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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Friday, May 6, 2016

Tennis and Shoulder Injuries

Tennis enthusiasts in Central Texas are fortunate to be able to play the sport year-round. And with spring/summer here, and lighter hours late into the night, hours logged on the court are at an all-time high.

While tennis is an excellent form of aerobic exercise and great for developing upper and lower body strength and coordination, it does have a downside...if you play too much of it.

Tennis is a common culprit of many "overuse" injuries of the shoulder associated with the repetitive motion of swinging a racquet.

Here are some of the most frequent shoulders injuries to watch out for:

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles located at the top part of your shoulder that can easily become overworked or even torn if not careful. When you reach up for a high ball or serve, painful irritation and rubbing within the muscles and shoulder joint can occur. This is known as impingement, and can eventually lead to a full tear.

Bicep Tendon Tear

Pain in the front of the shoulder is most often associated with the biceps tendon that is used with groundstrokes. The elongated sweeping motion used to make contact with the ball can cause the tendon to become stretched out or torn.

Superior Labrum Tear

The superior labrum (SLAP) is where the ligaments attach into the socket of the shoulder. It can become torn simultaneously along with a rotator cuff injury. SLAP tears cause deep pain throughout the shoulder and may cause a "dead arm," or numb sensation, as well as a clicking or catching feeling when trying to use the shoulder.

Treatment for these injuries may include:
  • Modification of serve or strokes
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Dedicated time to rest and heal between matches
  • Surgery, in severe cases
If you are suffering from shoulder pain due to a tennis injury, please contact us for an appointment.

(Adapted from

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