Thursday, May 1, 2008

Preventing Tennis Injury

The advance of technology in tennis rackets have led to an increase in the number of injuries. The ball is hit with much more power and at greater a speed which means that the response time of the players has to be all that much faster. Tennis players are required to start, stop, change direction and contort their bodies in unnatural ways constantly throughout the game. This combined with the increased power in which the ball is hit leads the tennis player more prone to injury. Tennis players also spend a lot of time with their body weight concentrated on the ball of their foot. In addition, it is difficult to get the tennis player to stop playing when injured so it is all that much more critical to avoid injury in the first place.

The most common injuries of the tennis player are subungual hematomas, (broken blood vessels under the toe nails), ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, foot and calf cramps, Achilles tendonitis, muscle strains.

Proper foot orthotics can play a significant role in preventing some of these injuries. In particular the foot orthotic should be able to provide shock absorption and arch support to prevent excessive pronation and strain on the plantar fascia. The orthotics should distribute the body weight evenly across the foot the prevent the pain in injury associated with overloading the forefoot. The shoes must fit properly (and accommodate the orthotic) to prevent excessive motion in the shoe which may lead to toenail injury. In addition some players may benefit from orthotics which promote mobility of the great toe.

Today there are orthotics that are specially designed to prevent tennis injuries and keep the tennis player on the court.
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