What Causes Arm Pain in Tennis?
Arm pain in tennis is caused by an imbalance of forces across the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints, resulting in muscle and tendon strain. Overuse of the arm, improper technique and poor physical conditioning can also contribute to arm pain. Common causes of arm pain in tennis include:
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- Tennis elbow – Overuse of the extensor muscles in the forearm and elbow can cause inflammation of the tendons in the elbow, leading to pain in the outer elbow.
- Rotator cuff injuries – This can be caused by overuse of the shoulder joint, leading to inflammation of the muscles and tendons in the shoulder.
- Ulnar nerve entrapment – This is caused by compression of the ulnar nerve in the elbow, leading to pain in the elbow and forearm.
- Wrist impingement – This is caused by compression of the wrist joint, leading to pain in the wrist and forearm.
What Can You Do When Your Arm Hurts From Tennis?
If you experience arm pain while playing tennis, there are several things you can do to help relieve the pain and prevent further injury.
Rest and Ice
The first step in managing arm pain from tennis is to rest the affected area. Avoid activities that aggravate the pain, such as playing tennis. Ice the affected area for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times a day. This can help reduce inflammation and pain.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce inflammation and pain. Make sure to follow the instructions on the package and consult a doctor before taking any medication.
Physical therapy can help reduce pain and improve range of motion in the affected area. A physical therapist can provide exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the affected area.
Modify Your Technique
Improper technique can contribute to arm pain. It is important to modify your technique to reduce the strain on the affected area. A certified tennis instructor can help you identify and correct any technique issues that may be causing arm pain.
Wear Proper Equipment
It is important to wear proper equipment when playing tennis to help reduce the risk of arm pain. Make sure to wear the correct size racquet, as too small or too large of a racquet can lead to improper technique. Make sure to use the correct grip size to ensure a comfortable grip on the racquet. Make sure to wear the correct type of tennis shoes to provide adequate cushioning and support.
Strengthen Your Arm Muscles
Strengthening the muscles in your arm can help reduce the risk of arm pain. Exercises such as wrist curls and shoulder presses can help strengthen the muscles in the arm. Make sure to consult a doctor or physical therapist before beginning any exercise program.
Stretch Your Arm Muscles
Stretching the muscles in your arm can help reduce the risk of arm pain. Stretching exercises such as wrist flexion, shoulder internal and external rotation, and triceps stretches can help reduce muscle tension. Make sure to consult a doctor or physical therapist before beginning any exercise program.
Improve Your Physical Conditioning
Poor physical conditioning can contribute to arm pain. It is important to develop a regular exercise program that includes aerobic exercise and strength training. This will help improve your physical conditioning and reduce the risk of arm pain.
When to See a Doctor
If the arm pain persists or worsens, it is important to see a doctor. A doctor can help diagnose the cause of the pain and provide treatment options.
Arm pain in tennis can be painful and can limit your ability to play. There are several things you can do to help relieve the pain, such as resting the affected area, taking NSAIDs, participating in physical therapy, and modifying your technique. It is also important to wear proper equipment and improve your physical conditioning. If the pain persists or worsens, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.