Tennis is a favorite sport enjoyed by people of all ages and ability levels, but like any other sport, it comes with risks. The repetitive nature of tennis and playing on the hard surface of the court can cause players to suffer a foot injury. While not all injuries can be prevented, there are certain precautions you can take to help avoid many of them. Our sports medicine podiatrists explain some common foot injuries and what to do if you’re injured on the court.
Tennis Foot Injuries and Their Causes
Tennis players can experience a variety of foot injuries caused by the repetitive movement required, constant side-to-side motion, and quick stops. All can be hard on the feet and ankles. Other causes include:
- Wearing the wrong type of shoes for the sport and type of court surface you are playing on
- Not warming up or stretching before playing
- Jumping to hit a ball and landing incorrectly on your foot
- Sprinting back and forth, repeatedly
- Stopping and pivoting quickly
Often, a tennis player will suffer a sprained ankle during a tennis match or while practicing. A sprained ankle happens when you land incorrectly on your foot and twist or injure the ligaments on the side of the ankle.
Other Types of Tennis Foot Injuries
- Achilles tendinitis is a condition caused by overuse. If you strain the tendon on the back of your ankle that connects to your calf when stopping or sprinting suddenly, it can cause swelling and sharp pain in the back of the leg above your heel.
- Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar facia, the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. This condition can cause heel pain and often develops due to overtraining.
- Broken bones or foot fractures can happen during tennis if you fall and land on your foot or ankle incorrectly. When you break a bone, you will feel sudden pain and may not be able to bear weight on the foot.
When to See a Sports Medicine Podiatrist
If you notice pain in your feet or suffer a foot or ankle injury when playing tennis, it is essential to contact a sports medicine podiatrist for an evaluation. The sooner you get treated, the quicker you can heal and return to playing tennis. A podiatrist will diagnose the cause of the foot pain through a physical exam and imaging tests if needed, and they’ll determine the type of injury you suffered. Once diagnosed, treatment options can be discussed.
Treatment Options for a Tennis Foot Injury
- Resting the foot and keeping it elevated
- Icing the injured foot to reduce swelling
- Keeping weight off the foot by using crutches or another walking aid
- Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and swelling
- Wearing the right type of shoes for tennis and your specific needs
- Using custom orthotics inside your shoes for additional support
- Wearing an ankle or foot brace to stabilize your foot
Contact a Texas Sports Medicine Podiatrist
If you injured your foot while playing tennis, contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for an evaluation. We can create a treatment plan based on your specific needs and get you back on the tennis court as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment, fill out our contact form, or call our office at 817-481-4000.