There are several kinds of injuries you can get from playing tennis. Scratches and bruises are injuries caused by being too aggressive and running after every ball returned to you. The most common injuries are caused by wrong grips, wrong strokes and wrong steps during the game. Over exerting yourself can cause you to lose your game for several weeks as you recover. There are ways to hasten your recovery.
- Stop playing and immediately attend to your injury. Apply cold compress in the first 24 to 48 hours and alternate with warm compress after 48 hours. Cold compress helps stop the swelling that occurs immediately after the injury. Swelling causes too much blood clotting in the area and can add to the pain you already have. Wrap crushed ice in a towel and avoid placing the ice directly on the skin. Warm compress helps in bringing the blood to the injured area to start the healing process.
- Take pain killers. Although only a part of your body may be injured, your mind cannot concentrate on getting well if there is a constant throbbing pain. It helps to take your mind off the injured area, but aspirins and pain killers will work much faster.
- Do not massage the injured area. If your foot is injured, the best you can do is elevate it and not massage it. Leave that to the experts. Gently stroking it can help, but do not apply any pressure unless otherwise advised.
- Consult a doctor and do the necessary tests. He will move your injured leg, arm or shoulder around to find out what hurts. It can be your muscles, tendons or at worst, your bones. He may ask for an x-ray or an MRI. Do not postpone doing this and try to get the results right away.
- Seek the advice of a physical therapist or a physiotherapist. Once the doctor has determined what area is injured, he will refer you to a therapist. A tear in your muscle will take time to heal. So will a tear in your tendons. Before you start with therapy exercises, make sure that you are strong enough. Exercises are meant to strengthen and restore injured areas as close to their previous strength. However, recovering is different from strengthening. It is important you allow your body to heal itself before going into therapy.
- Rest and meditate. The body can best heal itself with a good amount of rest. Your arm may be on a sling for several days. You may also need crutches or a cane to minimize adding pressure to your injured leg or foot. It will be frustrating on your part to not do any physical activity so you must be patient. While you are recovering, take time to visualize returning to the tennis court rather than completely forgetting the game. Placing your mind at rest will help your body recover faster.
- Take extra vitamins and supplements needed for recovery. Your body will naturally seek energy from within to heal itself. Find out what supplements you can take to strengthen your bones and tendons.
While you are recovering, you may want to check on your swings and movements. Ask a trainer to teach you once you are well enough. Look for the correct pair of shoes and a tennis racket that is appropriate for you. Warm up before you play again and take it easy before you become competitive again.