Tennis: Shoulder pain

Even though many of us have heard about tennis elbow, another type of injury that can affect the arm that is quite common is tennis shoulder. Once an individual feels spasms of pain in the shoulder area after playing tennis that develops over time, it might indicate that the tennis shoulder pain is developing into a more serious condition. There are several steps to take in order to prevent shoulder pain from developing that will not require a long break from the sport.

Shock and inflammation

The shoulder pain that occurs after playing tennis might be due to the mechanism of an overhand swing in tennis. When a tennis ball is hit overhead, most of the bodyweight shocks the rotator cuff. Even though these muscles are responsible for moving the arm and shoulder, the repeated impact can contribute to the pain and inflammation in the shoulder joint.

Muscle imbalance

Always bear in mind that the tennis strokes work the front part of the shoulder but does not necessarily target the back of the shoulder. Take note that the muscle imbalance can lead to intense shoulder pain with every ensuing session. Remember that the rotator cuff movement while playing tennis is similar to the brakes of the shoulder. When the individual strikes the ball overhanded and the rotator cuff muscles are not fully developed, it is similar to pure acceleration without any brakes.

Shoulder pain

Once an individual feels spasms of pain in the shoulder area after playing tennis that develops over time, it might indicate that the tennis shoulder pain is developing into a more serious condition.

When to consult a doctor

Oftentimes, shoulder pain or a sore shoulder after playing tennis typically subsides after getting enough rest and application of ice on the affected area. Nevertheless, the shoulder pain can indicate a serious condition when it starts to worsen over time or noticeable at night time after a session.

A good example of a tennis-related shoulder injury is the “dead-arm syndrome” in which the arm is difficult to move or lift. These symptoms might indicate that the shoulder injury is more than usual than temporary pain and developed into a rotator cuff injury such as a torn rotator cuff or impingement.

Rotator cuff targeting

If the individual experiences initial indications of shoulder pain while playing tennis, he/she might start to engage in exercises in order to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.

Some individuals include rotator cuff training into their toning exercises. A good example is holding a resistance band with the palms facing up while the upper and lower arm at 90 degrees with the elbows tucked towards the torso. By pulling the wrists apart from one another, it can focus on the muscles of the rotator cuff.

Another workout involves resting on the side with a light-weight dumbbell usually between 2-5 lbs. The upper arm should be tucked to the torso while the lower arm is bent and facing forward. The individual should bring the hand toward the wall behind in order to target the rotator cuff.

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