Our Los Angeles spinal surgeons and specialists work with many athletes to correct spinal pain and discomfort, with many individuals sharing the pastime of tennis. The combination of maintaining an unnatural posture during play and the hard surface of a regulation court can create musculoskeletal conditions in the body that cause back and neck pain in athletes who play tennis regularly. Developing an active awareness of body stance and movements during practice can help players reverse bad habits that are causing them to experience discomfort.
Many athletes develop a playing style that causes them to hunch their shoulders and necks forward. This posture results in excessive strain on the upper back muscles, causing them to have to work harder to support the weight of the head. Small tears can develop in the muscles, which will react by tightening and causing discomfort in the neck and back.
Players who become more conscious of their stance during play can make an effort to keep the head more erect and the shoulders pulled back. Better posture will put less strain on the upper back and neck and better protect the surrounding muscles.
Warming-Up and Stretching
Failing to warm-up before play and stretch afterwards are possibly the most prominent contributing factors to injuries in tennis and other sports. Engaging in mild activities before play that are designed to increase blood flow to the muscles will prepare them for more intense activity and help prevent injury. Stretching should also be done after a match to keep the muscles lengthened to prevent contraction and pain.
Employing exercise techniques that are designed to strengthen the muscles of the upper back can help prevent back and neck pain by developing a more supportive frame. Strength training, especially when weights are involved, works best when the activity is monitored by a certified trainer or physical therapist. Practicing improper form and using inappropriate weights when working out can result in further injury and discomfort.
To learn more about back and neck pain associated with the sport of tennis, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration and schedule an in-person consultation with Medical Director Dr. Bae. With an emphasis on minimally invasive and motion-preserving spine surgery, Dr. Bae can help you find the best treatment for your spinal pain so you can get back out on the court and enjoy the sport you love. Call (310) 828-7757 for more information.