Tennis is an exciting sport that requires one to have a combination of skill, optimal coordination, and fitness to play at a high level. It is a physically demanding sport that works the whole body.
Due to the physically demanding nature of the sport, the risk of lower body injuries in tennis is present. The lower body plays an important role in various tennis movements. This is why it’s important for tennis players to understand the movement patterns so they can play their favourite sport better!
Types of Injuries
Tennis players are often on their toes throughout each set and have to quickly adjust to the opponent’s play. This typically requires sharp movements and sudden shifts of weight. The amount of load placed on the body during these movements may increase the risk of tennis injuries, if done wrongly. The foot, ankle, and knee are commonly reported areas of different types of injuries.
To perform a swing, there is a chain of movements from the feet to the knees, hips, back, shoulders, and the arms. So problems in one area of this chain could impact movement and function in another.
Foot posture problems such as flat feet may cause excessive movements in the rest of the body, which could increase muscle fatigue and tightness. As the foot arch flattens, it causes an inward twist of the shin bone and thigh bone. This places stress on the knees, hips, and the lower back. Because of the excessive foot movements and the high-impact nature of tennis, there is an increased risk of foot and ankle injuries.
Hip and lower back pain may arise while playing tennis. Hip pain can be caused by abrupt movements such as cutting, twisting, or stopping which stress the hip joint. The repetitive rotations of the upper body from swinging or service may stress the lower back which can cause pain.
Treatment and Recovery
A visit to a health care expert can help identify the problem, its causes, and treatment options. Stretching and strengthening exercises of the lower body are often recommended to improve flexibility, range of motion and stability in the lower body. If foot posture problems are present, then foot insoles can be used as part of a complete active rehab programme.
MASS4D® foot insoles support the feet in their best posture to promote alignment. These supportive insoles control unwanted foot movements and improve distribution of weight on the feet. MASS4D® offers posture support and impact absorption that can allow tennis players to enjoy their favourite sport with improved performance.
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Reference: Dines, J. S., Bedi, A., Williams, P. N., Dodson, C. C., Ellenbecker, T. S., Altcheck, D. W., Windler, G., Dines, D. M. (2015) Tennis Injuries: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Treatment. The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: March 2015, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 181-189.
Reference: Abrams, G. D., Renstrom, P. A., Safran, M. R. (2012) Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Injury in the Tennis Player. British Journal of Sports Medicine: May 2012. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091164
Reference: Ellenbecker, T. S., Pluim, B., Vivier, S., Sniteman, C. (2009) Common Injuries in Tennis Players: Exercises to Address Muscular Imbalances and Reduce Injury Risk. Strength and Conditioning Journal: August 2009, Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 50-58. DOI: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e3181af71cb
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