Tennis Player or Golfer? How to Recognize and Prevent Common Injuries

The warm weather has finally arrived (or somewhat arrived, between all the rain), and so too have the tennis players and golfers who have been anxiously waiting for the sun to shine. Both tennis and golf provide fantastic ways for athletes of all ages to stay social, and physically active from childhood all the way past retirement. Even though a lot of people look at these sports as being less impact and more of a social activity than exercise those who play are still at risk for injury, especially to their knees, elbows, backs, and shoulders.

Knees

Due to the fact that both tennis and golf involves a lot of different knee movements, such as twisting, jumping, kneeling and bending, the natural age-associated wear and tear of the knee is often accelerated. For tennis players, the excessive strain that can be placed on the patellar tendon often results in tiny painful tears. Not only can this impact players on the court but in their daily moment as well.

Elbows

Tennis and golf elbow are injuries that develop over time due to their repetitive use. The pain is usually quite mild initially, so much so that many plays ignore it. Unfortunately, they can only ignore it for so long because it eventually becomes so severe they can’t play any longer. Although golf elbow to the inner tendon and tennis elbow technically refers to inflammation and pain in the outer tendon, many golfers actually get tennis elbow and vice versa.

Back

Whether they deal with sharp, shooting pain or dull aches, back issues are another common complaint that both golfers and tennis players have. Because they are often hunching over or applying repeated stress to their backs, they often experience muscle tears, fractures, or strain.

Shoulder

Shoulder pain and injury are common in most sports. Whether you experience shoulder impingement syndrome, which is common with repetitive overhead sports, or a rotator cuff tear, shoulder injuries can be the cause of significant pain. If not taken seriously, athletes risk losing mobility and strength in their arm.

How Can I Prevent These Injuries?

Now that we have discussed the various injuries that golfers and tennis players are prone to, it’s time to look at how they can prevent these injuries. Perhaps the most straightforward way to do this is to properly strengthen and stretch the major muscles that are involved in your sport prior to playing. It is also essential to have the right shoes and equipment.

Another way to protect yourself from these injuries is to make sure that you are using the proper techniques. One way to do this is to meet with a golf or tennis instructor or pro.

Take the Necessary Time to Rest
Regardless of whether you play golf or tennis, if you are starting to experience any pain, you need to give your body time to rest. If real pain is already present, before any additional damage occurs, take a break from the activity that is beginning to cause you discomfort. It is during this rest time that the body can actually rebuild and repair. If you do not take the time to rest, a small discomfort can turn into a mild case of tennis elbow, or a serious shoulder injury.

Visiting a Chiropractor

Through chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and attending innovative sports rehab if necessary, many of these injuries can be prevented. If you suspect that you might be experiencing or at high risk for any of these injuries, you should consider visiting a chiropractor and a massage therapist. After all, the goal of both modalities is to lower your risk of injury, thus optimizing your performance to keep you playing the sport you love.

Finally, and it is a rather vague tip, but it is an essential one and one that is unfortunately often ignored or overlooked. Be educated on the risks that are associated with the sports that you play to ensure that you are familiar with its symptoms. This will allow you to catch and treat any potential injuries earlier, rather than dealing with a big issue later on. To put it simply, if it hurts, stop…..listen to your body.

Have fun playing!

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