He explained that the best tennis players who participated in the Miami Open at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens are well trained, but matches can last for two hours or more, and this can cause their bodies to mess up. John Uribe, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Champion Physician for the Miami Open, and Chief Medical Officer of Orthopedic Baptist Health Care.
Once again, the institute was the official health care provider for the Miami Open, with its doctors monitoring players for any strains, sprains or injuries, most commonly affecting the shoulders, elbows or knees.
“Professional athletes have the highest level of human performance,” says Dr. Uribe. But this requires a tremendous amount of – not just hand-eye coordination and speed – but uses basically all the important parts of the body. No doubt they stretch and all that, but some of those matches that can go on for hours and hours really affect them. The body can’t take it all.”
When players serve at the Miami Open or swing their racket with forehand or backhand strokes, they put a lot of pressure on the muscles that make up the rotator cuff. Dr. Uribe explains that the rotator cuff, a group of four muscles that join together as tendons, is just one common source of injury. He says it’s a good idea for players to warm up before a match, which is an essential practice that helps prevent some injuries.
“Like any sport…it’s best to warm up, whether you start swiping around the net on the court, or jogging on the court a little bit, just to raise your core body temperature, and then do the stretching,” Dr. Uribe said. . “And then the muscles tend to be more flexible and adapt to it much faster than with simple cold stretching.”
The most common injuries among ATP players are overuse of the shoulders, which can be due to poor conditioning; stress fractures, as a result of training too quickly; Muscle strain, which can be caused by rapid, jerky movements and varying degrees of or worse strain in the knees, Achilles tendon, and ankles.
Then there’s the fairly well-known problem among players of all levels that can develop over time: “tennis elbow”. This condition consists of inflammation or a small tear in the tendons that connect the muscles of the forearm to the outside of the elbow. It’s also the muscle most used when a tennis ball hits the racket.
“Some of the typical injuries we see are of the overused type, like tendinitis, and that can start anywhere,” Dr. Uribe explains. “The rotator cuff in the shoulder, the tendons in the elbow, the tower tendon in the knee, the quadriceps tendon in the knee, the Achilles tendon… all of these tendons do well in tennis.”
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