As the summer sun begins to target Florida, Floridians across the state are grabbing their tennis rackets in preparation for tennis season. Tennis is one of the most popular sports in Florida, especially during the summer when the weather is beautiful and sunny. A sport that provides exercise and entertainment to both professional and amateur players, tennis is a wonderful way to get out of the house and stay in shape during the summer season. Unfortunately, far too many attempt to play without preparing their bodies properly. Tennis elbow is one of the most common injuries associated with the sport.
Typically affecting middle aged adults, tennis elbow is caused by overuse or overloading on the forearm muscles, specifically those muscles extending from the wrist. When the “backhand” muscles suffer an overuse condition, tennis elbow occurs and can become rather bothersome for active individuals. While the injury is labeled “tennis elbow”, these overuse injuries are often suffered in a variety capacities. In fact, a small percentage of tennis elbow patients actually injured themselves playing tennis.
While tennis elbow is certainly not a serious condition, it can be incredibly inconvenient, particularly for those who prefer to remain active and fit. Unfortunately, once tennis elbow symptoms begin to show, the injury often last for many months, sometimes as long as 2 years. Keep the following tips in mind to avoid tennis elbow during this summer season:
- Stay fit: far too many individuals jump into activity during the summer when their bodies are not prepared to do so. Ensure that your body is conditioned properly prior to participating in any physical activity.
- Start slow: adults often fall into the trap of getting back into exercise and starting where they left off. Unfortunately, those who attempt to run the same distance, lift the same weight, or play with the same intensity as they had been prior to a break are largely vulnerable to develop an injury.
- Warm-up: stretching is an essential part of any sport. Be sure to do some light warm-ups prior to engaging in a sport at full speed. Those who properly stretch before and after activity will find their muscles are much looser and less sore.
- Do it the right way: using the right technique is imperative to not only play to the best of your ability, but also to limit the potential for injury. Take the extra time to ensure that each movement is done with adequate technique to avoid overuse injury.
Tennis elbow is one of the most preventable injuries suffered during the summertime. Those who are planning on getting outside and getting sweaty must treat their bodies with respect and care. On behalf of Campbell Sports Rehab and Spine Center, have a great summer!