What are the most frequent injuries in tennis?

1. The “tennis elbow” or epicondylitis.

It is common in tennis, although we also see it in paddle tennis and in patients who do not practice racquet sports. The pain in the external face of the elbow appears not only in the backhand, which is when we tense the musculature that goes from the wrist and fingers to the elbow, but in many other efforts that involve lifting or suspension of weights.

The injury is not a simple tendinitis, since the damage occurs in the insertion or connection of the tendon with the bone. This supposes a more difficult treatment than when the damage appears in the bosom of the tendon, between tendinous fibers as it is the case of tendinitis.

Supraspinatus tendinopathy (or shoulder tendinopathy)

The supraspinatus is the most injured muscle of all those that stabilize the shoulder, and this injury occurs normally in exercises and efforts above the head. In the case of tennis, the serve or smash is usually the origin of the injury.

With the practice of tennis other tendinitis of shoulder can appear, and they are in the habit of manifesting frequently with pains that invalidate of the shoulder up to the arm. In many occasions it becomes a pain that can be so intense that it even makes difficult the conciliation of the sleep.

3. Patellar tendinitis

The patellar tendon is the most injured structure in the extensor apparatus of the knee, since it is the final end that supports and transmits the tension of the quadriceps in gestures of acceleration, braking, jumping and precision, all these gestures are repeated in the practice of tennis in a constant and explosive way.

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The pain of the inflammation of the patellar tendon is manifested in the anterior face of the knee, under the patella, and can cause lameness or impotence to go up or down stairs and even to walk.

4. Tendinitis of the wrist

They usually affect the tendons involved in the backhand stroke, such as the extensor ulnaris or carpal extensor or Quervain’s tendonitis (involving the abductor pollicis longus and extensor pollicis brevis of the thumb).

What are usually the causes?

There are several causes that can lead to injuries during sports practice:

  • The sporting demand is neither progressive nor adapted to the physical characteristics, thus straining the muscles.
  • The warm-up is scarce or non-existent. It is important to perform exercises that gradually increase the intensity to get our joints used to the exercise.
  • The material used, in this case the racquet, may not be suitable for the athlete. It is necessary to take into account the age and size of the hand. Also, the specific footwear, with a sole and reinforcements adapted to the type of court are key for a good grip.
  • The correct playing technique. We recommend that a professional supervise the training to correct the gestures that are harmful to our body.

Can we prevent these injuries?

We can work to prevent them, yes. Depending on the age of the patients and their state of fitness, we recommend certain treatments or others. In general, we recommend practicing sports with a specialist and doing the necessary warm-ups beforehand.

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The hyaluronic acid injections in the joints and tendons perform the function of viscosupplementation in order to achieve a lubricating effect that makes the friction is less. If there is already some previous injury, we can infiltrate Plasma Rich in Growth Factors extracted from the patient’s blood, which will help the tissue to repair and regenerate so that the patient / athlete can gradually resume activity.

What are the treatment options for such injuries?

Depending on the injury and its degree, sometimes you can recover function with a cycle of infiltrations (HA or PRFC), physiotherapy treatment and exercise monitored by a specialist until complete reincorporation; and in the most severe cases, in which the joints are more damaged, surgery will be necessary to repair the damage suffered.

In iQtra we treat each case individually and we take into account what we call anamnesis, we listen very well to the patient, their concerns, daily activities … based on this, we study your case and propose the treatment that best suits your physical condition and your needs.

For more information about the treatment of sports injuries, contact Dr. Angel Villamor.