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When Playing Tennis Becomes A Pain



We’re all very much acquainted with the game, some more than others, but if you’ve ever played tennis for a decent amount of time then you will understand what I’m trying to project here. We’re not Hercules out there on our little green battlefields, and accidents do tend to happen when we least expect it.

I don’t pretend to have played for long enough to have had the entire row that I’m about to address, but I dare say that I’ve seen some of my best mates fall prey to most of them. However, tennis on its own is a wonderful sport. Heck, it definitely beats a lot of other games as far as safety rules go…and I mean no offense to soccer or David Beckham.

You see, when playing a game like a tennis there are the basic commandments of tennis that must be followed: Stand on either side of the field, don’t hit the ball with your hand, don’t impersonate Serena Williams, play like nice children, don’t aim the ball at your receivers eye, and well, the usual stuff that we all well know. But what about the part where…well, to put it this way, say we’re not really looking for “love” but we do get hurt? Apparently there are 5 biggie’s who love to spoil the tennis thrill. “Who’s the impersonator,” you may ask. “Well said,” I say. Their names are:

1      Tennis Elbow

2      Stress Fracture of the Back

3      Calf Strain

4      Shoulder Pain

5      And let’s not leave out my personal “best” friend, Sprained Ankle

The only good part about this 5 is that you’re not totally sissy should you be caught with one of them. Yes, my friends, even Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been subject to such things. Apparently, there are about 54 injuries for every 1000 tennis matches played, so we’re really only left with two options.

1      You are so highly gifted that you played in the lucky half of the above said 1000, or

2      You secretly spent extra time admiring the cheerleader girl in the bleachers, called in sick for your game, and…did not play at all.

Whether you are 1 or 2 or even have your very own custom made 3, you’ve got to learn how to deal with these like a man. Yep! Yelping to mom for a band-aid and non-alcohol antiseptic spray isn’t going to cut it anymore. And just for the record, it isn’t manly either. So what then? Well, I’ve broken it down here. And by “broken it down” I really mean, “took the above five injuries and added more words to them, so, yeah, it’s actually longer for you to read”. Ok, let’s do this thing.

Tennis Elbow

A real problem situation, right? Well, not necessarily so according to my resources that tell me that tennis elbow is really a condition where the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. It usually happens on the latter side of the elbow and causes dreadful pain when fully extending your arm. Let’s see if you can choose the best answer for what you should do when you have a tennis elbow problem:

1      Use a tennis elbow support

2      Declare you’ve got the plague

3      Take a tip from a wiser giraffe and report to the dying hole

4      Do nothing at all

(This is tough, I know. But I promise to share the cheat sheet with you at the end. Chin up! I’ll try to make this real easy for you.)

Stress Fracture of the Back

A real stress factor, right? Not to mention a real back breaker as well, just kidding. Contrary to its name your back is not entirely broken at all. A stress fracture of the back tends to happen mostly in young tennis players and is noticeable by an ache in your lower back. How about this quiz? When you have a stress fracture you should:

1      Take complete rest from tennis for up to 6 weeks and allow your backbone to heal.

2      Go for a spinal transplant.

3      Take lessons on endurance from Jackie Chan and Jet Lee.

4      Do nothing at all.

Calf Strain

Just as the name suggests, a calf strain takes place when the muscle on your calf (for the record, not the mooing kind) is stretched beyond its limit and the muscle tissue becomes torn. This generally happens with any proper tennis-playing person because of his constant and active movements across the field. What should you do when a calf strain takes place?

1      Protect the injury from further damage, rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

2      Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” (personal favorite!)

3      Go for some serious rehabilitation because you weren’t supposed to bunk a class and play anyway.

4      Do nothing at all.

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain usually happens with tennis players because of the repeated stress on their shoulders during serving (the ball, not food). To be frank, there are many sources of shoulder pain for a tennis player, but the most common is Bursitis which is the inflammation of the Bursa fluid sac. And just how should you deal with this?

1      Reduce the inflammation through ice therapy and anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by the doctor.

2      Keep playing, because the show must go on.

3      Duct tape an ice pack to the inside of your shirt. (Personal secret to wider shoulders look!)

4      Do nothing at all.

Sprained Ankle

Sprained ankles usually result from sudden sideways movements that star players like Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, and Andrew Murray (and me) tend to often take. The sudden movement on the ankle causes it to twist. This tends to happen on rainy days when the ground is slippery as a fish or when the player is tired. The damage done to the ankle causes bleeding of the tissues within and the ankle swells in a painful sort of way. When this happens, you should:

1      Follow the rules of protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

2      Call 911.

3      Dance Gangnam Style.

4      Do nothing.

And lastly the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The cheat sheet answers! If you answered with number 1 in all answers of the above, then you’re already a pro and I don’t need to talk any more now. For my final words: Keep playing. Believe in yourself and in the game. Don’t forget that when you fall and are hit by one of the deadly 5’s to get well and then get back up and try again. Cheers mates!