When flipping TV channels, are you skipping past the drama unfolding at the 2019 Wimbledon tennis championships? If so, you missed your chance to witness 15-year old newcomer Cori Gauff neatly oust five-time champion, Venus Williams. That’s crazy, right?!
Well, the sport of tennis may not rouse the same kind of public passion here in the U.S. that sports like basketball and football do. However, a recent study reported that 17.9 million Americans play tennis. 14.6 million more would like to start. That’s a lot of potential foot and ankle injuries.
Tennis is tough on feet
Tennis is particularly hard on your lower limbs because they’re constantly moving. “Footwork” is a term that you’ll hear over and over when learning the game, meaning that your feet are never, ever still. When that ball finally comes back over the net, your feet are ready to pounce in that direction. Short stops, quick turns, and repetitive movements are what put tennis players at risk for injuries such as plantar fasciitis, sesamoiditis, stress fractures, tendinitis, and sprained ankles.
4 ways to help prevent tennis injuries
- Play on clay or grass whenever possible. These surfaces have more “give” than hard surfaces like asphalt and concrete.
- Don’t play on uneven surfaces. Courts with dips or cracks make it very easy to turn an ankle.
- Wear tennis shoes. They have thick soles, cushioning, and support in all the right places to protect your feet and ankles during quick, lateral movements. Running shoes or cross trainers will not do the job.
- If you do get injured, make an appointment with us at our Fairfax County podiatry office, Clifton Foot & Ankle Center in Centreville, Virginia. Follow Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm’s medical advice to the letter. Get enough rest time off the court. Complete your course of physical therapy treatments. If you return to the court before you’re completely recovered, you set yourself up for re-injury, as we describe in a previous blog.
We treat a lot of sports injuries to the feet and ankles, including those earned on the court. For more tips on keep preventing and caring for foot and ankle injuries, call us at (703) 996-3000 or contact us online.