisters on his hands.

  1. Lleyton Hewitt

The australian that reached the No. 1 rankings in 2001, have gone through numerous injuries since that have ruined his career. His strength and speed were his main source of power to winning his matches, due to aging and continuous injuries, surgeries and recoveries, he declined in rankings and in performance over the years.

  1. Naomi Osaka

Osaka’s decision to not participate in post-match interviews at the French Open highlights that mental health is an issue that can’t be ignored. 

This doesn’t just refer to physical injuries in tennis, but also the mental injuries that can occur as a result of their occupation. The well-being and livelihoods of these players should be prioritized by not only them but also those who support them before anything else – including interviews with reporters or fans after matches.

The pressure of competitions and media attention are just some factors affecting athletes’ mental health, which should be taken into consideration for both professional tennis players and those who play recreationally. 

Does tennis hurt your knees?

The knee is a complex joint that undergoes significant stress when playing tennis. And indeed overload and too high of continuous playing tennis intensity can lead to knee pain and knee injuries.

One of the common complaints of many tennis players is knee pain, since in a tennis game the players drastically strain their bodies as they jump from side to side, run sprints and perform sudden braking.

Although tennis puts a lot of strain on the body, it does not mean that you should stop enjoying your favorite sporting activity.

Wear special tennis shoes – Knee pain in tennis is often caused by locking shoes that are not at all suitable for playing tennis. It is important that your shoes are flexible enough so that you can slide from side to side as is customary in tennis and padded enough in the toe area so that you do not cause unnecessary injuries.

Wrap the knee – you can bandage the foot with an elastic bandage to fix the place and soothe the pain and even to prevent the accumulation of fluid in the damaged tissues.

Conclusion

Tennis is a sport that can be played by people of all ages and abilities, but it also has the potential to cause injuries a variety of injuries, but it is important to avoid them by warming up before the match.

f you’ve never had a tennis injury before, now is the time to be proactive. Take preventative measures by doing stretches and strengthening your muscles so that you can avoid injuries like elbow pain or soreness in your knees.

If you’re playing for recreation or looking to improve your game, take care not to overdo it because there are many different types of tennis-related injuries that stem from improper technique and overextending yourself on the court. 

Injuries happen even when we do everything right. So before getting back into play make sure you’re taking preventive measures against pain through rest periods and stretching exercises like those mentioned here.

We hope these tips will help keep you out on the courts longer without any injury setbacks! Do you have a favorite way to prevent tennis related injuries? Let us know in the comments below!

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