How much do you know about possible upper limb injuries caused by tennis?

Tennis is a confrontational sport with a racket held across the net . The frequent upper limb movements of tennis are the main cause of injury. Tennis requires athlete’s extremely explosive serve action and the dynamic transition between complex hitting action and serve action. These actions are a great test for the athlete’s technique and physical fitness. damage. In addition, high-speed movement of the upper extremities can also easily cause recurrent trauma.

An elbow injury

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is one of the common diseases of the elbow joint. It was named “tennis elbow” because it most often appeared in tennis players when it was first discovered. It is mainly manifested as pain in voluntary movement above the elbow joint, sometimes radiating pain, and there is a local tender point at the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. When the wrist joint is dorsiflexed and the forearm is rotated, the pain will be aggravated, and some patients have pain. Symptoms are also affected by rainy weather, and are accompanied by symptoms of significantly weakened grip strength. To put it simply, if you are unfortunately affected by “tennis elbow”, you will experience pain and tenderness on the outside of your elbow joint, decrease your grip strength, and block some joint functions. Such as holding heavy objects, lifting a kettle, twisting a towel, etc.) the pain is aggravated, and even when holding chopsticks and fingers straight, there will be obvious pain.

Lateral epicondylitis is a typical tendon degenerative disease caused by muscle overuse. In the process of tennis training, the contraction of the outer forearm extensor muscles of the athlete can make the wrist and forearm move, and make a backhand shot. This action will frequently pull the tendon, and long-term heavy load will cause some tiny lacerations to the tendon. When the damage accumulates to a certain extent, it will lead to tendon degeneration. In severe cases, neuromuscular lesions of the elbow joint will occur, resulting in symptoms. .

The shoulder injury

Shoulder injury is also one of the common injuries caused by tennis. The shoulder joint connects the upper limbs and the trunk, dissects the joint capsule with relatively loose attachment structures around the neck and the glenoid, and is the most flexible joint in the body, which can complete anatomically any movement and rotation. The flexibility of the shoulder joint enables the athlete to complete the efficient hitting and serving action through external rotation and abduction of the shoulder joint. The scapula, which moves the shoulder by constantly changing position during arm movement, is critical in stabilizing the movement of the shoulder joint. When serving, the shoulder blades contract or stretch with the rotational phase of the serve, and rotate upwards during the acceleration phase. This fine movement is accomplished by the rotator cuff musculature that attaches to the surrounding scapula and other joint capsule structures. If the shoulder structure is weakened due to prolonged overloading, scapular dyskinesia may develop. In most tennis players, those with scapular dyskinesia or diseased scapula have shoulder injuries.

3. Wrist injury

The wrist is the first joint to receive force when catching the ball, and it is also the last joint to output force when hitting the ball. During the repeated receiving and transmitting force, the wrist bears two-way force, which is because of this movement characteristic. , which makes tennis fans prone to wrist tendon and ligament injuries. Once the wrist is injured, they are forced to put down their favorite rackets and rest for several weeks.

In tennis, the most common manifestation of wrist injury is an injury related to the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon, usually during a forehand shot. The forehand is the most frequently used stroke technique in tennis, and the flexion and extension of the wrist joint is an important reason for gaining ball speed. Using the wrong or inappropriate grip technique is also a significant cause of wrist injury. The hand and wrist are the most vulnerable parts of the body where the whip hits the ball in tennis. The wrist joint consists of 8 carpal bones with different shapes and irregularities. The carpal bones are in staggered contact with each other and are connected by ligaments. Each carpal bone has a different range of motion. Excessive partial load, wrong technical movements, lack of protective devices, and insufficient wrist strength can all lead to wrist injury, and wrist pain is the most intuitive manifestation of wrist injury. The main types of wrist injuries are triangular fibrocartilage disc injury, wrist osteochondritis, traumatic periostitis of the wrist and ganglion cyst of the wrist.

How to avoid and prevent upper extremity injuries caused by tennis?

Tennis also pays attention to the choice of rackets. A tennis racket that suits you will help you continuously improve your sports skills. First of all, the weight of the racket is the first factor in choosing a tennis racket. If the weight of the tennis racket is too heavy, it is likely to cause us to move slowly in the process of moving the racket, while generally lighter rackets are more flexible when hitting the ball. Changeable, but it may also cause players to overturn due to the strong impact of the incoming ball during the swinging and hitting process. Therefore, when choosing a racket, it is recommended to choose a racket between 260g-320g; for many non-tennis professional fans, they may not know enough about tennis rackets and tennis shoes, and often choose blindly, which not only cannot improve their sports level, It may cause injury to your upper limbs during exercise. In addition, one’s own physical fitness, technical level and the strength of self-protection awareness are also key factors that cause sports injuries. Wearing protective gear can help athletes avoid the risk of injury during tennis training to a certain extent, and can also prevent secondary injuries to friends who have already injured their upper limbs during sports.

Professional sports protective gear AQ provides you with perfect preparation for sports.

(Picture: Visual Chinese: AQ Protective Gear)