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Sunday, 26/05/19 23:02:05 (GMT+7)
Sports Injuries
Functional acute back pain in tennis

image001_1.jpgNone does not once experience back pain. The pain is resulted from various reasons such as from back sprain, disk hernia, muscle strain, or degenerative diseases….

The following is written only for the back pain resulted from acute sprains and strain at the low back, which very commonly happen to tennis player although no specific findings of injuries through clinical examination, X-ray and MRI scanning.


Tennis player gets low back pain from the following causes

1.         Incorrect playing position

2.         Non-robust abdominal and back muscle coordination, leading to instability

3.         Fatigue from extreme playing

4.         Sudden twisting and backward arching

What is low back pain?

During or after playing, one will feel sudden stabbing or dull ache. Aching progresses with long standing, sitting or while running, but rest taking lessens the ache. More pain later appears with movements, spreading to the areas of hip, groin and thigh and the back is stiff, losing the function of bending.


How to treat low back pain?

-   Stop playing right after the back hurts.

-   Rest at any comfortable position, but not longer than 2 days. More lying results in more pain.

-   Only move when the pain is reduced, avoiding such movement and position causing the pain worse.

-   Apply ice pack and taking pain-killer medication.

-   Mildly massage the area of low back.

-   If it is not better after two days or stiff or more pain spreads to the right leg, you are advised to see the sport medicines doctor. The doctor will examine, assigning for X-ray and diagnose to exclude the symptoms relating to specific kinds of back pain. Medication will be prescribed together with physical therapy for stretching the back muscle and functional recovery exercises.


Functional recovery exercises

After the pain is relieved, functional recovery exercises should be taken as below

1.      For recovery of normal functions: mild starting by stretching muscles of the back, thigh and groin.

2.      Heavier exercise: practise to strengthen the abdominal and back muscles and restore the stability.

3.      When playing and competing

- Comprehensive warm-up with special exercises for the back.

- Slow-down playing first for avoidance of pain stimulating: shot to the wall or shot with support in a maximum 2-metre distance, short stepping and not toward reaching.

- Practice with increasing level of strength and timing, from simple to comprehensive shot like smash, backhand..; from non-rotation to mid and maximum rotation.


How to prevent the follow-up lower back pain?

-       Avoid improper position in daily life activities.

-       Always warm up before going on court or for competition and carefully cool down at playing finish for at least 10 minutes.

-       Play with correct techniques.

-       Practise and compete in an gradually increasing level, not suddenly.

-       Align to stability during playing movement.

-       Choose shoes with shock-absorber and pay attention to the hard surface.

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