Tennis Injuries Q&A

Ask the Consultant

We asked three of our experts about what you can do to minimise injuries on the tennis court. Here's what they have to say.

Diane Watt
There are many injuries which can affect tennis players, the most common are:

  • Shoulder injuries (especially rotator cuff)
  • Elbow injuries (tennis or golfer's)
  • Wrist pain
  • Back pain
  • Knee pain
  • Calf and Achilles Tendon strains
  • Ankle (especially inversion injuries

Mr Callum McBryde
Focusing on the hip, labral tears of the hip due to cartilage due to hip impingement (femoroacetabuluar impingement). Tendonitis, such as Psoas tendonitis, gluteus medius tendinopathy - inflammation of tendons around the hip, can also be a common injury.


Nicola Goldsmith
Tennis elbow is the best known (40-50% of tennis players are thought to have it at some point in their time playing) but actually there are more wrist and shoulder injuries from playing tennis. These are mainly overuse syndromes and acute sprains and strains.

Diane Watt
Yes, there are many injuries that can be prevented with coaching to improve technique. Getting advice regarding equipment may also help, such as looking at your racquet type, grip or even size. Some players get their movement screened to find weaknesses or imbalances in the body.


Mr Callum McBryde
Yes, tendon inflammation is preventable with appropriate warm-up and warm down. Labral tears may not be avoidable for tennis players but as soon as you develop symptoms of a “groin strain" that could be a tear, seek advice from a healthcare professional. If it's not treated it could lead to further hip damage.


Nicola Goldsmith
Yes. Tennis players of all levels should warm up and stretch carefully before and after play. If there is a specific move, shot or position which irritates, it is sensible to train specifically to strengthen these areas. Kinesiology tape can be effectively used to manage early symptoms and prevent worsening.

Diane Watt
Make sure you warm-up and cool down when playing. Good hydration and nutrition will help. Get some coaching and seek some advice regarding your equipment. Strength and conditioning training for all major muscle groups including your core are a great way to prepare yourself.


Mr Callum McBryde
Appropriate warm up and warm down will help. At the earliest indication of any injury get it appropriately assessed by a healthcare professional. Further damage can be prevented with early treatment.


Nicola Goldsmith
Make sure you follow the guidance above but also ensure you are using a racket with the correct weight balance, size of head and handle. Changes to these can reduce the likelihood of problems. Try to gradually increase the length of time practicing so your body gets used to it and treat any injury early to prevent worsening).

Diane Watt
Stop playing! Remember PRICE which stands for protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. So use a bandage and/or splint to support the injured site to avoid further injury. Then be sure to rest, put some ice (a bag of frozen peas is always good) and compress the injury and finally make sure it is elevated. I would always suggest that you seek treatment/advice from a physiotherapist.


Mr Callum McBryde
Depending on the severity, stop playing. Rest, stretch and massage and see if it improves.


Nicola Goldsmith
Immediately ice the area if you think you have irritated tissues. If you have had a fall, be aware you may have sustained a fracture. Go to a minor injuries unit if you are not sure. Stop playing! Do not ignore it. See a professional early as you may be able to prevent a full blown injury.

Diane Watt
It may be possible to self-manage the injury using the PRICE technique and using supports.

Depending on your injury, physiotherapy treatments may include manual therapy, electrotherapy, strapping and exercise or rehabilitation guidance.


Mr Callum McBryde
After assessment, which may include a specialist MRI scan, and if sports physiotherapy has not improved symptoms fully, you may need keyhole surgery (hip arthroscopy).


Nicola Goldsmith
Seek medical attention if your first aid has not significantly reduced your pain, irritation or swelling within five days. Try to find a hand therapist if your injury is to your hand or wrist or a specialist physiotherapist if shoulder, elbow, back or leg. The types of treatments depend on the type of injury but commonly used is kinesiology taping to inhibit or encourage muscle function, anti-inflammatory modalities such as ice, electrotherapy and splinting as well as multiple different types of exercise. Return to sport also needs to be graded and sensible. Your hand therapist or physiotherapist will be able to assess your weaknesses and help train you to return safely.

Diane Watt
Seek treatment from a physiotherapist and follow their advice regarding rest and rehabilitation. Include strength and conditioning in your training regime. Change or adapt your technique/equipment/playing surface.


Mr Callum McBryde
Seek specialist advice early form a sports specialist physiotherapist.


Nicola Goldsmith
Many injuries are irritations to the tendons. Management includes rest and ice. It is often sensible to wear a brace/ tape which restricts movement of one of the joints (such as the wrist) to help healing. Be aware that these things may also alter the technique which can also cause problems. Seek advice if unsure. Be honest when you feel an injury as early treatment and/ or prevention is a lot easier than dealing with a full injury.

About You:

Diane Watt
Yes, I both play and I am a big fan of tennis. I have played competitively from a young age.


Mr Callum McBryde
I used to play a lot of tennis but family and work commitments have taken over. I'm a big fan of tennis and try to watch as much as possible.


Nicola Goldsmith
I play for my local club both mixed and ladies doubles. Some might say I am rather obsessive about my tennis with a rather unhealthy passion year round. Makes me hardy!

Diane Watt
I enjoy the challenge and competition. I also like being outside and getting the exercise (especially in singles).


Mr Callum McBryde
I tend to play golf, when time permits!


Nicola Goldsmith
Tennis is such a sociable game and demands a serious level of fitness for matches. My grandfather played at Wimbledon in the 1930's and taught me when I was four. I suppose I caught the bug!

Diane Watt
Working in Australia.


Mr Callum McBryde
I'm lucky to have many highlights in my career but every patient is important.


Nicola Goldsmith
Winning the club ladies doubles last year.

Tennis Injuries

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