Justin Keller, Physical Therapy Director at Spine Team Texas, has treated many patients with back pain related to playing tennis. He offers the following tips to reduce the risk of back and neck injury.
Warm up! Don’t hit cold.
Stretching, walking and light jogging can get the body prepared for the day.
Warm up practice should be similar to match play.
Include groundstrokes and serves in your training that would be similar to a match.
Groundstrokes before serves.
Start in close with groundstrokes then slowly move back, gradually increasing the intensity and power of your hits. Service places the most stress on the spine, so serve after you are warmed up.
Fundamentals of footwork.
One of the keys to preventing back pain is to position your body correctly during your swing. Proper footwork will position your body to optimize performance and minimize undue stress.
Resistance exercise that simulates tennis play is key to preventing injury. This can be done with a resistance band attached from a fence or door to your racket. Practice high and low swings and at different speeds. In the gym, variable speed pulley systems work well too.
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Learn more about Acute and Chronic Spine Management and our other Treatments & Approaches. If you are currently experiencing pain, request an appointment with us. We’ll help you determine the individual treatment plan for you.