There are almost 30 million tennis players in the United States, who benefit from improvements in aerobic fitness, cholesterol profiles, and improved bone health1. Tennis can be played at junior, adult, junior competitiveand professional. Injuries and injury prevention differ depending on the age of the athlete, competitive level and amount playing for fun or competition.
Junior competitive players tend to play 11-15 hours/week. The most competitive players may participate in up to 25 tournaments per year. Junior players tolerate higher volumes of play than the adults1. They are more susceptible to acute injuries during tournament isk of serious overuse injur year round intense training and competition, exce 5 or more matches in a tournament, and early single sport .
Recreational adult tennis players can beginners developing their skills to high-level former college or professional players with advanced skills. Adults may commonly play 6 or more hours/week. Adults tend to have overuse and degenerative conditions, wit of adults over 40 having some elbow symptoms. As the level of play increases, the number of acute injuries increases, with the greatest number of injuries noted in
Tennis Injuries and Causes
Junior Competitive Players: yperextension (arching of the lower back) may putat risk for stress fractures in the low back. T (kick)arching of the lower backSlice serves and extreme topspin (western) grips on forehands contribute to inner elbow injuries. Heavy topspin strokes may also cause pain on the pinkie side. Junior competitive players rarely get tennis elbow (lateral epicondylosis), and should be evaluated for more serious problems.
Recreational Adult Players: Wrist extension during one-handed backhands and forearm rotation on topspin forehands and serves contribute to tennis elbower . If players under-use their trunk strength while hitting and serving, extra stress can be placed on the shoulder and elbow. This may lead to tendinosis in the rotator cuff (shoulder) or elbow tendon problems (tennis elbow).
Injury Prevention Recommendations:
Adults: Caution with >6 hours/week and particularly over 10 hours/week.
Junior: Play multiple sports prior to adolescence to limit injury, burnout, and improve long-term performance. Limit kick serves until at least 13 years oldonsider less hours/week then age, and participate in less tournaments/year then age.