March / April 2019
Sun Oaks Newsletter
Keeping tennis fun and pain free
Tennis is enjoyed by many people of all ages, whether it is treated as a fun pastime with friends or a competitive sport that brings excitement and victory with every match. Either way, tennis can positively impact your health in many ways in addition to the fun it brings. It strengthens your cardiovascular system with the frequent “sprints” that occur while getting to a ball and helps with weight loss, increased muscle strength and bone mass, improved balance and coordination and even improved brain power. However, this game can also lead to both traumatic and overuse injuries. Fortunately, these injuries can often be avoided by doing the following:
1) Make sure you prepare your body for the game by warming up first. After a general warm up, incorporate tennis-specific dynamic movements involving all the muscles that will be engaged during the game.
2) Cool down when you are done playing. Instead of throwing yourself on the lawn after a tiring game, allow your heartrate to return to its resting rate gradually by jogging around the court and slowing down to a walk.
3) Stretch the muscles that were involved during your sport. For tennis, these muscles include your quadriceps (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), calves, and shoulders. Try to hold all your stretches for 30 seconds and perform each one twice.
4) Wear good tennis shoes with skid-resistant soles
5) Use good technique. If you are new to the game, taking a few lessons may help to teach you how to use your body correctly and become a more effective tennis player.
6) Stay hydrated: Drink at least 2 cups of water a half hour before playing. During the game, take water breaks at each changeover (~half a cup).
If you still end up with pain after a game, try the RICE technique: rest, ice, compression, elevation for 15 minutes at a time a few times a day. If pain persists, physical therapy may be the key to getting you back on the court with a reduced chance of re-injury.
Listen to your body’s wisdom and contact Cresswell Physical Therapy for tips on staying active while recuperating from injury. We can be reached for appointments by calling 244-7686, and we can help transition you back to your Sun Oaks trainer through our collaboration partnership with Sun Oaks. We accept most insurance.