Tennis is one sport that you can play whether you’re young or old. However, regardless of your age, tennis can be hard on your feet and ankles. Tennis requires you to run a lot. You also must move from side to side or back and forth often. Additionally, the sport requires sudden stops to change direction and quick pivots. These movements can put a great deal of stress on your feet and ankles, which can lead to injuries and foot pain. Therefore, it’s important to take care of your feet for your greatest “advantage.”
Common Tennis Injuries
Some common tennis injuries that are due to sudden moves or repetitive use include:
- Achilles tendonitis. This condition is caused by inflammation or deterioration of the Achilles tendon. This tendon is the large tendon located in the back of the leg that connects into the heel bone.
- Plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, you have plantar fasciitis.
- Shin splints. This disorder occurs when you have pain in the front or inside portion of your lower leg.
- Tennis toe. When a hematoma (the collection and pooling of blood) forms under the nails of your first or second toe, it’s known as tennis toe. This condition may include nail bed injuries or jammed joints.
- Morton’s neuroma. The symptoms of Morton’s neuroma include sharp pain, burning, or numbness in the nerves located in the ball of your foot
- Ankle sprains. When you stretch an ankle ligament beyond its normal range, the ligament can become sprained. Ankle sprains also may include the actual tearing of the ligament’s elastic fibers.
- Stress fractures. A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone in your foot.
Causes of Tennis Injuries
Tennis injuries can occur due to various factors, including:
- Different court surfaces. Carpeted or hard courts are made of asphalt or concrete. These types of surfaces don’t provide enough shock absorption for the joints in your feet and ankles. As for grass courts, their surfaces may be uneven if the ground isn’t perfectly level. Therefore, uneven surfaces could result in sprains if you make a misstep.
- Tennis shot technique. If your tennis technique isn’t correct, you may misstep while hitting the ball. Thus, you may injure yourself.
- Weather extremes. When playing in the rain, the tennis court surface can become slippery. Therefore, you may slip and injure yourself.
- Amount and level of participation. You can increase your risk of injury when you change your activity frequency. For example, if you change from playing occasionally to playing once a week or more, you may experience more injuries. Additionally, if you change your activity level, such as playing casually to more strenuously, you may also risk more injuries.
- Poor physical conditioning. If your body is not used to a regular fitness routine and you suddenly begin playing tennis, your risk of injury can increase.
- Poor injury rehabilitation. If you have suffered an injury, but you don’t allow the appropriate amount of time and effort to recover from your injury, you may re-injure yourself if you try to play tennis too soon.
- Inappropriate footwear. If you wear tennis shoes that are worn out or don’t provide enough cushioning or arch support, you may injure yourself. Worn tennis shoes or those without adequate support can put added stress on your feet.
How to Lower Your Risk of Injury
To minimize your risk of injury, you should:
- Maintain a fitness level equal to your level of play. Regularly perform conditioning and training exercises.
- Always warm-up and stretch before you play. Also, cool down after play.
- Learn correct tennis techniques.
- Never increase the number of sets you play too quickly.
- Don’t change the intensity or duration of your tennis routine too rapidly.
- Never wear tennis shoes that are worn out.
- Wear shoes that are made specifically for tennis. Your tennis shoes should provide adequate cushioning, sufficient shock absorption, and arch support. If you don’t know what type of shoes to get, seek professional advice.
- Make sure your tennis shoes are properly fitted for your feet. Refer to the WalkEZStore’s Shoe Fitting Reference Guide for more information.
Custom Orthotics Can Help Relieve Foot Pain
Consider wearing a custom orthotic like ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics. These custom orthotics help stabilize your balance while evenly redistributing your weight on your feet. ezWalker® Custom Orthotics are specifically made to each of your individual feet. Therefore, they strategically raise your arches for proper support and more shock absorption. Our custom orthotics are bio-mechanically designed to guide your feet to walk from lateral heel to medial forefoot. Consequently, your entire body will be better bio-mechanically aligned with every step you take.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.