It’s Wimbledon time. Time for the best in the world to come together and play in one of the biggest and most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. And after all drama in Great Britain over the past few weeks, you can bet that the championships will be a welcome distraction — as they are for many of us — glued to the TV cheering on our favorites. However, while these world-class athletes take to the court, its worth reflecting on the trip they took to get there. Not only did it take hard work and determination, it took training, and most likely, some form of chiropractic therapy. Why chiropractic? Because it helps tennis players perform better and heal faster.
Keeping Your Dominant Side Strong
In tennis, as in most games, you have a weak side and a dominant side. Your forehand is usually stronger, and your backhand is typically weaker. It’s that simple. Now, while you train to be equally powerful on both sides, our bodies still know the difference. Your dominant side will be more prone to injury because you use it more often – specifically, in tennis, you use it to serve. And because you use your dominant side to serve, over and over again, this repetitive motion will likely cause stiffness over time, inhibiting full range of motion. Just last year, Andy Murray suffered a shoulder injury like this at Wimbledon. But after a few adjustments, he was back on the court.
Chiropractic adjustments keep that dominant side loose and treat the injury before it becomes a more complex issue. Massage and exercise therapy can also be beneficial. Often a chiropractor will prescribe some specific stretching exercises to keep the affected area loose and prevent future problems.
Improving Your Performance
Now, I wouldn’t be a chiropractor unless I mentioned something about the spine in this article. So, here it goes, your weekly dose of spinally sound advice: Have your spine aligned and you’ll perform better. Why? Because when your vertebrae are where they’re supposed to be, blood, oxygen and nutrients can flow more freely. Your body will getting what it needs to do what it does best. And when you’re pushing yourself to the limits on the court, it’s going to need all the help it can get.
Playing Through the Pain
Here’s the deal, when you’re playing at the pro level, you’re going to feel some pain. It is inevitable. Some tennis players will even keep a chiropractor court side, to deal with any quick issues that come up during a match. Some chiropractors will also recommend specific stretching exercises to help players work through weakness or pain between sets and during recovery.
Some players will continue their therapy on the court with taping. Kinesio taping is used by many well-known tennis players, like Serena Williams, to reduce pain and inflammation – and provide support in a particular area. The tape can be applied in hundreds of ways, but the method is determined by your specific needs or condition. After your evaluation, we’ll show you how to apply the tape, so you know what to do before your next competition.
Keeping Tennis Elbow on the Sidelines
Also known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow affects nearly 50% of all tennis players. This type of tendonitis is characterized by a sharp shooting pain that radiates from the elbow to the forearm. You typically feel pain when you grasp or turn your hand, or extend your wrist. The affected area is also sensitive to touch. This condition is caused by overuse of the extensor tendon – which becomes strained and swollen.
Chiropractors treat tennis through targeted joint manipulation. This helps treat the discomfort associated with tennis elbow. They may also recommend massage therapy or specific stretching exercises. Ice also provides relief when the affected area becomes inflamed.
If tennis elbow becomes a chronic problem, it can often be managed through eccentric training.
This type of training consists of exercises that lengthen and strengthen the muscles, helping to recondition the tendon. Your chiropractor will show you the moves to prevent future occurrences.
Chiropractors help tennis players perform at their best by returning their body to its ideal state after competition, and treating minor injuries before they become bigger issues. Chiropractic remains an essential part of the recovery process, helping athletes perform at their very best. What can chiropractic do for you? Give us a call and find out.
About The Author
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.