Tennis is a very active sport, and when you are taking heavy swings at the ball either in practice or in a brutal game, your shoulder can be injured as a result. A sport-related injury to your shoulder in tennis can result in reduction or loss of movement in your shoulder, burning pain, swelling, or a deep ache that just won't go away. Even if your shoulder looks just fine, your injury can be severe enough to need physical therapy. Here are some techniques you can expect to try when you are healing your shoulder after injuring it during tennis play.
Stretching your muscles helps keep them in good form and can help them heal as well. Every time you stretch, you cause tiny tears in your muscular tissue, which repairs and rebuilds itself when you are at rest. This is important to building your shoulders and arms into a stronger unit for playing tennis in the future. Some stretching techniques your physical therapist may have you try include:
- internal rotation of your shoulders
- crossed-arms stretching
- inferior capsule stretching
Your physical therapist will show you how to do these stretches with a tennis racket and alone so you can always be limber and ready for the next match and so you can have less risk for further injury.
Resistance band training
A resistance band offers resistance when it is pulled, making it a great tool for strengthening muscles that are recovering from a shoulder injury. You can attach these bands to a doorway to give you plenty of room for rotating and lengthening your muscles for maximum results. Your physical therapist will guide you through gentle motions, such as an overhead stretch or a straight pull back (like a volleyball serve), and increase your resistance with time.
If your injury is too severe to begin physical therapy right away, you may be referred to a physical therapist who has a specialty in sports injury massage. Massage techniques designed to bring oxygen to rebuild muscle tissue and deep massage over a few weeks can help repair your muscles enough to where you can begin more extensive training. Once your shoulder is healed, it's important to continue with strengthening exercises to keep your muscles in top form. If you experience more pain and discomfort as you go back to playing tennis, refer to your physical therapist and discontinue play until you have had the pain examined to avoid future injury.
If you are looking for a physical therapist, contact a clinic like Advanced Physical Therapy.