Paddle injuries aren’t inevitable; warm ups and simple stretches can make a difference.
The platform tennis craze is sweeping the North Shore. So, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that overuse injuries are following in its wake.
Regardless of ﬁ tness level, this fast-paced game can bring inﬂ ammation and degenerative changes, especially if poor technique isn’t corrected.
Common injuries seen in platform tennis involve the tendons of the elbow, shoulder and sometimes the wrist. Acute tendon injuries involve inﬂamma-
tion. Overuse injuries result in degenerative changes to the tendon, rather than inﬂammation.
Prevention and early identiﬁcation of the symptoms are important, and the best prescription for prevention includes a solid warm up:
- Allot about 10 minutes.
- Include general and paddle-speciﬁc exercises.
- Jog or use a stationary bike to help get the blood ﬂowing.
- Shoulder and forearm exercises should be incorporated.
- Mild sweating is generally a good indicator that you are warmed up.
After warming up, it is important to stretch. Paddle players often suffer from tendon injuries at the lateral or outside part of the elbow because of the backhand motion.
Static stretching helps elongate the muscle and tendon:
Extend the elbow, ﬂexing the wrist and gently pull your hand toward your body to stretch the wrist extensors.
Make a ﬁst doing the same motion.
You should feel gentle tension but it should not be painful.Hold the position for approximately 15-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
If you have pain during or after playing, this may indicate an injury has occurred. Application of ice, gentle stretching and a period of rest allows tendon injuries to heal.