A Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon has issued an injury warning to anyone thinking of rushing to the tennis courts with Wimbledon getting nearer.
Callum McBryde a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at BMI Priory Hospital in Birmingham, says that sudden bursts of enthusiasm from 'once-a-year' sports enthusiasts can often do more harm than good.
And he warns all those people presently searching for the tennis racquet they discarded after a couple of weeks last summer, to take extra care before their first serve.
"We see it every year around Wimbledon time. Inspired by the professionals, people dig out their old racquets and the next thing they know they are at their GPs complaining about pains in their hips, knees or shoulders.
"I don't want to put anyone off taking up the sport but I would urge them to show a little caution before they pull on their tennis shirts," said Mr McBryde, who has a special interest in hip injuries amongst young adults.
"It is very important that if you are suffering with groin or knee pain, or if you know you have a pre-existing injury that you discuss with a doctor or physiotherapist whether tennis as a 'one off' event is really for you.
"Getting fit is always a good idea but remember that impact activities like tennis and squash can put a lot of strain on the hips and knees. If you have no previous injuries or pain then go ahead and enjoy yourself - but make sure that you warm up and warm down with some simple stretches.
"However, if you are feeling any sort of joint pain before you start I can assure you it won't be made better by a game of tennis!"
And it isn't just the older enthusiasts who are in danger.
"Particular anatomical shapes of the hip joint can increase the likelihood of an injury to the hip. It may be that subtle abnormalities go unrecognised for years. If you are young and experiencing pain in your hips you really do need to get medical advice. You could well be doing yourself damage that will come to light much later in your life," explained Mr McBryde.
And for the older players Mr McBryde has a few wise words: "Be realistic - you are no longer a teenager so don't expect to be able to throw yourself around the court as if you were.
"Remember that the main reason for taking up a sport is to keep yourself fit and active - not to do yourself an injury that puts you out of the game for years.
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