tennis shoulder

How to Fix a Bad Tennis Shoulder

Shoulder problems disproportionately impact tennis players. Here is what you can do immediately for self-treatment of tennis shoulder.

Shoulder Cartilage Loss 3 Times Higher With Tennis

A report by Argentinian researchers looked at the tennis shoulder diagnosed in 18 former professional tennis players who were between 51 and 75 years old. The study, from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, X-rayed each of the participants to determine if any of them had undetected shoulder issues.

Although none said they had been diagnosed with any arthritic conditions, the radiologists found loss of cartilage in one-third of them. In other words, six of the eighteen had signs of osteoarthritis. That 33% of players was three times the average (11%) for people in the same age group who did not have a history playing tennis.

Just like tennis elbow that can strike players, so can tennis shoulder – and it can be excruciating, according to Columbia University orthopedic surgeon William Levine, MD. “The pain worsens with activity and could even wake you from sleep,” he explains.

Shoulder problems are one of the most prevalent issues for tennis players, because of the way the joint is designed and the aggressive nature of a tennis serve. The force going through the rotator cuff really is incredible, according to a 2009 study featured in Sports Medicine. That analysis looked at electromyographic readings of athlete’s bodies during baseball pitches and tennis serves, finding that as much as 120% of your weight can run through your rotator cuff during these common overhand motions.

2 Immediate & Natural Shoulder Pain Treatments

Here are a few simple ways to expedite healing right away if you experience shoulder pain from playing tennis:

Treatment #1 – Ice

Turn to ice right after you start to feel pain to immediately get down the inflammation. Use an ice pack, plastic bag filled with ice, or bag of frozen vegetables for 12 to 15 minutes per hour. Once you start recovering, reduce to using ice three times daily.

Treatment #2 – Stretching

Again, you want to get started with stretches soon after the injury occurs to speed up your recovery. You can do 50 reps per day of active stretches, including these two:

  1. The pendulum: Bend over with your arm hanging down, and rotate the arm in circles.
  2. The wall slide: Move your hand up and down on the wall, as if you were wiping it with a sponge.

Getting Help

Are you suffering from shoulder pain cause by playing tennis? You may need more than ice and stretching. At Pain Stop North Phoenix, you will have access to your own personal team of pain management specialists every time you step into our clinics. Stop your pain today.

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