Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to treat common tennis injuries

Kristianne Bontempo | Towpath Tennis Employee | Online Shop Manager
Have you ever walked off the court with that familiar twinge in your back, knee, shoulder or elbow?
Strains and sprains can be a huge pain, but they're just as common as finding a dead ball. They're just apart of the game, but the worst thing a player can do with a tennis injury (or any injury for that matter) is continue to play with one! Duh right? Believe it or not, it's more common to see players continuing to play with an injury. And we get it, there's a big match coming up; the team needs you; you don't want to sit any part of the season out. They sound like legitimate reasons, however, all injuries need time to heal, even a minor muscle strain. Returning to the court too soon or continuing to play with an injury for too long will not only jeopardize your recovery time, but it will eventually affect your game as well. 
So how treatable is a tennis injury? If its a strain, which is caused mainly from overuse, you'll simply need to rest the injured tendon/ligament until it feels better. If its a sprain, which is an actual tear of a ligament, It really would depend on the severity. Obviously, a rolled ankle is going to have a longer recovery time than a pulled muscle, but the good news is most of these injuries can be easily treated if you follow these helpful tips.  

1) Assess the injury - If you feel a strain while on the court, STOP playing! Assess the severity of the injury. If you think it might be a sprain, you'll want to get a second opinion from your doctor, but regardless you'll need to break out the ice.

2) Ice - The muscle will be inflamed so in order to reduce the swelling, you need to apply ice not heat. Ice the area for 20 minutes with a thin layer of cloth in between to protect your skin. (Once the worst is over, then you can apply heat but that's not until the swelling is gone.)

3) Compress - Wrapping the affected area is especially important unless you want an injury like a rolled ankle to blow up like a balloon. It will help reduce swelling and add support to the injury. If you don't have an ace bandage, try using saran wrap!

4) Elevate - The reason you want to elevate a muscle sprain is to prevent or help reduce swelling.

5) Rest, rest, and rest! We cannot stress that enough.

6) Muscle strengthening - Whether it be a short recovery or long recovery, an injury will weaken a muscle so you'll need to work on it everyday AFTER the initial pain and swelling dissipate. Start with stretches, light weights, or do holds such as planks to help strengthen the muscle.

7) Back in the game - It probably isn't the best idea to return to the court on a match day. Take a friend or hit against a backboard to feel it out. If there's any hint of a twinge at the injury site, take a step back, ice again and rest a little longer. 

The reality is, you may miss out on a couple matches or dreadfully the entire season. But a little time off will be worth it compared to dealing with months of chronic pain, a problematic tennis game, extensive physical therapy, or having to take off up to a year after a surgery. Whether the injury is major or minor, the way you go about treating the injury will determine how quickly you'll return to the court--which we know is what really matters at the end of the day.
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1 comment:

  1. Injuries are very common in sports, most of the players are facing different types of problems in their sports career due to injuries. Strains and sprains are the common injuries in sports and we should take positive steps to deal with these issues. I would like to follow the instructions present here on how to deal with strains and sprains and I hope we are able to get rid of the pain with this initial treatment.
    Sports Injury