Tennis injuries

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Muscle strain is one of the most common injuries in tennis.[1] When an isolated large-energy appears during the muscle contraction and at the same time body weight apply huge amount of pressure to the lengthened muscle which can result in the occurrence of muscle strain.[2] Inflammation and bleeding are triggered when muscle strain occur which resulted in redness, pain and swelling.[2] Overuse is also common in tennis players from all level. Muscle, cartilage, nerves, bursae, ligaments and tendons may be damaged from overuse. The repetitive use of a particular muscle without time for repair and recover in the most common case among the injury.[2]

Types of injuries[edit]

Lateral epicondylitis[edit]

Coloured in purple: the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis muscle

Lateral epicondylitis is an overuse injury that frequently occur in tennis. It is also known as tennis elbow. This injury categorise as tendon injury where it occur in the forearm muscle called the extensor carpic radialis brevis (ECRB).[3] The injury is regularly developed in the recreational players.[3] Experienced players are less likely to develop lateral epicondylitis than the inexperienced players due to poorer technique.[4] Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylalgia is a common injury that occurs in 40-50% of tennis players. It is more prominent at the lower levels of play and usually comes from any incorrect use of the wrist or grip on the forehand or one-handed backhand strokes[18]. Players at higher levels often have more relaxed grips and have a larger racquet extension out to the ball after they make contact, where professionals have less emphasis on the arm and more on the use of every part of the body in order exert the natural power behind the ball, lower level players don’t get the training to discover how to use their whole body for a tennis stroke and are often reduced to using their arms in order to exert all of the power therefore putting heavy strain on the arm[18]. Holding the grip tightly will put more tension on the arm therefore when going for a swing the muscles will be absorbing all of the shock from the initial contact of the ball[19]. Symptoms of tennis elbow include the slow pain which occurs around the elbow. Simple tasks such as shaking hands or moving the wrist with force, like lifting weights or doing push ups, will worsen the pain[21]. Tennis Elbow has actually shown that inflammatory tendons are only part of the early stages or acute stages with a treatment of anti-inflammatory or steroids being appropriate uses for this symptom[20]. Most players respond well to simple rest, but other means of treatment include physical therapy, strength training, and electrical stimulation[18]. Some players make alterations to their racquet such as increasing grip size which will ultimately prevent any unwanted movement of the wrist when extending out and finishing the tennis stroke[19].


Shoulder injury is other common types of injury in tennis. Shoulder injury caused by the repetitive use of shoulder[5] when serving and striking the ball. The injury also relevance to rotator cuffs pathology, toscapular dyskinesis or glenohumeral internal rotation deficit which leads to internal impingement and/or labral pathology.[5][6] There is 24% of the high-level tennis players aged 12–19 suffered from shoulder pain and rise up to 50% for middle-aged players.[7]


There are 3 different type of tennis serves. Yellow represent: Flat serve Red represent: Topspin serve Green represent: Slice serve

It is common for tennis players in all level of play have experienced back injury throughout their career. In fact, more than 85% of the active athletes clarified that they have experienced back pain.[8][9][10][11] According to 148 professional tennis player in one particular study, back pain forcing 39% of players to withdraw from the tournament.[12] Furthermore, 29% of the player said they experienced chronic back pain.[12] Lower back pain is the most common injury amongst tennis players with instances of postural abnormalities and general overuse which may occur during the back rotation and extension of the serve. In order to relieve pain in the lower back people are often told to rest it, but not for more than two days because of its potential damage to the bones, connecting tissue, and cardiovascular system. Once the back pain has dispersed stretching is recommended in order to prevent the stiffness from the initial pain, with examples being the squatting position or spinal extensions. In order to prevent future lower back injuries strength training to the abdominal muscles is necessary because with a stronger abdomen it will protect the back from excessive intervertebral disk strain. The straight crunch, the Oblique crunch, and balance exercises with the gym ball are some of the workouts for abdominal strengthening, but the exercises should be done with caution because if done incorrectly the strain on the back will be amplified. After the injury is dealt with, players of any level return to the court, the higher level players will often go through a thorough stretching period before any matches so they can assure that they won’t hurt their back or any other part of their body[22].


Blister can be described as a patch that appears on the skin filled with a clear fluid and sometimes filled with blood. During physical activities, the continuous force of friction, cutting, squeezing and scratching which cause the separation of the epidermal cell layer, as a result the blister is formed.[13] Blister (foot) occurs frequently among marathon runners, walk racers, backpackers and in hiking.[13] In tennis, blister development site often occur on the hand or around the fingers because often time the skin is consistently rubbing against the tennis racquet.


  1. ^ Abrams, Geoffrey D.; Renstrom, Per A.; Safran, Marc R. (2012-06-01). "Epidemiology of musculoskeletal injury in the tennis player". British Journal of Sports Medicine. 46 (7): 492–498. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2012-091164. ISSN 1473-0480. PMID 22554841.
  2. ^ a b c Levangie, P. K., & Norkin, C. C. (2011). Joint structure and function: A comprehensive analysis (5th ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co. ISBN 9780803623620.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b Smedt, Thomas De; Jong, Andy de; Leemput, Wim Van; Lieven, Dossche; Glabbeek, Francis Van (2007-11-01). "Lateral epicondylitis in tennis: update on aetiology, biomechanics and treatment". British Journal of Sports Medicine. 41 (11): 816–819. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2007.036723. ISSN 1473-0480. PMC 2465303. PMID 17616547.
  4. ^ Hatch, George F.; Pink, Marilyn M.; Mohr, Karen J.; Sethi, Paul M.; Jobe, Frank W. (1992). "The effect of tennis racket grip size on forearm muscle firing patterns". Am J Sports Med. 34: 1977–83. doi:10.1177/0363546506290185.
  5. ^ a b Hoeven, H. van der; Kibler, W. B. (2006-05-01). "Shoulder injuries in tennis players". British Journal of Sports Medicine. 40 (5): 435–440. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2005.023218. ISSN 1473-0480. PMC 2577490. PMID 16632575.
  6. ^ Neuman, Brian J.; Boisvert, C. Brittany; Reiter, Brian; Lawson, Kevin; Ciccotti, Michael G.; Cohen, Steven B. (2011-09-01). "Results of Arthroscopic Repair of Type II Superior Labral Anterior Posterior Lesions in Overhead Athletes Assessment of Return to Preinjury Playing Level and Satisfaction". The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 39 (9): 1883–1888. doi:10.1177/0363546511412317. ISSN 0363-5465. PMID 21737836.
  7. ^ Lehman, R. C. (1988). "Shoulder pain in the competitive tennis player". Clinics in Sports Medicine. 7 (2): 309–327.
  8. ^ Ferguson, R. J., Mcmaster, J. H., & Stanitski, C. L. (1974). "Low back pain in college football linemen". The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2 (2): 63–69. doi:10.1177/036354657400200201.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Szot, Z.; Boroń, Z.; Galaj, Z. (1985-01-01). "Overloading Changes in the Motor System Occurring in Elite Gymnasts". International Journal of Sports Medicine. 06 (01): 36–40. doi:10.1055/s-2008-1025810.
  10. ^ Eriksson, K., Nemeth, G., & Eriksson, E. (1996). "Low back pain in elite cross‐country skiers". Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports. 1 (6): 31–35. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.1996.tb00067.x.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Kujala, U. M., Taimela, S., Erkintalo, M., Salminen, J. J., & Kaprio, J. (1996). "Low-back pain in adolescent athletes". Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 28 (2): 165–170. doi:10.1097/00005768-199602000-00002.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ a b Marks, M. R., Haas, S. S., & Wiesel, S. W. (1988). "Low back pain in the competitive tennis player". Clinics in sports medicine. 7 (2): 277–287.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ a b Van Tiggelen, Damien; Wickes, Simon; Coorevits, Pascal; Dumalin, Mich; Witvrouw, Erik (2009-01-01). "Sock Systems to Prevent Foot Blisters and the Impact on Overuse Injuries of the Knee Joint". Military Medicine. 174 (2): 183–189. doi:10.7205/milmed-d-01-8508.

18. Dines, Joshua S, Bedi, Asheesh, Williams, Phillip N, Dodson, Christopher C, Ellenbecker, Todd S, Altchek, David W, Windler, Gary, and Dines, David M. "Tennis Injuries: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Treatment." The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 23.3 (2015): 181-9. Web

19. Rossi, J., L. Vigouroux, C. Barla, and E. Berton. "Potential Effects of Racket Grip Size on Lateral Epicondilalgy Risks." Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 24.6 (2014): E462-470. Web

20. Peterson, Magnus, Stephen Butler, Margaretha Eriksson, and Kurt Svärdsudd. "A Randomized Controlled Trial of Eccentric vs. Concentric Graded Exercise in Chronic Tennis Elbow (lateral Elbow Tendinopathy)." Clinical Rehabilitation 28.9 (2014): 862-72. Print.

21. “The Facts about Tennis Elbow.” WEbMD Web. 27 Feb. 2014

22. “Lower Back Pain.” Web. 12 Nov. 2015