The improving athleticism of tennis players has taken the game to new levels. However with this increase in demand on the body, injuries to tennis players appears to be an increasing problem as seen in the media with cases such as Andy Murray (Back/ankle problems) and Roger Federer (back). The most common types of problems seen in tennis players are a range of shoulder, back and ankle injuries.
Sub-acrominal impingement syndrome (shoulder pain) is a common problem seen where pain is increased when serving. The pain could be due a number of different structures in the shoulder such as the bursa, tendons or muscles. Whilst it can be a difficult problem to treat the use of anti-inflammatories, manual therapy and exercise can lead to a resolution of the problem. Back pain in tennis players could be associated with any of the structures in the spine, however current clinical tests and imaging is not specific enough to determine your cause of back pain and is labelled as non-specific back pain. Whilst this classification of back pain will normally resolve in 4-6 weeks, for tennis players looking to return to play quickly, physiotherapy may assist with the process. Normally a combined use of exercise, manual therapy, acupuncture and pain medication is helpful.
Sprained ankles are a common place in tennis due to the quick changing of direction and power required. Whilst it is more common to injury the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, it is possible to strain the ligaments of the inside of the ankle. With taping, some players are able to continue playing, however this would been based on a thorough assessment and risk/cost analysis. Proprioceptive exercise, manual therapy, taping techniques and the use of pain medication normally assists in the rehabilitation process.
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