Back Pain – Can I Still Play Tennis?

After a long period of rest and recuperation you probably want to get fit again. This is a very good idea when you suffer from back pain because if your back muscles are weak and out of condition you can increase your risk of making your problem worse.

When you have a back problem you have to be more careful about the sports you want to take part in compared to someone who has a healthy back. Tennis and racquet sports that include squash and badminton are very popular sports that many people enjoy. However, these types of sports can be quite intensive and the twisting and the many different types of shots and serves can aggravate the spine.

However, this does not rule out that you cannot do it because you have a back problem. It means that you have to take more precautions and plan ahead.

If you are deciding to take up tennis with a back problem you can follow these guidelines that can help you avoid further problems:

• As tennis can be an intensive sport it is better that you achieve a good level of conditioning first before you play. This should involve building your upper and lower body strength and improving your cardiovascular fitness. In the beginning play your tennis at a comfortable pace and then gradually build up the intensity over the weeks ahead.

• If you are playing tennis on outdoor courts then make sure you wear warm clothing during the game. When your muscles are cold you are more at risk to injury and strains.

• After a back injury you may have to adapt your technique to compensate. The best way is to seek the advice of a tennis coach or trainer who can help you develop a swing and serve that will put less strain on your back.

• Make sure you invest in a good pair of quality tennis shoes. These will provide additional support to your back and also absorb the impact from your feet.

• When you are in the middle of a game there are certain shots that you may have to over extend to hit. Try and avoid these shots even if it means that you will miss out on winning points. Over extending yourself will increase the risk of injuring your back and is not worth it. Practice on your technique and those winning points will come without you having to over exert yourself.

Always seek a doctor’s advice if you have a medical condition before doing any form of new exercise.