Q: Do you have any tips to help me have less pain after playing tennis? I love to play and don’t want to give it up, but I am noticing the soreness I get afterward is getting more significant.
A: It can be tough on the body, but tennis is a game that can also provide a terrific cardiovascular workout. It can reduce the risk of heart attack, according to the American Chiropractic Association. The ACA recommends some common sense steps to make sure your experience on the court is as fruitful —and as much fun—as it can be:
Wear the right shoes. Shoes designed for basketball, running, cross training or any activity other than tennis are not appropriate. Get a shoe designed for tennis. It will be low to the ground and provide good shock absorption for your legs and back. If you pronate or supinate too much, a custom made orthotic can make all the difference. Your chiropractor can help you with the right orthotic for you.
Not all tennis courts are alike. The harder the court, the harder the pounding your knees, hips and back will take. If you have the opportunity to play on a court surface other than asphalt, take it.
Warming up before play begins and cooling down afterward are key to avoiding injury. The ACA recommends, for instance, before playing, that you mimic the movements you’ll make during the match, but only do them slowly and deliberately.
Drink plenty of water. Dehydration contributes to fatigue and fatigue increases the chance of injury. Take some lessons.
When you’re stroking the ball properly, you’ll take lots of unnecessary stress off your wrist, arm, hips and spine.
If you are a senior, you are doing your bones a great service by playing tennis, but try not to overdo it on the court. The competitive excitement is exhilarating, but remember that you are also there to stay active and healthy and an injury could sideline you and eliminate that benefit.
Seeing a chiropractor and a physical therapist for maintenance will reduce injury, minimize pain, and keep you playing optimally. Chiropractic adjustments are well known for the benefits to athletes of all levels and a DC is an expert in knowing where the body is off balance at the level of the skeletal system.