The combination of explosive racket swings and quick bursts of running up and down the court can make tennis players prone to injuries in the upper and lower body. These injuries can occur either due to overuse (cumulative) or due to a sudden impact (acute). Our orthopedic surgeons and specialists, athletic trainers and physical and occupational therapists at Houston Methodist offer world-class diagnoses and treatments to help everyone from student athletes to weekend warriors, as well as elite professionals overcome their injury and get back to playing tennis.

Common Tennis Injuries
Below are some of the areas of the body and the specific injuries tennis players may encounter: 

  • Shoulder:
    • Bursitis
    • Frozen shoulder , or adhesive capsulitis (pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint that makes it difficult to move the arm)
    • Impingement syndrome (inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff)
    • Rotator cuff tendonitis
    • Shoulder separation
    • Tendonitis
    • Rotator cuff tears
  • Elbow:
    • Bursitis
    • Tennis elbow (inflammation on the outside of the elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis )
  • Hand or wrist:
    • Wrist sprains
    • Wrist tendonitis
  • Hip , knee and leg:
    • Torn anterior or posterior cruciate ligament (ACL/PCL)
    • Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome (inflammation of the tendon that runs along the outside of the upper thigh)
    • Knee osteoarthritis
    • Torn meniscus
    • Patellofemoral syndrome (a thinning and softening of the shock-absorbing cartilage under the kneecap)
  • Foot or ankle:
    • Achilles tendon rupture
    • Achilles tendonitis
    • Ankle sprains
    • Plantar fasciitis (heel pain due to inflammation of the thick ligament of the base of the foot)

Tennis Safety and Injury Prevention
We are all prone to an athletic injury, whether a casual player or elite professional. Here are some tips for tennis safety and injury prevention. 

  • Choose a court surface that has some "give" and avoid cement or asphalt. If you must play on a hard surface, wearing heel inserts can absorb the shock and help prevent lower-back injuries.
  • Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes with a brisk walk or jog around the court and follow up with some stretching exercises, particularly for your calves, hamstrings, quads, shoulders and forearms.
  • Wear good tennis shoes with solid support to prevent ankle injuries, and padded socks to absorb impact.
  • Doing dumbbell curls a few times a week can strengthen the muscles around your elbow and help prevent injury.
  • If you do experience an injury, do not try to "play through it"; take care of your injury immediately.

Trust our team of sports injury specialists at Houston Methodist to remove you from the injured list and provide you with the knowledge to help prevent future injuries.