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Tips to prevent tennis injuries

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Sports

In 2003, Martina hinges, by then winner of 14 Grand slam titles, announced her retirement after losing her long battle with serious ankle problems. She was just 22 then.

More recently in 2006, Andre Agassi pulled out of the Australian Open after spraining his ankle.

Current French Open champion Rafael Nadal also pulled out of the event in Australia due to foot injury.

Tennis sensation Maria Sharapova also withdrew from the same event due to strained right shoulder.

Over the years many promising players and even successful professionals have had to give up their careers in tennis because of injuries. It does not matter if you are an amateur or a professional; any sort of injury is always just around the corner. Although in some cases these are purely accidental, but in most cases these injuries can be avoided. It is amazing to see what the statistical reports of each year reveal. More than 78,000 injuries related to tennis are reported in a single year across different hospitals, clinics, doctors offices, ambulatory surgery centers and hospital emergency rooms. So if you are serious about making tennis your career, or even if you just play for the fun of it, you must be careful about staying away from injuries and prolonging your stay in the tennis court. Following are a few basic tips which can help you enjoy the game without getting seriously injured.

  1. Before you go out on the court you must warm up. There is no alternative to this. Once you start your game you wouldnt want your muscles to be stiff as in such cases the chances of pulling your muscles gets increased manifold. The warm up need not be too long. 5-10 minutes of proper warming up should be enough. You can warm up by simple exercises like spot jogging or stretching. You can use a combination of the two also. Work out as long as you dont sweat. But remember if you are stretching then take it slow. Dont rush yourself.
  2. If you are an amateur the choice of court depends on you instead of what the professionals have to live up with. Once you are into competitive tennis you will have to play in any surface you are given. But if you are playing just for fun, it would be advisable to stay away from hard courts such as cement, asphalt, or synthetic courts. But if you dont have an option and you have to play on a hard court then make sure that you wear heel inserts which would act as shock absorbers and protect you form lower back injuries.
  3. The most common injury that tennis players go through are ankle injuries. To prevent such injuries it make sense that you wear shoes only from those manufacturers which have considerable experience in making these shoes. For added support you can wear socks with extra padding. Wearing two pairs of socks is also an option.
  4. Since you would be holding the racket for hours in your hands you can also get blisters. To avoid these always have your racket handle dried using powdered chalk and saw dust. Also blow your hands to keep them free from sweat.
  5. While serving or hitting an overhead, you should be careful that you dont arch back too far. Instead you should be bending your knees and raising your heels to keep the upper portion of your body balanced. If you feel that you are not getting it right ask for help from your trainer.
  6. You should also carry a first-aid kit with you and learn how to administer the contents in case of a minor injury. However in case of major injuries like concussions, dislocations, sprains and fractures you should waste no time to see a medical practitioner. If you are advised rest then stay away from tennis as long as you are not totally fit.

These are the basic things you need to do to stay away from injuries and enjoy the game of tennis.