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Tennis Shoulder Pain

Georgia Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow

Tennis has been a beloved sport for centuries. Over the years, many have enjoyed watching and/or participating in tennis matches. The tremendous amount of diligent training involved is no easy task.
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Perhaps you love playing tennis for hours on end. Coupled with training and matches, playing tennis can lead to an excessive amount of high-impact, shoulder-centric activity, leaving you open to a shoulder sports injury.

At Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow, we specialize in treating tennis shoulder pain. Our offices are conveniently located in Atlanta and Marietta, GA. We understand how much tennis means to you and want to help you enjoy the game that you love for many years to come. 

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, then reviewing the symptoms of tennis shoulder and seeking treatment can make all the difference. Be sure to contact our experts today for more information.

What Are the Symptoms of Tennis Shoulder?

Knowing and detecting the symptoms of tennis shoulder early on can prove to be vital in preventing further injury. You can find a few of these symptoms below. If you have tennis shoulder, you may experience:

  • Swelling and tenderness that is localized to the front of your shoulder
  • Pain that extends from the front of your shoulder to the side of your arm    
  • Pain when reaching, lowering, and/or lifting your arm    
  • Pain increasing in intensity over time
  • Pain when participating in sports    
  • Limited mobility when raising or lowering your arm
  • Stiffness
  • Minor persistent pain that can be felt with activity and even while resting

 

In some advanced cases, you may notice that your strength, motion, and/or ability to perform tasks that require precision is reduced.

If you fail to recognize the symptoms early on and maintain your routine of high-impact shoulder activity, there is a very high possibility that you may cause even more damage to your shoulder. Advanced damage will require a more complicated treatment.

Common Tennis Shoulder Injuries

You use your shoulder every time you hit a tennis ball. This can cause high amounts of stress and strain on your shoulder, leaving you susceptible to injury. Some of the most common tennis shoulder injuries are as follows:

 

How Can Tennis Shoulder Pain be Prevented?

Prevention is crucial and can make all the difference in being able to continue playing or coaching the sport that you love. Tennis shoulder can be prevented by:

  • Familiarizing yourself with the various possible injuries that can occur due to high impact and overuse, as well as the symptoms before you start feeling pain
  • Being able to distinguish the soreness felt from exerting yourself in a healthy manner as opposed to pain from a serious injury
  • Maintaining a good range of motion
  • Using proper equipment
  • Training, stretching, and mobilizing both your dominant and non-dominant shoulder (making adjustments in volume and intensity as needed)
  • Following proper training techniques

 

Treatment Options for Tennis Shoulder Pain

Tennis shoulder can be treated non-surgically and surgically. Your specialist will tailor a specific treatment plan for you depending on the severity of your injury. 

Non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Modifying your activities to aid in your healing process.  
  • Cessation of your tennis activity if you are in a lot of pain. With time, as your pain decreases, you can begin to ease back into playing again.
  • Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications to control inflammation and reduce your pain.
  • Physical therapy coupled with targeted shoulder injury exercises to help strengthen your resilience. It can also help you regain your strength in the shoulder muscles and the surrounding muscles so that you can heal and be less susceptible to injuries in the future.
  • Injections containing steroidal medications into your shoulder to reduce inflammation.

 

At Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow, we aim to help you recover using these non-invasive treatments as much as possible. However, in cases where all the non-invasive treatments have been exhausted and are no longer effective, your physician may recommend arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally-invasive surgery that only requires small incisions and has helped many in their recovery. After surgery, it will take time to heal. The recovery process is very important and will impact how you use your shoulder in the future. 

Admittedly, having tennis shoulder pain can be discouraging. Although you may be tempted to push through the pain, please don’t. Every hit can cause more damage. 

Let our highly trained specialists at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow help you play the sport that you love again — pain-free! Come by our offices in Atlanta or Marietta, GA today!

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Harlan Starr, MD