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Serving Up an Injury Free Tennis Season

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The US Open Tennis Championship kicks off today and many of us are looking forward to watching all the action. One common tennis injury that can plague both the professional and casual athlete is tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, a painful condition of the elbow caused by repeating the same motion again and again. This occurs when the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow become irritated, causing pain and tenderness.

Although tennis elbow can occur from any repetitive motion, playing tennis is a common cause of this condition. Dr. Glen Ross, an orthopedic surgeon, shoulder and elbow specialist at NEBH, has a few tips to help avoid this common injury.

  • Warm up and stretch thoroughly before playing tennis.
  • Consider working with a certified tennis professional to learn the correct hitting technique, which will place less stress on the elbow.  This is especially important for the backhand stroke.
  • Make sure you are using proper equipment appropriate for your ability, body size, and body strength.  Check the flexibility rating of the frame you are purchasing to avoid an overly stiff frame.  String pressure should be on the lower side, less than 58 PSI.
  • Strengthen the muscles of your arm, shoulder, and upper back to help take stress off of your elbow.
  • Try using a two-handed backhand if you are having pain with a one-handed approach.

If you have any type of persistent pain, you should consult an orthopedic expert.

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