Wimbledon Special - Shoulder Injuries in Tennis Players

Thankfully tennis is a sport which, at recreational level, has quite a low injury rate with most people able to participate safely without injury. While injury can affect anyone, the likelihood of encountering problems increases with play intensity, frequency and age. This is especially true at the shoulder which during tennis is placed under unique physical and biomechanical demands. As a result several top tennis stars such as Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova have previously suffered with shoulder injuries.

Shoulder injuries can often be persistent and difficult to manage. A variety of different causes of pain are possible from tendon overuse injuries ranging to acquired instability through injury to the capsule and ligaments of the shoulder. It is therefore important that those suffering from shoulder pain receive the appropriate assessment from a skilled health care professional prior to commencing any treatment programme. We are fortunate at Perform to have access to a team of skilled Physiotherapists and Consultants who can help you with diagnosis and treatment planning for your condition.

Click the video link below to see my favourite exercises for maintaining a healthy shoulder for tennis: https://youtu.be/pKhK_9XQCls

Arm openings- great for mobility

Firstly when thinking about mobility it is important not to ignore the rest of the body, even if your pain is in your shoulder! Tennis involves a variety of complex multi joint movements and restrictions in mobility can cause increased demands on the shoulder.

The shoulder itself requires a large range of motion without restriction in order to get in the necessary positions to hit shots, particularly overhead.

The Lawnmower- an excellent exercise for strength

To prevent overuse injuries and maintain good dynamic control of the shoulder an appropriate strengthening programme is important. The Rotator Cuff muscles, which maintain stability of the shoulder during activity, are of particular importance. Good function of the scapula (shoulder blade) muscles is also essential. Both of these muscles are targeted in this great functional strengthening exercise for Tennis players.

Swiss ball bounces- excellent for maintaining control

Co-ordination and control is the final component of a healthy sporting shoulder. Research has shown that muscle fatigue can affect joint position sense, predisposing to injury. Furthermore those who have suffered shoulder pain may suffer from a further loss of control. I always like to address control in my rehabilitation programmes and this is a personal favourite of mine.

Should you have any concerns about your shoulder please come and see the dedicated sports medicine team at Perform, we are more than happy to help.….. and finally, come on Andy Murray!

David Hyde- Perform Physiotherapist is available for appointments at Perform Birmingham, Spire Little Aston Hospital.  Call 0121 580 7131 today to make an appointment.

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