Avoid sports injuries to keep that swing in your tennis game

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If you're athletic, sports injuries are par for the course, no matter what your game....

If you're athletic, sports injuries are par for the course, no matter what your game. Tennis, in particular, has its own special set of hazards. Injuries to the wrists, shoulders, lower back, knees and elbows are common. Many tennis players suffer from a swelling of their elbows, appropriately known as tennis elbow. If you're an avid tennis player, there are steps you can take to avoid serious injury on the tennis court.

Tennis Elbow

If you play tennis regularly, you might starting to notice that your swinging elbow feels hot, swollen and painful. This type of injury is called tennis elbow, and can be treated and avoided easily.

  • Wear an elbow wrap: Wrapping your elbow can help compress the area of swelling and can increase blood circulation to speed healing.
  • Listen to your body: If you feel pain in your elbow joints when you are playing tennis, try to take a break and let your arm rest. Pushing through an injury like this will only make it worse.
  • Alternately apply ice and heat: Cold application to your elbow can reduce swelling and speed healing, while applying heat can reduce pain.
  • Use proper form: Tennis elbow can also happen as a result of an improper swing. Ask a tennis instructor to evaluate your swing to make sure that you are not over-straining your elbow.

Other Common Injuries

Pain in your shoulders should never be ignored. When you swing a tennis racket repeatedly, the tendons and ligaments in your shoulders can become strained or even torn. The pain from a shoulder injury like this can feel excruciating and sharp, and may leave you unable to lift your arms. If left untreated, the condition could require surgery.

Make sure to see your Atlanta-area doctor or a chiropractor to treat your injured shoulder right away. Having a thorough evaluation and examination of your shoulder will identify any tears and will indicate what treatment you will need. Treatment can involve rest, alternating ice and heat, chiropractic adjustments, steroidal injections or surgery.

When you think of tennis, you probably think of your swinging your arms and using your back. But don't neglect you legs when you play. When you routinely work your muscles to the point of fatigue during a tennis match, you may start to put undue stress on your leg bones, resulting in stress fractures. This common tennis injury will still leave you able to walk around and move, but will cause a lot of pain when you do. This is because stress fractures cause tiny cracks in your leg bones, which can only heal if allowed to rest.

Play Smart

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, there are several things you can do to keep yourself healthy on the tennis court:

  • Dress properly: Wear supportive sneakers meant for tennis. This will help prevent injuries to your ankle. Additionally, wear two pairs of socks for further ankle support.
  • Avoid hard courts: Try to play on courts that are made of materials with some give. Courts made of concrete or asphalt will place added pressure on your joints and your lower back.
  • Warm up and cool down: Make sure to stretch before and after your game. Stretching prevents injury as well as muscle soreness.
  • Listen to your body: Chronic sports injuries can indicate that you push yourself too hard during your tennis games. It is always important to listen to your body and take frequent rest and water breaks as needed.

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