Tennis is one of the most popular sports globally that people of all ages enjoy. It’s a sport that many young and older people choose to play either for recreation or competitively.
But some injuries are associated with playing tennis regularly. One common injury among tennis players is hip pain. Tennis players can experience pain in different areas of their hips depending on the parts of the hip muscles that are being used.
As with any sport, many different types of injury can occur either by accident or overuse. One common hip pain issue for tennis players is called “trochanteric bursitis,” which is an inflammation in the area where the hip bone articulates with the iliac crest.
Tennis players with extreme rotators (gluteus Maximus, piriformis obturator internus) mostly make up this injury. These muscles are all used during rotation, and putting too much stress on any of these muscles can create an imbalance in the hip region which then causes inflammation.
What causes hip pain in tennis players?
The main cause for this injury is repetitive motions involving a lot of rotation or twisting during play.
The following are other possible causes of hip pain in tennis players:
1. Insufficient warm-up and cool-down (before and after play) can cause hip pain. Tennis player with inadequate stretching both before and after the match putting too much strain on the hips. This type of injury is most common among those who do not properly stretch or warm up their muscles for a game.
2. Straining the hip muscles by overusing them can result to hip pain. Overuse is one of the most common causes of tennis-related injuries. Hip pain among the players is often caused by repetitive motions that put extra strain on their hips.
3. Slipping or falling while playing leads to a hip injury. Falling is another common source of hip injuries among tennis players. This usually happens in one of two ways: either the player slips on the court surface, or an opponent trips them while they are mid-swing.
4. Playing for extended periods can result in hip pain. Tennis matches usually last between 3 to 5 sets, each lasting for nine games. If the players do not rest in between sets, their hips might get tired and eventually cause pain, especially if they play singles matches (a match between two players).
5. Obesity or overweight can also contribute to hip injuries in tennis players. Because of the constant running and jumping that tennis players need to do during a game, an overweight player puts more pressure on their hips which could eventually result to hip pain.
6. Improper form and bad equipment. The form of the player is important to avoid hip pain and injury. The most common bad practice that can lead to hip injuries is playing with a bad grip, either loose or tight. Also, returning or swinging the tennis racket improperly can exacerbate or cause an injury in the hips.
7. Weak abdomen muscles may contribute to hip pain. Abdominal muscles play an important role in protecting the spine and internal organs. A strong core keeps the back straight and reduces stress on the hips that may cause pain.
8. Playing on hard courts can aggravate hip injuries among tennis players. Hard courts are considered the fastest surface among other types of surfaces, which can cause more stress on the hips than on all other surfaces.
How to avoid hip pain in tennis players
It is important to take proper care of your body while playing tennis regularly to avoid any injury in the future.
Here are some tips to help you avoid hip pain:
1. Warm up properly before playing. This is more important for those who are not used to physical activity or exercise. Stretching and light jogging or walking can also help prevent hip pain. Increasing your stretching and warm-up time before playing.
This will loosen your joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, allowing them to move more fluidly. Also, be sure to do the same after every game or practice. Stretching can also help improve blood flow which improves tissue repair.
2. Proper diet can help prevent injury in any sport, but it’s especially important for tennis players since it often causes exhaustion and fatigue over time. Make sure you have a proper diet with the right nutrients and minerals to keep your bones healthy.
3. Increase your hip flexibility with yoga or other similar forms of exercise. In addition, try foam rolling to help reduce any tightness in the iliopsoas muscle and the muscles involved with rotation.
4. If you feel that you have a lot of pain during rotation, it may be good to get your hips tested by a physical therapist or trainer to see what’s causing the pain.
5. Wear supportive shoes with shock absorption. This decreases stress on the joints, knees, ankles, and feet which also help prevent hip pain. Also, make sure you have the right tennis shoes since good support is important for preventing injury during play.
6. Use good technique while playing. Always focus on developing a proper form that limits strain on certain body areas. You can also have a coach or trainer watch you play to help identify any bad habits causing problems in your game.
7. If you’re playing competitively, then it may be necessary to decrease the number of games or practice sessions you play. Doing this will allow the muscles time to rest and repair themselves properly, preventing injury in the future.
8. Try to play on different surfaces. For example, if playing on a hard court is causing hip pain, switch to clay or grass courts considered much softer than the former.
9. Use good form when playing to prevent hip injury in the future by focusing on proper technique and positioning. You can also hire a coach or trainer to help identify any bad habits that could cause an injury when playing tennis.
10. Balance exercises can be useful for preventing falls, which helps prevent additional hip injuries.
11. Ensure good posture throughout the match, avoiding a stooped or slouched position that can place too much stress on your hips
12. Take breaks in between sets if you’re playing a long game or match
13. Lose excess weight by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly
What to do if you get a hip injury while playing Tennis?
Here are some ways you can treat the injury.
1. If you feel any hip pain while playing tennis, stop immediately and take a break from your game.
2. Take over-the-counter painkillers to help decrease inflammation and ease any hip pain you may be feeling. Also, it is important not to take aspirin for this specific injury since it thins the blood, which can increase bleeding inside your body.
3. If you are experiencing hip pain, it’s important to see a doctor or physical therapist right away.
4. If your injury doesn’t improve with time or gets worse, surgery may be necessary for recovery. However, this is rare and typically only happens when the damage on the joint is severe and has not improved over time despite treatment options.
5. Ice your hips to decrease inflammation and swelling. Always wrap the ice pack in a clean towel before applying it on your hip for about 20 minutes 3-4 times per day.
5. If you had surgery, physical therapy would be more important than ever after the procedure. Physical therapy can often work as a great way to treat hip injuries because physical therapists are trained to help relieve pain, correct bad posture, and more. Therapy can also speed up the recovery process by stimulating the body’s healing capabilities that are already in place.
How to Recover from a Hip Injury
Doctors say it’s important to start using your hip again as soon as possible after the injury occurs.
1. Stretching, isometric exercises, and strengthening the muscles around your hips can all be used to improve hip function following an injury.
2. Rest your hip until you can fully move it without feeling any pain.
3. Start moving your hips slowly with only minimal activity at first, like taking small steps when walking or moving around in bed.
4. As you start to feel better, increase the amount of activity you can do without pain.
5. Your physical therapist may give you exercises to strengthen your muscles and keep your hip strong. Make sure you follow all the instructions pre-given to you by the therapist.
6. After therapy, try doing a regular exercise routine that includes a range of motion exercises and activities, like swimming or biking.
7. Adequate rest is important for proper recovery from hip pain or injury. Make sure to take it easy on your hip until you feel fully recovered and have no pain before getting back to playing tennis.
8. If your injury doesn’t improve with time or gets worse, surgery might be necessary for recovery even though this is rare and typically only happens when the damage on the joint is severe and has not improved with time despite treatment options.
Tennis is an extremely competitive sport that requires a certain level of physicality to play at one’s best. You need to have a passion for the sport and proper equipment; you are good to start playing tennis.
Depending on your experience and your play style, there are different types of hip injuries associated with the sport. Players need to warm up and cool down their muscles before and after playing tennis, as this will help avoid injury and keep them feeling healthy and strong.