Playing sports is a good way for people to stay fit, and tennis is a widely recognized sport that is good for your health in the long run.
Playing tennis helps with improving heart health, losing unhealthy weight, and in general staying fit and active. This sport also improves muscular and skeletal functions and helps people improve their coordination skills.
But like most things, you have to err on the side of caution so that you don’t sustain injuries. By putting in preventative practices you can make sure that you will be able to play the sport for a long time without being hindered by severe back pain.
How Does Tennis-Related Back Pain Occur
In tennis circles, it is quite common for players to experience lower back pain. This is mainly due to the nature of the sport, which also causes a lot of elbow and wrist problems in players.
Novak Djokovic’s persistent challenges with his elbow have continued to raise concerns within the tennis community, highlighting the significance of injury prevention strategies for players.
The back pain occurs due to the amount of twisting and turning that tennis players do as part of playing the sport. These movements affect the back muscles, ligaments, and tendons situated in the body’s spinal column. This pain often can also develop due to the way players serve the ball, which unevenly distributes pressure or strain to the body.
The Importance of Warming Up and Cooling Down
Before you take on playing tennis as a regular sport, you need to be aware of your body’s capabilities to take on the sport. It is also important to know about the risks of playing tennis, like the development of back pain. If you already have injuries, you should exercise caution and or assess your fitness level before taking up tennis. Make sure that you consult your doctor and receive clearance before you start playing again.
To mitigate the instances of back pain, you need to include proper stretching in your warming-up and cooling-down periods. Warming up helps enhance your performance and gives you a range of motion while cooling down helps bring down the body’s heart rate. Proper stretching can help you avoid putting strain on these muscles during the game.
Be aware of when you feel pains in your body and take action to soothe it. This is so that you don’t cause more injury to yourself.
Exercises and Conditioning Tips
There are exercises that can aid with reducing and preventing back pain. There are targeted spots on the body to work on so that you have a less strenuous time playing tennis.
- Glute exercises: This helps take the pressure off your hips. An exercise like hip trusts would target this area well.
- Back extensor muscles: These muscles are connected to the spine and the lower back. Exercises like the bird dog or donkey kicks would aid you here. These muscles help the body with standing, bending, and lifting objects.
- Full body core: Exercises like planking help with strengthening your whole body and extending the backbones.
- Abdominals: Crunches and similar exercises would work well to tone in this area.
- Stretching: Always remember to do a variety of stretches that will target parts of your entire body. Try to emphasize on your lower back and limbs.
The Importance of Post-Match Recovery
After playing a sport, you need to take care of your body so that it can rest and repair itself before you play the sport again.
The body needs to restore its energy, otherwise, you will experience pain and soreness. These pains in addition to feeling fatigued or experiencing a decrease in performance, are your body’s way of telling you you have not recovered and need a rest day.
To aid your recovery period, there are post-workout supplements that tennis players can use. There are a number readily available, but read more online to get a better understanding of what will be best for you.
Other Ways to Prevent Back Pain
While doing a number of exercises can aid with alleviating strain on the back, you need to include using proper tennis equipment in your sessions, so you don’t have to overexert yourself on the court and help you have a better game.
Another way to prevent back pain is to change your diet to mitigate the instances of back pain and to alleviate tension. Incorporate a diet that utilizes flaxseed and chia seeds or omega-3-rich fish to help reduce the inflammation your body experiences.
To reduce pain, you should eat foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, or watermelon. Using items like olive oil and green tea will aid in reducing inflammation of the spine. On the topic of foods, increase your bone strength, by introducing foods with calcium and vitamin D into your diet.
As much as there is food that is good for you, there are also those foods that work against your efforts to alleviate back pain. You should avoid foods like tomatoes, white potatoes, and peppers. Also avoid foods high in saturated fats, fast food, and highly processed foods. Your intake of caffeine and alcohol should be reduced too.
You can fortify your body by using nutrient supplements, which can be provided when you consult a nutritionist.
What to Do if You Strain Your Muscles
Sometimes, despite all the preventative measures that you can take, you are still able to pull a muscle and cause discomfort in your lower back.
When this happens, it is best to use an ice press to reduce the swelling and inflammation. After a few days of using a cold press, you can also use a heat pack to alleviate the discomfort and reduce stiffness. You can take ibuprofen to lessen the inflammation and reduce the pain you feel – but it is best to consult a doctor before you do.
If the pain persists, you need to seek out medical assistance, as it may be a more severe injury that may require the help of a medical practitioner. Remember to take all pains seriously, especially if you play a sport, because ignoring it can worsen the injury.
By practicing good habits, you will be able to prevent yourself from sustaining lower back injuries while playing tennis. By taking care of yourself you will be able to play a better game and play it for a longer period of time.
Warming up and cooling down is extremely important in preventing injury, while getting the proper nutrients will naturally reduce pain and inflammation in the body. However, by exercising, you will strengthen your body to take on the strain of the sport with ease.