Sports Injuries and the WTA Championships

Oct 22 13:29 2013 Dave Regis Print This Article

Today the WTA Championships begins in Istanbul for the official year end championships of the WTA. With a $6 million prize fund will be contested by some of the world’s best players in a tournament first established in 1972.

The very first WTA championship took place in Florida for the top sixteen players in the world,Guest Posting competing for a $100,000 prize fund, with Chris Evert taking the top prize. Due to her amateur status however she was forced to give up the $25,000 winner’s cheque.

The tournament has grown in recent years, arriving in Istanbul in 2011 for a three year residency and an initial $4.9 million at stake, rising to $6 million this year. The tennis season has seen many highs and lows, with players travelling across the globe to challenge for silverware.

The end of season close, players will have a chance to rest and recover from everything they have put their bodies through. The majority of sports injuries occur as a result of overuse, something you can sympathise amongst tennis players who may have been playing back to back tournaments.

Common Tennis Injuries

Some sports injuries are more common than others, with each sport having more common injuries than others. In considering tennis, injuries can strike the majority of areas of the body due to the nature of the sport and intense levels the game is played at.

Sports injuries can be categorised as either joint complaints or muscle complaints, both of which can impede a tennis player. Each type of injury can range in its severity, which in turn can influence the type of treatment offered and the length of recovery time required before being able to get back onto the court. A sprained ankle can rule a player out for a few days until the inflammation subsides, whereas tennis elbow can take up to two years to recover from.

In this article we will focus on injuries from the opposite end of the spectrum, in that of ankle injuries and tennis elbow.

Ankle Injuries

The stability of the ankle joint is controlled by ligaments, which are tough bands of tissue. Their purpose is to the support the joint when applying weight and during movement and any damage to these can impair mobility. The extent to which a ligament is damaged will dictate the period of recovery required.

In a sport where players sprint over short distances, stop and pivot and sprint again the ankle can become a weak point for players. Whilst the majority of sports injuries occur as a result of overuse, we saw in Wimbledon this year a number of players slipping on the grass and sustaining ankle injuries.

From an overuse perspective, the longer you play the more tired you become and the increased chance an injury can occur as you lose concentration and perhaps your balance.

Luckily, the majority of ankle injuries are self-limiting and within a few days you will be back on your feet within a few days. You can also apply ice to the area to help reduce any inflammation and help with any pain experienced. If you’re looking for support moving forward then an ankle support can be worn when out on court.

Tennis Elbow

Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is a condition which causes pain and inflammation beneath the outside of the elbow joint and can be painful and affect movement of the arm. The condition results from overuse and is not just linked to tennis but covers any repetitive activity, including painting and playing the violin.

As movement of the elbow joint is determined by an array of muscles and tendons, any inflammation within the area can affect a person’s mobility. The condition may also worsen should the repetitive activity be continued.

Tennis elbow should not be confused with golfers elbow. The two can be differentiated as tennis elbow occurs where pain is centred around the outside of the elbow and golfers elbow where pain is centred on the inside of the elbow joint.

Whilst tennis elbow can last up to two years, it is largely self-limiting and should get better in time with rest. This can be very frustrating for a tennis player or even a painter, which is why many will opt to wear a tennis elbow support to help manage the condition. The alternative to a sports brace may be rest for two years, which is not entirely practice.

A tennis elbow band works by offering compression to the affected region of the elbow, helping to manage inflammation and pain and increase your levels of activity.

Managing Sports Injuries

Unfortunately, sports injuries can happen to anyone and everyone and there is no guaranteed way of preventing them. In the event of suffering an injury it is important to rest for a few days before undertaking any other form of exercise which focuses on the affected area. In the event that the injury does not subside following rest then you should seek clinical advice for a professional diagnosis, where a rehabilitation programme may be offered.

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Dave Regis
Dave Regis

Dave Regis discusses the use of orthotics for the management of sporting injuries, reviewing injury rehabilitation through exercise and the use of bracing and supports. He frequently blogs and writes articles focussing on tennis elbow and methods of rehabilitation.

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