5 key points on tennis injuries from Dr. Rick Cunningham

Orthopedic Sports Medicine

Rick Cunningham, MD, a knee and shoulder sports medicine specialist with Vail-Summit Orthopaedics, physician for the US Ski Team and chief of surgery at Vail Valley Medical Center, provided ways to treat common tennis injuries with Summit Daily. Here are five key points he provided:

  • Serving places the highest strain on the upper extremity, especially the shoulder, elbow and forearm.
  • Players who effectively utilize their lower body for force can decrease the forces away from the upper extremity. Thus, preseason conditioning should include work to the lower body such as squats and core strengthening exercises.
  • Increased racquet oscillation may predispose to the development of tennis elbow if you do not hit the ball in the sweet spot of the racquet.
  • Be on the look out for shoulder inflammation versus rotator cuff tearing with an exam or MRI of the shoulder. Inflammation calls for nonsurgical repair, and tears typically call for surgery.
  • Wearing a counterforce brace around the upper forearm can decrease pain of tennis elbow.

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