“Develop one side of the body more than the other”, “it is not complete” … The tennis it has often been considered a sport with shortcomings, but authoritative studies have refuted these beliefs, indeed highlighting the physical and mental benefits of challenges with passers-by and reverses.
«However, when you do not have good technique and adequate physical preparation, it is easier to meet some injuries typical of the amateur tennis player», Explains Dr. Giovanni Di Giacomo, medical director for Europe of ATP tournaments (the Association of professional tennis players from all over the world). And we are not talking about the famous “tennis elbow”:
«Only a small part of the cases of epicondylitis it is directly connected to the racket. The vast majority are the result of activities that require repetitive wrist and hand movement, causing the inflammation, ”warns the orthopedist.
Then find out what they are major injuries of amateur tennis players and how to solve them.
During the match the column is subjected to incessant and potentially dangerous work. “Continuous rotations increase the risk of facet joint syndrome, which connect one vertebra with the other. When movement is incorrect and muscle tone inadequate, the low back pain it becomes inevitable. And if you neglect the problem and continue to play despite the pain, back pain can become chronic », Di Giacomo warns.
What to do? “Better go to the orthopedist immediately. Except for very severe cases, they are usually prescribed anti-inflammatory and physiotherapy for 6-8 weeks. Already after a month you can gradually resume doing specific tennis preparation exercises “, reassures the doctor.
- Shoulder inflammation
«When you hit the ball without moving sideways with respect to it, you tend to compensate for the error by making an unnatural movement. This, in the long run, causes inflammation of the rotator cuffthe tendons that allow the rotation of the shoulder », Di Giacomo explains.
The cure is based on rest, in addition to sessions of laser therapy and tecar therapy to be performed 3 times a week for about a month and a half. In addition, specific exercises must be performed to restore correct movement of the joint. The return to the racket should be done gradually, only when the doctor gives the green light.
- Meniscus and cartilage injuries
The injuries of meniscus and cartilages are very frequent accidents in amateur tennis players: “These are structures that tend to get damaged easily over the years, especially if you rotate the body while keeping the sole of the foot anchored to the ground”, observes Dr. Ezio Adriani, head of the Center sports traumatology and knee surgery of the Gemelli Ircss Polyclinic Foundation in Rome.
“Also at risk patellar tendon and calf musclesstructures that hold the knee together “.
The therapy is almost always conservative: “Rest, ice, compression of the part with a bandage and leg raised relative to the body when sitting in the first 2-3 days. Then anti-inflammatories and physiotherapy for about a month. If the problem persists, the orthopedist may consider the use of cortisone or hyaluronic acid-based infiltrations. Eventually, the use of growth factors is also considered, which stimulate the tissue to regenerate », continues Adriani.
Acute injuries usually recover in 3-4 weeks, and chronic injuries in 3-6 months.
- Sprains of the ankle
“The ankle sprains these are traumas that make the joint unstable, increasing the chances of running into the same injury again ”, underlines Dr. Francesco Allegra, joint surgeon of La Sapienza University – Polo Pontino in Latina.
“In the immediate future, the rule of rest is valid: limb ice, compression and elevation. Then anti-inflammatory and possibly cortisone or hyaluronic acid infiltrations, followed by physiotherapy and rehabilitation ».
However, if the problem is not resolved and the orthopedist diagnoses chronic ankle instability, the possibility of a reconstructive surgery of the ligaments.
The keys to prevention: technique and training
The health of the tennis player is protected with technique and physical preparation. Let’s start with the first: «The correct position to make a stroke is stand sideways to the ball. A typical mistake, even among those who play often, is instead that of staying in front of her, moving the arm wrong and subjecting the whole body to an unnatural effort that in the long run is harmful ”, explains the orthopedist Giovanni Di Giacomo.
This is why the lessons with the teacher: “If you start from scratch, you need at least 20, once a week for the first 2-3 months.” And for those who already know how to play? «One lesson a week is useful to anyone, because it helps to perfect the technique, eliminating any errors».
Physical preparation is also important: «When you tire quickly, you lose control of your body. For this reason the teacher dedicates part of the lesson also to running and specific exercises. If, on the other hand, you do not follow a course, you can provide yourself with 2-3 gymnastics or jogging sessions per week ”, concludes the expert.