It's not just elite tennis players who can benefit from chiropractic treatment.
We’re not suggesting that every tennis player needs a chiropractor following them around ready to jump in at the first sign of a niggle mid-match.
But most recreational athletes will have some concerns or injuries at one point or another.
And even if you are not injured, what about the inevitable wear and tear that will eventually stop you playing the sport you love?
Chiropractors spend a lot of time working with people on a preventative basis, advising people on supplements, training routines, training/playing load and more. All in addition to providing the assessment and manual therapy that helps keep your body functioning at its best.
If you are finding yourself reaching for the muscle rubs and pain killers more and more often, or if it is taking you longer to recover from a strenuous match than it used to, there are ways we can help.
Manual therapy can help relieve delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), the type that makes you feel stiff for days after a match, and can change how you use your muscles so that you distribute strain more evenly – meaning you can carry on playing for longer without injury.
We can help optimise your training, either in the gym or using home exercises, to better prepare your muscles for game situations. And part of what we do is to offer nutritional advice, answering those questions like "will cod-liver oil help prevent wear and tear?".
One of the things we hear most from patients visiting our clinic is that they have been forced to stop their sport because of pain or an injury.
Things should never get to that state. With proper training, advice, manual therapy and nutrition, the body can do remarkable things and can keep on doing them.
There are no miracle cures out there, magic creams or pills, but with a common sense approach and some hard work, there is no reason why any recreational tennis player should be forced to stop.
Most sportsmen and women are resigned to the fact that at some point or another their body will not be able to cope with the demands of their sport.
But research into joint degeneration shows us that it is more sedentary people who suffer most.
So the more active you are, the longer your joints will last.
This is, of course, only true as long as you are using your joints properly and your muscles are controlling what happens to them effectively.
Doing the right training alongside your sport is key to this, ensuring you develop your muscles in an even manner.
Fortunately, tennis, being a very multi-directional sport, gives players a head start in terms of muscular development. The demand of playing tennis is spread over many more muscles than say with distance running.
This is the perfect time to begin looking after yourself proactively. Doing the right conditioning training from day one is the best way to prevent injuries and get the most out of your sport.
Whenever beginning a new activity, it is always a good idea to have a physical check-over. This is a good opportunity to spot areas of weakness and come up with strategies to correct them before they cause a problem.
Tennis places a lot of demand on your knees, hips and low back. Getting these areas functioning as well as possible before the level of your tennis gets too demanding can help prevent injuries.
In the gym, for instance, building a really good squat and a really good lunge are priorities. Targeting the muscles that lift you up from a lunge position is a really important component of tennis training.
You certainly shouldn’t feel apprehensive about starting a new sport. With a slow introduction and appropriate care alongside, your body will only benefit from playing regular tennis.
The list of injuries linked to tennis does not stop at tennis elbow. In fact it is quite a long one, with knee and hip injuries most common, followed by back and shoulder issues.
Knee and Hip Pain
Knee and hip pain, from iliotibial band irritation, osteoarthritis, sprains, strains and cartilage injuries, can both be helped by chiropractors.
Situated in between the two longest bones in the body, the knee is affected by everything that happens above and below it. This makes it particularly important to properly assess the function of the whole body, especially from the low back to the foot.
Chiropractors are the foremost diagnosticians when it comes to joint and muscle problems, and in an hour's consultation we have the time and expertise to find the route of the problem and arrive at a plan of management.
Knee and hip problems respond brilliantly to manual therapy and corrective exercise, meaning that pain in either is not something you have to put up with.
Back pain associated with tennis can stem from numerous different structures, but is rarely serious. This is true even if the problem is with the disc or involves a nerve, all of which is very treatable.
In addition to manual therapy, we can offer you exercises specific to the demands placed on your spine while playing tennis to help fortify your spine against future injury.
While there is no substitute for practice and hard work, keeping your body in tip-top condition will improve your performance.
Whether the increased mobility means you can stretch further for the ball or the increased resilience means you can push harder, all of the changes made to help prevent injuries also aid performance.
A well-functioning body not only resists injury and doesn’t hurt when you use it, but also moves better, faster and for longer.
We can help identify key areas for improvement and provide the guidance to help make the positive changes that will pay dividends on the court.
More often than not, this is the reason that elite players work with chiropractors. They get examined and treated every day of the week to keep their bodies in optimal condition so that they can squeeze every last drop of performance from them.
- Tennis is seriously good for you
- Being active means less joint wear and tear, not more
- Specific exercises will help you enjoy playing for longer
- These will also improve your performance
- Chiropractic treatment is great for a host of injuries, but also prevention
- All players can benefit from periodic chiropractic visits, not just the pros
At Sure Health we have worked with literally hundreds of tennis players, from people in their first season to world ranked players.
If you would like to see if we can help extend your tennis playing years or help you push to the next level, please get in touch.