Spring has finally arrived and many seasonal sports enthusiasts are looking forward to practicing their favorite physical activity once again. However, those who have been sedentary during winter months should implement these tips from Dr. Moshe Lewis, a San Francisco-based board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician.
According to Dr. Lewis, the most common types of injuries amateur athletes endure, specifically tennis and golf players, are tennis elbow (tennis), shoulder tendinitis and back pain (tennis and golf). These injuries are caused by the repetitive nature and the force of the swing in both sports. Furthermore, the lack of proper technique leads players to develop bad habits, which over time can bring about injury. On the flip side, committed players who invest in lessons are taught, among other things, to rely on larger muscle groups as opposed to smaller ones, the former being less prone to strains.
Additional recommendations include following a good warm-up routine and investing in the right equipment (the right-size racket, the right string tension, and the use of support braces if needed). Players should drink plenty of water and make sure to get rest between training sessions. If their sports facility offers them, athletes should take advantage of hot tubs, steam rooms, and saunas to increase the blood flow to the tissues, and indulge in massages. Should a strain occur, players must cut back and consult a physician.
Dr. Lewis is a pain management specialist and as such, he is a proponent of using a customized approach that blends the best of traditional medicine and alternative care. His advice to patients: they should educate themselves about the practice of yoga, Pilates, tai chi, the Feldenkrais Method, and biofeedback therapy, since all these methods can help in the prevention of injuries. Players who love seasonal sports such as tennis and golf should cross-train year-round, and include low-impact sports such as swimming, as well as core training exercises and stretching, in their routine.
These suggestions should help players enjoy an active summer, free of pain and the common injuries that plague amateur tennis and golf enthusiasts.