ATP Tour Finals and Tennis Injuries (Dave Regis)

Next week the O2 in London will play host to the ATP Tour Finals, where some of the world's best players will arrive in the capital to compete for glory. Nadal, Djokovic and Ferrer have all booked their place for the finals, with Federer just one match away from a guaranteed spot in the competition.

The ATP Tour Finals is the end of the year tournament for the world's best male tennis players, featuring the top eight singles and double competitors battling for the $1.9million prize. Last year it was Djokovic who took his second title in front of the London crowd. The tournament works on a round robin basis, moving to a knockout in the semi-finals.

After a long season the world's elite will be hoping to be at their best as they compete for the coveted trophy. Sports injuries are common for everyone, with the risk of injury increasing as a player becomes fatigued throughout the season.

Sprained Ankle

In a fast paced sport such as tennis where players turn at speed, along with an extensive amount of starting and stopping then the ankle can be prone to injuries. During the summer at Wimbledon there were a number of withdrawals from the tournament as a result of players slipping on the court and rolling their ankle. Whilst the injuries themselves were thankfully minor, it still led to a number of high profile early exits from the tournament.

Ankle injuries can range in their severity and are graded one to three depending on the extent of the damage and the rehabilitation required to full fitness. The majority of ankle injuries are grade one, where you roll your ankle from slipping on a wet floor or on the wet grass of a tennis court. This results in mild ligament damage which, whilst quite painful, will heal within a few days following rest.

The majority of sports injuries are as result of overuse and ankle injuries are no different, where fatigue can play a role resulting in a loss of concentration and the risk of rolling your ankle. An ankle injury can create instability in the joint, therefore failing to stop an activity can lead to further damage being caused should the ankle roll once again.

Tennis Elbow

The main cause of tennis elbow is from overuse, with a player complaining of an acute pain beneath the elbow joint. Should you continue playing the pain can become worse and result in reduced movement of the forearm and elbow as a result of the inflammation.

Lateral epicondylitis, as it is known clinically, results in pain centred on the outside of the elbow joint. Golfers elbow is another common elbow condition, though differs from tennis elbow in that pain is centred on the inside of the elbow joint.

Both tennis elbow and golfers elbow are self-limiting conditions in that they will get better over time following a period of rest, though in the case of this condition that timeframe can be up to two years. In extreme cases surgery may be required to rectify the issue, but typically rest, ice to manage inflammation and even the use of a tennis elbow support can help during recovery.

A tennis elbow support can also help manage golfers elbow, simply by twisting the band round so that compression can be focussed on the inside of the elbow joint rather than the outside. Compression helps to manage inflammation and reduce pain which can enable a person to stay active for longer. The support is also discreet and can be worn under clothing, allowing you to continue normally without letting your condition get in the way.

Final Thoughts

Sports injuries range in their degrees of severity, rehabilitation methods and overall recovery times. Following any injury it is advisable to stop what you are doing and rest, as carrying on in some cases and playing through the pain can cause further damage and lead lengthier spells on the sidelines.

You should rest for a few days following an injury, giving it the best possible chance to recover on its own. If the injury fails to get better within a few days then it is advisable to seek a professional diagnosis. A clinician will be able to determine the severity of an injury and advise on the best route to recovery, whether that is further rest, physiotherapy or the use of a sports brace such as an ankle support or a tennis elbow support.

Dave Regis discusses the use of orthotics for the management of sports injuries, reviewing injury rehabilitation through exercise and the use of bracing and supports. He frequently blogs and writes articles focussing on injuries such as tennis elbow and methods of rehabilitation.

No comments:

Post a Comment