Let your Racket do the Talking: Chiropractic’s Role in Tennis
Tennis is one of our favorite sports
From a chiropractor’s perspective, tennis is one of the best sports out there: it allows us to improve physical fitness and coordination without the inherent danger of a high-impact sport like football. The tennis court is a place of social interaction that draws us out of our lazy daily routines and gets us involved in a sport that pays back dividends in physical and mental wellbeing. That being said, it is an incredibly involved sport that presents unique challenges to our bodies, and it can have a degenerative effect on the spine. Let’s take a look at the forces involved in tennis and how we can prevent damage by being proactive.
The tennis swing is a biomechanical wonder that involves almost every part of the body
Take a look at a simple forehand groundstroke and you will see that it requires intense coordination between the upper and lower body, as well as the core. The better the player the more natural they can make a powerful, accurate shot look. But they have spent a lot of time specializing their bodies to reach this point, and not a few of them rely on chiropractic to help them reach that next level. Here are the movements that present a challenge to our physical wellbeing:
- Twisting: the intense torsion involved in generating a powerful swing creates shearing stresses in the muscles of the spine; this motion also threatens spinal alignment.
- Ballistic movements: the upper extremities, particularly the shoulder joints, receive an incredible amount of stress from the tennis swing, akin to a football quarterback or baseball pitcher.
- Pivot motion: hip rotation is required to generate power and can create stress in the lower back and sacroiliac joints.
- Stop-and-go motions: involved in running, stopping and starting, stresses the weight-bearing joints in the legs.
What’s more, these motions are repeated over and over, creating repetitive stress that results in local and systemic stresses throughout the body. By leaving this stress unadressed, we leave our bodies vulnerable to injury and spinal degeneration.
Chiropractic’s role in tennis
Chiropractic helps tennis players in our community improve performance and reduce their chance of injury. We create tennis-specific treatment plans that maintain spinal alignment and balance muscles in the back so that stresses are distributed evenly throughout the upper body. A further consideration is flexibility: full range of motion in every part of the body is essential for an effective tennis stroke. Our natural modalities contribute to full range of motion in every part of the body involved in your tennis game. From this vantage point, we work on improving core strength to stabilize the transfer of forces across the body as you move about the court. If you are interested in finding out more about chiropractic’s role in tennis, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.