Now the tennis season is well underway, with the Women’s US Open starting, many people will be inspired to take to the tennis courts.
With its aerobic and weight-bearing elements, tennis can really help with weight-loss and general fitness. However, as with many sports, you have to be mindful as to what the body is being required to do, especially if the rest of the time you’re not very active, perhaps spending hours sitting at a desk.
Common Tennis Injuries
Tennis Elbow – causing pain in the outer side of the forearm – mainly just below the elbow due to damage to the tendon of the forearm muscles. With its major cause involving repetitive movements of the arm often involving twisting, it is important not only to get the technique right with your tennis strokes to avoid too much overuse of the elbow but also to use the right racket for you, in terms of grip size and string tension.
Shoulder Pain – The tendons around the shoulder can be susceptible to wear-and-tear and result in pain when overstrained with repetitive use. The service action is a particular challenge to the joint.
Pulled Muscles – Usually affecting the legs, especially the hamstring (at the back of the thigh) and the calf muscles. These can already be tighter than normal if they are compensating for issues in areas such as the low back, hip and ankles. A sudden movement can then cause damage to the fibres.
Low Back Pain – Again, an awkward movement can strain joints in the low back. Also, with age, the discs between the vertebrae can wear and lose their ability to shock-absorb, so repetitive pounding around a tennis court can cause excessive jarring to the joints and result in discomfort and stiffness.
So, whether you just enjoy an occasional social game or play competitively, it’s very important to prepare yourself physically to minimise any chance of injury.
How to Avoid Tennis Injuries?
Doing some stretching beforehand will help to prevent any strains.
Ideally, this should involve not only your legs (hamstrings, quads and calves) but also your shoulders and back.
Always give yourself enough time to do this properly.
Don’t delay replacing your tennis shoes if the grip starts to wear, to avoid the chance of slipping on wet courts.
Playing Tennis with Existing Injuries?
If you do have any ongoing niggles, for example, a stiff neck or troublesome knee, your body will try and compensate for any lack of movement or avoid any pain, which may then lead to other problems. It would be advisable to have these checked out by a professional to reduce their impact BEFORE you do too much.
For help with any existing mechanical issues, advice on exercises and treatment of any injuries acquired whilst enjoying this sport, contact our osteopaths at the Good Health Centre.
We’ve all come home from a long day at work and felt overwhelmed with stress, unable to relax and enjoy the evening. Stress can impact your mental and physical health, left unchecked it can contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Here are some tips to help you relax and combat stress.
You don’t need a mountaintop with miles wilderness views, you just need to find a quiet space all to yourself. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Listening to your breath and your heart is a good way to distract you from any other thoughts trying to creep into your meditation session. Research suggests that 2 sessions of meditation a day can help reduce stress and depression.
Struggling to sleep or even meditate? Counting up to a number and then back again slowly helps you forget about the important meeting you have coming up or the latest electric bill. You can use this technique when your worries are running rampant, take 20 seconds out of the day just to count.
Drip Cold Water on Your Wrists
There are major arteries on your wrists, dripping cold water on them can help cool them down, and calm the whole body. You can also rub a bit of cold water behind your earlobes as there are some major arteries there too. This technique is great as you can use it anywhere that has a bathroom; the office, at home or in the supermarket.
Write it down
Writing in a little journal, diary or even a blog can help you relax. Writing down your experiences helps you to re-evaluate stressful situations and express emotions in a creative outlet.
Take a minute to drip a small amount of lavender, tea tree or other relaxing scents into your palm. The soothing scents of aromatherapy can help you overcome stressful situations by stimulating smell receptors that connect to the part of the brain that regulates emotions. Pavan is the Good Health Centre’s Aromatherapy expert, why not head over to her profile and ask her some questions about it?
Talking about anything that causes stress or anxiety is always a good idea. Not only does it stop you from bottling your worries up, but it can help you rethink how you handle the situations.
When you’re becoming overwhelmed, take a quick walk. The benefits of having a quick stroll during a stressful situation can massively reduce your anxiety levels. You’ll get some fresh air, some alone time and a bit of exercise to get those endorphins running.
Laughing is scientifically proven to help reduce stress. A laughing fit has been known to boost your immune system and increase blood flow. So, hang out more with funny friends, keep a book of jokes on standby, or just take some time to watch some funny videos on YouTube.
Self Hand Massage
We don’t have to state the obvious, that a massage is one of the best ways to relax. But when you’re at work and need a quick relaxing way to calm your pounding heart, try a DIY hand massage. Rub the base of the thumb on each hand help soothe and ease tension. Rubbing the soft area between the thumb and index finger can also help. This is ideal for someone who may work in an office and spends a lot of time typing. Keep a bottle of lotion to one side for a truly soothing experience.
Tense and Relax
A great way to gain focus and relax is to slowly go through each muscle group and tense and relax them. Start with your toes; squeeze them as tight as they can go, hold it for 5 seconds and then slowly relax. Again, this is a great technique to practice when you’re sat at your desk, in a meeting or even standing in line at the bank.
Reiki is a “hands-off and hands-on” therapy that can help rebalance your energy. When your energy is out of balance, you may feel this in the form of stress, depression or anxiety. When you have things on your mind, Reiki can help promote sleep/energy.
At the Good Health Centre, we use a combination of different massage techniques to offer a completely unique & holistic massage experience. Our massage specialists incorporate aromatherapy oils to give you a maximum benefit from your treatment. Our therapists are trained in Indonesian Massage, Aromatherapy Massage and Swedish Massages.
Osteopathy is a treatment that looks at your whole body and takes a holistic approach to revitalise any aches and pains. Because stress can cause physical afflictions, Osteopathy can help ease pain and often is a great way to relax and relieve some of the symptoms of stress.