In this small «article» from the ATF we are going to talk about the main overuse injuries that a young tennis player can have . Every day players start earlier and with more intensity, this produces growth-related injuries.

These injuries also occur mainly during the child's growth stage, it must be taken into account that sport helps them to become aware of their body and improves their quality of life . However, if this is done without being clear that the child is not a small adult , it can become harmful.

Tennis is also an asymmetric exercise and especially during the growing age we must perform compensation exercises , to avoid injuries that may appear later.

After this brief introduction to the subject we are going to discuss, we will now look at the most typical injuries that occur in children and adolescents who play tennis.


Tennis Elbow

The elbow is made up of three bones: the humerus, the radius and the ulna . In the elbow, the child has a multitude of primary and secondary ossification nuclei in full activity.

Using inappropriate material (adult racquets for example) and making repeated blows in an exaggerated way, yes, especially serving conditions large compressions and impacts on the elbow joint. Being the external part of it, it is the most vulnerable.

As it is a lesion on ossification nuclei, the lesion falls within the “growth diseases” and is called “ Panner's disease ”. The growth of the bone occurs with alterations and the joint ends up being injured. Pain becomes constant, mobility is limited and performance decreases . X-rays and sometimes more sophisticated tests such as MRIs must be done.

In the case of detecting Panner's disease, it is mandatory to take a break from sports practice and if it is not better to stop playing tennis permanently .

Few elbow pain in the tennis player corresponds to Panner's disease , but these must be detected as early as possible, since if the diagnosis is achieved we can avoid sequelae.


The Back of the Tennis Boy

The spinal column NORMAL has a straight structure seen from behind and very characteristic curvatures seen from the side.

We have to know that scoliosis is an alteration of the alignment of the spine seen from behind. It is usually due to wrong positions or due to dimensions of the hind limbs. It is important to detect this injury and try to correct it since if it goes unnoticed it can become permanent.

It should be clear that it has not been proven that tennis produces scoliotic attitudes , but it does seem that it can contribute to the dorsal spine being convex to the side of the dominant arm.

The question of whether you can continue playing with scoliosis depends entirely on your specific case and the most advisable thing is to go to the doctor to assess you properly , even so in very few cases it is recommended to abandon the practice of tennis.

Treatment to treat scoliosis is always based on spinal stabilization exercises.


Limb asymmetry

A dimension is not always a cause of injury . From the point of view of the specialists, only the dimensions in children and adolescents of more than one centimeter are directly responsible for others. injuries.

The only scoliotic attitude related to dysmetria is that the curvature of the spine presents a convexity towards the shorter limb.

Subsequently, above this first curvature, a secondary curvature appears that has the convexity towards the long extremity. This is due to the patient's attempt to keep the plane of vision horizontal. If the dysmetria produces a scoliotic attitude we place a lift on the shorter limb.

It is recommended to start by “compensating” for half of the difference found. Thus, if the dismetria es de un centímetro a favor de una extremidad, colocaremos un alza de 5mm en la extremidad corta.


Stress fractures in the child

Today we all know that a fall or a blow causes bone fractures and breaks , but there are also stress fractures.

These stress fractures are due to a process of microtrauma . This must be given so that they occur repeatedly in the same bone point, these fractures being more frequent in people with a predisposition for this type of injury and alterations in the base formation. Also, as we know, tennis is a sport where the repetition of blows is done a lot.

The tennis player subjected to a high sports demand, will begin to notice pain in a specific area , usually in the bones of the lower limb. This pain increases until it becomes unbearable and forces the abandonment.

These types of injuries tend to heal with rest and their prevention is based on scheduling training well and correcting, if necessary, the structural alteration that has helped to produce it using templates.


Lumbar Spondylolysis

This injury is also a stress fracture that is located in the so-called isthmus of the vertebra. This tennis injury is very common and appears almost always during childhood and adolescence. In adults it is the sequel to what happened years ago.

Many times while spondylolysis occurs there is pain and therefore limitation of sports practice. Sports rest is required until symptoms remission and the injury is stabilized or healed.

If there is repeated pain in the lumbar area it is advisable to contact a doctor , sometimes being sufficient with the use of X-rays to guide the diagnosis, although some Sometimes it will be necessary to use more tests.

Treatment is usually based on rest and sometimes the placement of a corset. It will also be necessary to carry out radiografías periódicas.

The way to prevent this injury is based on planning the workouts well, realizar una pauta de estiramientos de isquiotibiales y psoas ilíaco y tonificar los abdominales.


Short Hamstrings

The hamstring muscles are on the back of the thigh. It is made up of the biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus muscles. They range from the ischium - a hip bone - to the knee.

This musculature, if it is not elastic, conditions that the knees do not extend easily and that the pelvis does not "fall" forward enough. If the pelvis is “rectified” , the sacrum –bone from which the entire spinal column emerges- is also rectified and from it the entire spine loses its natural curvatures.

The people with short hamstrings are typical-looking individuals: knees bent, hips forward, and back of the spine with hump. They are unable to touch the ground with the tips of the fingers of the hand with the lower extremities straight.

Having short hamstrings predisposes to back and knee pain especially if you play sports, in our case tennis.

If short hamstrings are detected, stretches should be done to compensate for the deficit. As prevention is better than cure, it is highly recommended to always do this type of stretching.


Sever's disease

Heel pain usually occurs in children between 6 and 14 years old who play tennis . As your feet grow, calcaneal bone develops. This has the growth cartilage at the back of the bone that is very exposed to impacts from the ground and to suffer the tension of the Achilles tendon that is inserted there.

Children also tend to run and jump on hard surfaces which increases the impact.

Due to continuous activity and aggression by excess activity, it is normal for the growing cartilage to be injured, making the heel area very painful . This being the so-called Sever disease.

Taking an X-ray clarifies the diagnosis. Treatment is long and relapses frequent. We will recommend rest for a few weeks, stretching the Achilles tendon and the placement of silicone cushioning heel pads .

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