Preventing platform tennis injuries
Platform tennis is a popular sport among older adults. It’s a fun way to stay in shape, but new research shows injuries are common in those who play the game. Learn why players are getting hurt and how you can prevent an injury.
Swinging … running … competing … Platform tennis is a great way for people of all ages to stay in shape and socialize.
Ita Sih says, “It’s so much fun! It’s such a fun game.”
Eric Pitcher agrees, “It’s great comradery, too.”
But injuries have sidelined both of these platform tennis enthusiasts.
Sih continued, “I felt a pop in the back of my leg and then a lot of pain.”
Pitcher added, “All of a sudden, I couldn’t swing my right arm.”
The first ever national study of platform tennis injuries found 66 percent of players say they’ve suffered an injury from the sport. And more than half have had two or more injuries.
“It’s usually played by people in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s who may have some underlying wear and tear to begin with,” said Julia Bruene, MD, Sports Medicine Physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.
The most common: shin and calf, knee, elbow, ankle, and shoulder injuries. And most of them are caused by preventable problems, such as not warming up.
Leda Ghannad, MD, Sports Medicine Physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, encourages, “Performing a dynamic warm-up is very helpful, so that means moving all the joints and muscles into a full range of motion before you play for at least ten minutes.”
Experts also recommend static stretching after a workout to improve flexibility. Cross-training between play can help strengthen muscles and lower the risk of injuries. Specific exercises can target different body parts. For instance, this one can help prevent a calf strain. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water while you play. Simple steps to help you play ball.
Another reason experts believe platform tennis players are at an increased risk for injuries is that the game is played outdoors, usually during cold weather months. Muscles and tendons are typically more prone to injuries if they’re cold.
Contributors to this news report include: John Cherry and Julie Marks, Field Producers; Roque Correa, Editor.