The Experts Share Game Changing Tennis Injury Prevention and Treatment Techniques

Apr 19, 2023 | Foot & Ankle, Hand, Hip & Knee, Spine, Sports Medicine

Tennis is a high-impact sport that puts stress on the bones, joints, and muscles. Quick pivots and repeatedly using swinging actions contribute to the risk of injury. Studies show that over 50% of all tennis players will suffer from an injury. Expert orthopedic physicians weigh in on game-changing prevention and treatment techniques for tennis players.

Tennis elbow is caused by repetitive actions such as hitting the ball incorrectly or using a too-heavy racket. “The best way to prevent tennis elbow is to use proper techniques when hitting the ball and to use a racket that is appropriate for your skill level,” advises Patterson Owings, MD, Daniel Island resident and hand surgeon with Lowcountry Orthopaedics.

Sprained ankles are caused by twisting or rolling the ankle during a quick change of direction. “Proper training and conditioning can help prevent ankle sprains, as can wearing supportive shoes and ankle braces,” shares William Corey, MD, foot and ankle surgeon with Lowcountry Orthopaedics.

Shoulder injuries are common in tennis due to the repetitive overhead motion involved in serving and hitting forehands and backhands. “Players should strengthen their rotator cuff muscles to prevent shoulder injuries and use proper technique when hitting the ball. Mix your serve up to avoid repeating the same motion. Train, stretch, and mobilize both sides of the body,” says Adam Schaaf, MD, sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Orthopaedics.

Knee injuries can be prevented by strengthening their quadriceps and hamstrings and wearing proper footwear. “Should knee surgery be required, the orthopedic advancements are many. For example, we can often employ robotics in an outpatient surgery center setting for knee replacement. The benefits to the patient include shorter recovery time and a more natural feeling knee,” shares Richard Zimlich, MD, orthopedic surgeon with Lowcountry Orthopaedics.

Lower back pain prevention starts with strengthening core muscles and using proper technique when hitting the ball. “Low back pain is pervasive among active men and women alike. While degenerative lumbar spine conditions are common in the general population, there are unique considerations when diagnosed in high-level athletes like those competing in the Charleston Open,” explains Don Stoval, MD, spine surgeon with Lowcountry Orthopaedics. “The evidence-based literature regarding lumbar disc herniation in elite athletes suggests that it is reasonable to expect a successful return to sport after operative or non-operative treatment. If the diagnosis is painful spondylolysis in the athlete and surgery is required, pars repair techniques provide a motion-sparing alternative that may lead to a successful return to sport.”

Game-Changing Tennis Injury Treatments
Many tennis injuries can be prevented with proper training, conditioning, and techniques. If rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication are ineffective, seek an orthopedic specialist consultation.

Orthopedic experts share the top 5 orthopedic treatments for common tennis injuries.

  1. Physical Therapy is often the first line of treatment for tennis injuries.”Physical therapy involves targeted exercises and stretches designed to improve the affected area’s strength, flexibility, and range of motion. It can also help tennis players improve their playing techniques and reduce re-injury risk,” explains Occupational Therapist Marielle McLaurin, MOTR/L, CHT.
  2. Cortisone Injections are often effective for reducing pain and inflammation in tennis elbow or rotator cuff tendinitis cases. “This treatment method injects a powerful anti-inflammatory medication called cortisone into the affected area to effectively reduce pain and inflammation and quickly relieve symptoms,” shares David Jaskwhich, MD, orthopedic surgeon for Lowcountry Orthopaedics.
  3. Surgery may be necessary for tennis injuries unresponsive to conservative treatment. “Surgical procedures can repair torn tendons or ligaments, correct bone fractures, or remove damaged tissue. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or reconstruct damaged tissue,” says sports medicine physician David Johannesmeyer, MD, of Lowcountry Orthopaedics.
  4. Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) is a regenerative treatment option involving injecting a concentrated solution of a patient’s blood platelets into the injured area. This treatment speeds the healing process by delivering growth factors to the affected area. “PRP therapy has shown great promise in treating orthopedic injuries. It is a safe and effective treatment option many professional athletes use to speed up their recovery time,” shares Shailesh Patel, MD, Daniel Island resident and interventional pain specialist at Lowcountry Orthopaedics. “It is used for treating tennis elbow, rotator cuff tendinitis, knee, and other sports injuries.”
  5. Stem Cell Therapy are undifferentiated cells that can transform into different types of cells and tissues. Stem cell therapy involves injecting stem cells into the affected area to promote the healing and regeneration of damaged tissue.

If you are a tennis player experiencing pain or discomfort, consult a qualified orthopedic specialist to explore the best treatment options.

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