Can tennis injuries be treated with physiotherapy?
Tennis is a highly popular international sport. It is played by a large number of people worldwide. So many people are aware of the sport in one manner or the other. If you have not played the sport yourself, you no doubt know of someone who does. Moreover, you would be aware of the tennis injuries which for the most part is treated with physiotherapy.
The sport has a passionate and lively following. It has some of the highest-paid players in the world. These sportsmen and women have reached celebrity status. Even if you have never played the sport or watched the international tournaments, some of the most well-known people in the world are affiliated with tennis. You might not know Serena Williams or Roger Federer from the tennis realm, but you cannot deny knowing their names.
What causes tennis injuries?
Like most sports injuries, tennis injuries also are either acute or chronic. One-third of all tennis injuries are acute, or instantaneous, injuries. These mostly tend to be injuries of the lower limbs. The other two-thirds of tennis injuries are chronic, or overuse, injuries. Overuse injuries are mostly upper limb injuries. This makes sense because tennis requires the holding of a racket and a repetitive motion in the elbow and the torso.
Other external factors might also contribute to tennis injuries. These include the hardness of the tennis court flooring and the temperatures that the sport is played in. The sport requires skill, coordination, strength, agility, balance, and power. Therefore, a good supple body is the tennis player’s bread and butter. It gets harder for the body to repair itself as it ages. This is where physiotherapy can help in the long run.
Tennis is a growing sport
This sophisticated sport of tennis has been gaining a lot of popularity among the youth in Canada. In the past couple of years, studies have shown a steady rise in tennis interest among the Canadian population. In the study conducted by Tennis Canada, 5.3 million of the 6.5 million participants play at least four times in one year. 1.7 million of these are frequent players of the sport, and actively take part in nationwide tournaments.
The study also showed that a younger demographic of the population is where a lot of the interest is developing. In the year of the survey alone, around 600,000 youngsters have been recorded to have picked up the tennis racket. Many of these were children under the age of twelve and played the sport more than four times in that year. The interest in tennis has been developing at a grassroots level. The reason for this is that Canada is making its place in the international tennis scene with great sportsmen.
With star players like Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard to serve as role models, it is no wonder that Canadian children would like to try their hand – or rather, their racket – at the sport.
Tennis as a “safe sport”
In another study by Tennis Canada in 2015, they found out why so many parents enroll their children into tennis. These children are in most cases, under the age of twelve. This is because the sooner you start, the better for you to understand your sport. Practice makes you perfect, indeed. The more the body is used to the sport, the better it equips the mind to the sport. Additionally, 24% of the parents that were inquired after said that it was because tennis is a “safe sport”.
This is quite true if seen at the surface level. Tennis sees very few live injuries. In 2015, Eugenie Bouchard lost her footing in the US Open which led to a concussion. This incident is a stark anomaly in the realm of tennis. Concussions and other head injuries are rather rare on the tennis court.
What injuries then, do exist on the tennis court? That is the salient question. The answer is that most of the injuries that tennis players suffer often happen gradually, and “under the surface”. Oftentimes, most players do not even realize that something is very amiss until lasting damage has been done. This is why tennis players, like all sportsmen out there, must undergo regular exercises and physiotherapy treatment to ensure their body remains supple, strong and healthy.
Common tennis injuries – Treatment and prevention
Physiotherapy does not only help after an injury is diagnosed. Regular exercise and physiotherapy can make the body stronger and powerful. It can monumentally reduce the entire risk of injury, and make sure that the body maintains its strength with time. Let us look at some of the most common tennis injuries:
- Epicondylitis: This injury has a commonplace in tennis and it commonly called – Tennis Elbow. Pillars of Wellness clinic in Burlington offers physiotherapy treatment for this particular injury. Tennis elbow is an inflammation in the tendons of the elbow. It is the most common overuse injury caused by the sport. Physiotherapy can help assist in the reduction of the swelling and the pain with RICE guidelines. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Similarly treated injuries include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Wrist sprains, Sprained ankle, and calf strain.
- Rotator Cuff Impingement and Rotator Cuff Tear: The former occurs due to swelling in the shoulder that puts space between the shoulder and the soft tissues. This causes pain and reduces optimal movement. The latter could be either an acute or overuse injury. In this the rotator muscle in the shoulder suffers a tear, causing pain and loss of strength. Similar injuries include Patella tendinopathy and MCL tears.
- Lower back pain: Because of the strength the upper torso needs during a tennis game, the spine also suffers the effects of overuse. Pillars of Wellness Clinic also uses top-of-the-line innovative acupuncture treatment to help with chronic lower back pain.
Depending on the severity of the injury, the physiotherapist reserves the right to pull you off the tennis court for as long as required. However, with a strong rehabilitation program, athletes can usually return to play after a few weeks, depending on the injury itself.