Put that tennis racket down, if You're in Pain

August 24, 2010

Court playing tennis athletes are reporting conditions like plantar fasciitis and neuroma in larger numbers, according to an article reported in USA Today.

Court playing tennis athletes are reporting conditions like plantar fasciitis and neuroma in larger numbers, according to an article reported in USA Today.

The article highlights the case of a 47-year-old avid tennis player who tries to play though foot pain, but finds herself visiting her doctor, Kris DiNucci, a fellow of the American College Foot and Ankle Surgeons, about the condition.

DiNucci is quoted as saying, “"Because playing tennis requires quick, repetitive foot movements and continuous forefoot pressure, neuromas, (a thickening of the nerve tissue in the foot from compression) are common. In addition, those same movements can cause athletes to develop plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the strong ligament that extends from the heel to the toes."

"If treated early, both conditions can be resolved non-operatively. But as the condition progresses, surgical methods may be required to help patients get back to their sport and their everyday activities."

The tennis player’s treatment regimen included stretching exercises, icing, a cortisone injection, shoe adjustment, and custom orthotics. Her heel pain improved within four months, but she needed surgery to reduce the pain from the neuroma. Four weeks post surgery she was able to play once more.

Such damage could be permanent if proper care is not sought. Buying supportive shoes, undergoing proper training, and pregame stretching were recommended as preventative measures.