By: The Wellington Team | Published: June 29, 2012
It’s that time of year again when the professional players, going through their preparation on and off the court for Wimbledon, inspire people who are thinking about a spot of tennis themselves. For those who are wincing at the thought of a casual game - here are some tips on preventing tennis injuries.
The most common injury associated with tennis is identified by pain stemming from the outter side (lateral epicondyle) of the elbow, following repetitive flexion and extension at the elbow. It can also make gripping difficult and therefore holding a racquet very painful. Micro tears can occur (in the common extensor origin) from constant repetitive movement and often don’t have the chance to heal in many players who push through the pain.
Initial treatment with ice and rest will settle the inflammation. Seek treatment from a consultant or therapist for an appropriate elbow brace, if the pain persists longer than two weeks. You may also need your technique reviewed so bring your racket along and we can have a look at your swing, but we don’t promise any improvement to your serve!
Players who incorporate topspin into their shots often complain of wrist pain, this is from the flicking motion used to create the spin during play. The source of the wrist pain can vary in players, depending on the shot they use topspin in.
Warming the hand and wrists prior to playing is essential. A gentle support over the wrist can also provide some comfort. Again if your pain is affecting your game, further assessment may be necessary get to the source of the problem.
- Support your forearm on a table with your hand resting over the edge. With the opposite hand stretch the wrist down, holding for eight seconds. Then extend the wrist back until you feel a stretch and hold again for eight seconds. Repeat this four times.
- Circle each wrist whilst holding a tennis ball clockwise and anticlockwise.
- Gripping the racquet, gently rotate the racquet as if you were turning a door handle, pronating the forearm and supinating the forearm. The slower the better, and keep your elbow tucked at your side to focus the movement on your forearm.
- Do check that you have a good grip on your racquet, and the strings are tensioned properly – they do need replacing from time to time. This will prevent you using your wrist to overcome the loss of string tension to achieve your shots. Don’t push through wrist and elbow pain, if initial rest and ice doesn’t settle your symptoms, seek further assessment early.
Enjoy the season and we hope you ace your game!
If you would like to make an appointment at the London Hand and Wrist Unit please call the enquiry helpline on
020 7483 5148. This highly skilled unit of renowned consultants and experieced therapits can treat all aspects of hand and wrist injury.