Why Do Your Feet Hurt After Playing Tennis?

Why Do Your Feet Hurt After Playing Tennis

Have you ever played tennis and had an amazing game, but then your feet hurt so much you can’t walk? You’re not alone. Many people experience foot pain after playing tennis. In this post, we’ll discuss the causes of foot pain after playing tennis and some ways to prevent it. Keep reading to learn more!

Quick answer:

It’s a combination of some common tennis foot problems and walking on hard courts.

In tennis, no part of the body takes more abuse than the feet. Not only do you have to get from one side of the court to another many times during a match, but you also have to stop and start quickly as well as change direction frequently. That’s why it’s so important to have strong feet and ankles to withstand the pounding they take during a match.

On hard courts, the high-friction surface provides great traction for your shoes when planting your feet after each shot. Your shoe then skids across that smooth surface with every step you take between points. This is where most of those foot problems develop.

It’s the repetitive nature of the movements on hard courts as well as the pressure placed on your feet each time you stop and start that causes those problems. You’re also talking about an awful lot of wear and tear with every step you take on a high-friction surface like gravel or concrete.   

There are several problems that affect tennis players, including inflammation of the plantar fascia—the connective tissue on the sole of your foot—and stress fractures. If you have a sudden pain in your feet during play or have discomfort after an hour or so of playing, stop immediately and see your doctor for treatment.


Blisters are another common problem with feet, especially in hot weather when you sweat a lot. You can reduce the chance of getting blisters by wearing socks specifically designed for tennis players. They have extra cushioning in the areas most susceptible to being hit by your shoe—the toes and heel—and are made with materials that wick moisture away from your skin. But if you have a blister already, see your doctor right away.

Blisters can become infected and swollen if you leave them alone. Or they may break open when you put your feet in your shoes and continue playing. If that happens, wash the area with soap and water and cover it with an adhesive bandage to make sure there’s no dirt or debris left in the wound. Then see your doctor ASAP so you can get on antibiotics to prevent infection.

More advanced cases of blisters—when they become infected or very large—need to be drained by a sports medicine doctor, who will clean the area and remove dead skin before stitching it up with special sutures. If untreated, these wounds can take a long time to heal and could even require skin grafts.

Treatments range from anti-inflammatory medication taken orally, by injection or as a topical gel to cortisone shots directly into the sites of inflammation—the balls of your feet where you have those burned patches. You’ll also need custom orthotics made from a mold of your foot; these can be made with or without an arch support.

Some of the most common orthotic devices are heel and arch supports, like those worn by many runners to prevent plantar fasciitis (heel pain). These need to be fitted properly by an experienced sports podiatrist who understands how feet work during athletic activity.

Reasons for Foot Pain After Tennis

1. Wrong shoes or insoles

Your tennis shoes should be sturdy with good arch support. They should also fit like a glove to prevent your foot from sliding around inside your shoe, which can irritate the skin on the bottom of your feet. If you’re having any kind of problem with your feet, see an experienced sports podiatrist about custom orthotics before you play again.

2. Injuries from other sports

If you also play basketball or football, the repetitive twisting and turning of your ankles can lead to fractures and other injuries that cause problems with your feet. If you have chronic foot pain after tennis, see a professional who understands how different sports affect the body’s mechanics—especially ones that involve running and jumping.

3. Bone spurs and heel bursitis

These are both conditions that cause pain along the outside or inside of your heel bone, respectively. In addition to foot pain, you’ll also feel it when you sit down as the pressure from your body weight increases as you lean back in a chair.

2. You exercise rarely,

inconsistently, or without appropriate stretching beforehand.

Use the 10-10 rule to make sure you’re ready to play: For 10 minutes before you exercise, warm up with light activity that gradually speeds up your heart rate and gets your blood flowing. During this time you can also stretch your muscles by holding a position for 10 seconds and repeating it 10 times. A little time to prepare your body for exercise will help improve the results of your workout and keep you from getting hurt or, worse, sidelined with an injury.

3. You have flat feet .

People who have flat feet must wear custom-made orthotics in their tennis shoes because their arches don’t provide any shock absorption. If your feet are sliding all over the place because of an arch that’s collapsed, you’re likely to develop blisters or abrasions between your toes or on the heels of your feet.

5. You’re training too hard.

If you don’t allow enough time for your body to recover between workouts, you can end up with overuse injuries that cause foot pain during tennis. It’s the same idea as when you run more than your legs can handle, or do too many pushups with your upper body. You need to allow your muscles time to recover after a hard workout before you work them again.

3. Heavy bodyweight

If you put on pounds, fat cells will start forming in different areas of your body—including under the skin on the soles of your feet. This is more likely to happen if you’ve gained weight quickly, like after an intense crash diet or exercise program.

Also keep in mind that where fat accumulates is largely determined by your genes, so you can’t target which parts of your body will gain weight when you gain weight overall.

4. Improper footwork

You’ll also feel foot pain when your body mechanics aren’t correct and you’re using the wrong muscles to move around on the court. You may be tired or not fully focused on how you’re standing, which can cause you to use muscles that are already fatigued and don’t work correctly.

Your body naturally tries to compensate for this, but your feet will have no choice but to bear the brunt of your lack of focus.

5. Plantar Fasciitis

If your plantar fascia—the ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes—is inflamed or irritated, it will lead to pain in the soles of both feet.

You can get this condition for a number of reasons, including when you’re on your feet all day at work or are wearing shoes that don’t fit well. But it can also come about from a hard workout that’s too intense for your body to handle.

How to Prevent Foot Pain In Tennis

1. Get the right kind of shoes or insoles.

The right shoes take pressure off your feet and absorb the shock that’s created when you run. They should also fit well, so go to a sporting goods store and get fitted for tennis shoes if you’re not sure what type to buy.

You can choose from low profile, mid-profile or high-profile tennis shoes depending on how much ankle support you need. Even if you’re not a serious player yet, it’s still important to wear the right kind of shoes because injuries can occur just from walking around on hard surfaces.

2. Improve your muscles and technique.

The stronger your muscles are and the better you move on the court, the more force you’ll be able to absorb. If your muscles aren’t strong enough to take a certain movement, then foot pain is sure to follow as a result of too much stress being put on those areas.

In addition, your movements need to be purposeful, so focus on having the right footwork during your play sessions. This will allow you to move with ease and avoid any severe or sudden movements that put too much strain on one area of the body, including your feet.

3. Warm up and stretch properly.

Don’t skip the pre-competition warmup or your cool down period. You can do a variety of activities, such as using a stationary bike to get your blood circulating and loosen up the muscles in your legs.

Also, do some stretching exercises after the match to prevent any type of foot pain that could arise as a result of being out on the court too long.

4. Get custom orthotics.

If you have flat feet or high arches, wearing shoes with arch supports is a great way to keep your feet from hurting during play. However, you should see a podiatrist first to have your foot evaluated and determine the kind of arch support that will help you most.

They can then make customized orthotics for your specific needs, which means relief is right around the corner.

How should I warm up for tennis?

A proper warmup before the tennis match will ensure that you’re able to play your best, as well as prevent any foot pain from occurring as a result of not warming up correctly.

Some simple activities like cycling or jogging work well, but you can also choose anything else that gets your blood flowing and loosens up the muscles in your legs.

It’s a good idea to do some light stretching exercises as well, since this will help prevent any injuries from occurring.

Don’t forget your cool down period either after the match is over. This is when you should focus on static stretches that target specific muscles and get them ready for any sudden movements that may come about once you’re finished playing.

Just make sure to take it easy and not push yourself too hard, as this can cause more harm than good.

How long should my tennis warmup be?

You shouldn’t spend a ton of time warming up before a match, but the time you do spend needs to be enough for your muscles to loosen up properly.

Most players say that spending five to 10 minutes warming up at the net is more than enough time. As far as your cool down period goes, you don’t need any long periods of downtime because this can cause delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) if you’re not used to exercising. Try to keep it short and sweet!

Why Does Your Body Ache After Tennis?

It’s safe to say that every player has experienced some type of pain or soreness after playing, but these problems are usually more severe in beginner players.

This is because you’re likely not used to all of the jumping and running on the court, which means your muscles need time to get used to it. As a result, they have a more difficult time dealing with these activities, which can then lead to aches and pains that typically go away within a couple of days.

If you feel pain or discomfort during play, stop and take a break — this will prevent any injuries from occurring and allow your body to heal properly.

What Are the Most Common Injuries In Tennis?

It’s no secret that tennis is an extremely competitive sport, which means it can be very dangerous if you’re not careful.

Spending too much time on the court without any breaks or downtime can lead to a number of injuries , including foot cramps,  tennis elbow, groin injuries and hamstring pulls.

Cramps are typically caused by dehydration and/or a lack of minerals like potassium and sodium, which can lead to spasms , sharp pains and discomfort.

Tennis elbow is the inflammation of the tendons near the outside part of your elbow on your forearm, while a pull or tear of any hamstring muscles means that you need time to recover before returning to play.

You should also make sure to stretch before and after exercising, as this will help prevent any injuries from occurring.

Final Thoughts

Plenty of tennis players have experienced foot pain and soreness after a match, but this is usually due to either flat feet or high arches .

The best way to prevent these types of aches and pains from occurring in the future is by wearing the right shoes for your foot type, as well as using proper warmup exercises before playing.

As long as you take it slow at first, your body should get used to the demands of the court in no time.

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