Common Tennis Injuries and Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Tennis ranks high in popularity among the racket sports, and enthusiasts might play it either recreationally or competitively. The non-contact style of tennis helps minimize some risks for traumatic injury while playing the game. However, about 33 percent of all injuries occur from an acute event such as stumbling or falling. The remaining common tennis injuries happen with overuse, and they often involve a tennis hand injury or an injury to the wrist, shoulder, or elbow. Kinetic Sports Medicine offers non-surgical care for patients experiencing a sports injury from tennis, and we can help you to get back in the game.

Common Tennis Injuries

Tennis elbow injury may be the most well-known problem for players of the game. This injury happens with overuse of the muscles used to swing the racket. With tennis elbow, the tendons that run along the forearm and through the outside of the elbow become inflamed. A player usually notices pain on the outside of the joint, and the grip on the racket often weakens.

Tennis shoulder injuries are also problematic for many people. With this issue, the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder become inflamed, which causes pain and stiffness when trying to execute overhead motions like serving the ball. Some players experience a form of tennis wrist injury known as tendinopathy. People who play with a double-handed backhand may be at a higher risk for developing this issue in their non-dominant hand. A soft-tissue tennis hand injury is also possible for some players due to repetitive stretching and grasping of the racket handle to swing at and hit the ball.

The lower extremities are also at risk for tennis injuries. Explosive running, sudden direction changes, and fast stops on hard surfaces can cause damage to bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Tennis knee injuries are a common complaint, with "jumper's knee" afflicting many players. With this issue, the cartilage around the kneecap becomes inflamed from overuse. Muscle strains in the legs are also typical for players. Hamstring strains may be a top tennis leg injury due to the nearly constant running and jumping motions of the sport. Straining calf muscles is also common.

When playing tennis, back injury is also possible, often coming in the form of a stress fracture. Frequent bending to the sides, rotating the trunk, and hyperextending the vertebrae to reach balls and swing the racket could result in stress fractures in the lower back. Sometimes, this issue involves little pain, but activity may increase the discomfort. Left untreated, vertebrae may shift forward out of place.

Treatment Options

A physician usually prescribes rest, ice, compression, and elevation when an injury occurs. If diagnostics show a fracture, tear, or rupture in a bone or joint, the physician may recommend anti-inflammatory medication and even surgery in severe cases. Recovering from these types of injuries can be a slow and painful process. Rehabilitation often involves physical therapy. But there are newer options that can make the healing process easier.

Dr. Richard Kim and the team at Kinetic Sports Medicine have devoted themselves to providing non-operative solutions to heal sports injuries and resolve pain. Dr. Kim is a primary care sports medicine physician who focuses his medical expertise on newer treatment therapies such as stem cell and platelet-rich plasma injection. These treatments involve using a patient's own stem cells or blood to hasten healing and encourage regeneration at the injury site. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kim to learn more about our services.