Tennis is considered to be one of the most popular sports in the world. Even though it is not a contact sport, it is a physically demanding activity. Tennis is not only played by professional athletes but is also a popular recreational activity by amateurs.
It involves a lot of physical involvement, thus, injuries are guaranteed. The most common ones are shoulder injuries, tennis elbow, muscle strains, knee injuries, back injuries, and fractures. However, a recent study shows that wrist injuries have the highest percentage out of all tennis injuries.
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Causes of wrist injuries in tennis players
A number of factors can lead to wrist injuries. From a medical standpoint, a wrist is a joint that includes carpals and wrist bones, bones of the lower arm and joints for metacarpals. Strong fibrous connective tissues such as ligaments and tendons hold together the wrist.
These tissues are aimed to hold the bones of the wrist together and assist in the smooth movement of your hand. Doctors say that the most common wrist injury is chronic overuse of it. Tennis players normally put extensive pressure on their wrist joints, which in the long run can lead to injuries and severe pain.
Symptoms of wrist injuries in tennis players
There are several common symptoms of wrist injuries and they are as follows:
- Tenderness and swelling
- Popping sound
The majority of people, not only professional tennis players, claim that they encounter the pain increase with wrist mobilization. The vast majority of wrist injuries share common symptoms, therefore, it is quite difficult to determine between mild and severe injuries. It is highly important to consult wrist injury specialists for the proper evaluation of hand.
Diagnostic of a Tennis Wrist Injury
Wrist injury specialists claim that there is no single way of diagnosing wrist problems. This is mainly because of the enormous number of these types of injuries. An accurate diagnostic typically starts with an examination of medical history.
The extent of the wrist injury is normally determined by the physical examination of the injured hand and its surrounding tissues. Soft tissues around the wrist are massaged for the purpose of assessing for bone fractures or any other signs of connective tissue damage.
Wrist injury doctors state that mild injuries are easily diagnosed and treated. However, when it comes to severe injuries, a more detailed examination is required. In this case, a doctor will make use of MRI, CT, and ultrasound as well as X-ray scans for a more thorough assessment of the soft tissues of the wrist.
Wrist injuries treatment
It is a well know fact that mild wrist injuries can be treated at home with the use of a RICE method. It stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. Ibuprofen and other OTC medications can be utilized to manage pain associated with a wrist injury.
It is also advised to avoid any movement of the wrist by wearing a brace or splint. You need to keep in mind that the aforementioned treatment is possible only for the first stages of this injury. Wrist injury treatment for severe cases differs dramatically.
It normally involves a partial or complete tear of wrist ligaments or tendons. In the case of bone fractures, surgical intervention is required. To be more specific, arthroscopy is a typical surgery for severe wrist injuries, which involves a small cut on the skin, followed by inserting a scope into the tissues.
How tennis players can avoid this type of injury?
The most common advice that wrist injury doctors give is the proper grip of the racquet. It has a huge impact on the amount of load delivered to the wrist.
For instance, tennis players who hold a racquet in the Eastern way are more prone to radial-sided wrist injuries, while players who make use of Western and semi Western grip have higher chances of getting ulnar-sided injuries.
Apart from the grip of the racquet, a tennis player should warm-up properly and make use of wrist muscles exercises in order to strengthen them.