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Wimbledon ready: Prevent foot & leg injury this tennis season.

Updated: 4 days ago


Wimbledon, the pinnacle of tennis tournaments, inspires many to dust off their rackets and head to the courts. While the thrill of emulating tennis legends is unmatched, it's crucial to be aware of the potential injuries associated with this demanding sport. Here’s a guide to the most common foot and leg injuries in tennis and how to prevent them.


Common Foot and Leg Injuries in Tennis

Tennis involves sudden stops, starts, and changes in direction, putting significant stress on your lower extremities.


Here are some of the most common injuries:

Ankle Sprains:

  • Symptoms: Swelling, bruising, and pain around the ankle.

  • Cause: Quick lateral movements and sudden changes in direction.

Achilles Tendinitis:

  • Symptoms: Sharp pain, swelling, stiffness along the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle, especially in the morning or after activity.

  • Cause: Overuse and strain on the tendon from running and jumping.


Plantar Fasciitis:

  • Symptoms: Sharp heel pain, especially with the first steps in the morning.

  • Cause: Overuse and strain on the plantar fascia, often from prolonged standing or running.


Stress Fractures:

  • Symptoms: Localized pain that worsens with activity, often in the foot or lower leg.

  • Cause: Repeated impact and overuse.


Shin Splints:

  • Symptoms: Pain along the inner edge of the shinbone.

  • Cause: Overuse, typically from running on hard surfaces.


Blisters:

  • Symptoms: Fluid-filled sacs on the skin, usually on the feet.

  • Cause: Friction from footwear or rapid lateral movements.


Prevention Tips

Preventing foot and leg injuries involves a combination of proper preparation, equipment, and technique. Here are some essential tips:

Warm-Up: Start with a thorough warm-up to increase blood flow to your muscles. Include dynamic stretches focusing on your calves, Achilles tendon, and feet. Static stretching is not advised.

Strength Training: Strengthen your lower body with exercises targeting your calves, quads, hamstrings, and ankles to improve muscle resilience and support.


Appropriate Footwear: Choose tennis shoes that provide excellent support, fit well, and are appropriate for the court surface. Replace them regularly to ensure they maintain their support and cushioning.

Proper Technique: Work on your technique, especially footwork, to minimize unnecessary strain. Consider taking lessons to refine your movements and reduce injury risk.

Gradual Intensity Increase: Avoid sudden increases in the intensity or duration of play. Gradually build up your playing time to allow your body to adapt.

Foot Care: Keep your feet dry and well-maintained. Use moisture-wicking socks to prevent blisters and consider orthotic inserts for additional support if needed.

Rest and Recovery: Ensure you have adequate rest between sessions to allow your muscles and tendons to recover. Use ice and elevate your legs if you experience any swelling.


When to Seek Medical Help

Despite taking precautions, some injuries may still occur. Seek medical attention if you experience:

  • Persistent pain or swelling that doesn’t improve with rest.

  • Inability to bear weight on your foot or leg.

  • Severe pain following an injury.

  • Signs of infection such as redness, warmth, or fever.


How our MSK podiatrist can help

Our MSK podiatrist Andrew can diagnose the cause of your foot pain and the type of injury through a physical exam, gait and movement analysis. Once diagnosed, treatment options can be discussed.


Treatment will depend on the injury but may include:

·         Reducing activity, elevation, offloading

·         NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen to help with pain/swelling

·         Footwear advice & adaptations

·         Taping/strapping

·         Exercise & strength rehabilitation

·         Custom orthotics if required

·         Specialist referrals as appropriate


Conclusion

Wimbledon is a fantastic time to engage with tennis, but it's essential to play smart and stay aware of your body’s limits. By understanding the common foot and leg injuries and taking preventive measures, you can minimize your risk and stay active on the court. If you encounter any issues or need professional advice, our podiatry clinic is here to help you recover and return to the game you love.


Let’s ensure this Wimbledon season is filled with excitement and free from injuries. Play safe, take care of your feet and legs, and enjoy every moment on the court!

Feel free to contact our clinic for any concerns or to schedule a consultation. Here’s to a healthy, active, and enjoyable tennis season!

 

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