To avoid injury or re-injury on the greens or on the court keep these tips in mind:
Warm up. Even before you start stretching, take a few minutes to warm up your body. Do a few jumping jacks. Jog in place. Hit a few balls. Warm up for about three to five minutes.
Stretch. Once your body is warm, stretch slowly and gently. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and carefully release it.
Dress appropriately. Wear shoes or sneakers that fit well and offer solid support. Choose comfortable clothing, wear a visor or a hat and don’t forget sunscreen.
Focus on proper form:
For tennis players, do not arch your back unnecessarily when serving or hitting overhead. Golfers, avoid hunching over the ball, which may contribute to back and neck strain. Also, lift and carry clubs carefully — keep your back straight and use the strength of your legs to lift.
Maintain a good base of physical fitness. Stronger and more flexible muscles are less injury prone. Your exercise program should include stretching and strength training as well as regular aerobic activity to keep up your endurance.
Whether you’re a golfer or a tennis player, physical therapy can help you contend with overuse injuries. Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center (PMC) Rehabilitation offers sports specific rehabilitation programs to treat and prevent injuries and improve game performance. It is available for people of all ages and skill levels.
Specially trained physical therapists also focus on correcting faulty mechanics during play and provide a thorough evaluation of your club or racquet swing. Customized treatment plans address all areas that may impact your game and aim to optimize motion while decreasing stress on the body during play; encourage proper technique; focus on injury prevention; and reduce pain during or after playing.
While injuries are common in golf and tennis, you don’t have to let them win.
To find a physical therapist with Penn Medicine Princeton Health, call (609) 853-7840 or visit PrincetonHCS.org.