First-Ever National Study Shows Majority of Paddle Tennis Players Sustained Injuries Related to Playing

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The first-ever national study of platform (paddle) tennis injuries revealed 66 percent of paddle tennis players say they sustained an injury from playing the game. The study also found that of the platform tennis players reporting an injury, more than half sustained two or more.

The most common conditions reported were injuries to the shin/calf (21%), knee (16%), elbow (16%), ankle (13%) and shoulder (10%). Sixty percent of the injuries were caused by overuse and 40 percent were due to an incident that occurred during play. The study, which involved an online survey of American Platform Tennis Association players nationwide, was coordinated by Dr. Leda Ghannad, a sports medicine physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, with approval from the internal review board at Rush University Medical Center. More than 1,000 players responded to the survey.

“We knew it was a high-injury sport based on the number of paddle patients we treat,” admits Dr. Ghannad. “But until now, there wasn’t any research that proved this. Paddle tennis requires a mixture of speed, agility and quick bursts of energy, which makes athletes more susceptible to getting hurt. Many players are also middle-aged ‘weekend warriors’ who don’t strengthen or stretch their muscles and ligaments in between games or practices.”

Paddle tennis is similar to tennis but is played outside in the winter on a small, elevated court surrounded by a screen. Courts are heated from underneath to clear snow and ice. Most participants are between the ages of 40 and 65.


“Platform tennis is a great way to get exercise in the winter and I don’t want to discourage anyone from playing it,” explains Dr. Ghannad. “However, because of the high injury rate, it is critical to incorporate warm up exercises and prevention strategies into your routine.”


If you suffer an injury from platform tennis, call the MOR platform injury appointment line:  855-603-4141.

3 Traits of a Successful Pitcher

By Paul Kohler, MS, OTR/L, CHT for Athletico Physical Therapy

Henry Chadwick is credited with creating the first baseball statistics in the late 1800’s. To gauge a batter’s success, he formulated the batting average (hits divided by at-bats), and for pitchers, the ERA (earned runs given up per 9 innings pitched). Today, with groups like Fangraphs.com and the Society for American Baseball Research, there are mind boggling ways to analyze and predict the performance of baseball players.

No matter how you dice up the numbers, the pitcher’s ultimate responsibility is to make it difficult for the other team to score runs. This is why the ERA has become the standard measurement for a pitcher’s success, or failure. Keep your ERA low and you’re a success!  But we all know it’s not that easy. Just ask the countless number of ex-players who never made it to the big leagues. So what do the guys who make it have that the other guys don’t?

Athleticism

P.J. Finigan, pitching coach at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, puts athleticism at the top of his list when it comes to traits of successful pitchers. On Insidepitching.com he states that “having the athletic ability to consistently repeat their delivery” and having “the athleticism to be able to make mechanical changes when needed” are both characteristics that pitchers should have.

The need for this type of pitcher exists at all levels, and is important to all coaches. In scientific terms, athleticism is the equivalent of efficient kinematics and biomechanics. Slow motion video analysis has given researchers the capacity to break down the most effective and efficient pitching mechanics. This includes the pitcher’s posture at various points of delivery, appropriate stride lengths, hip rotation, balance points, as well as angles in the legs, hips, shoulders and arms.

Dr. Glen Fleisig, author of numerous studies on baseball throwing, suggests that one key to future success is training proper mechanics at a young age. As younger pitchers hit growth spurts and develop larger musculoskeletal bodies, their velocity also increases. Those who are already throwing with good mechanics are less likely to get injured, while making it easier to fine tune their delivery and focus on improving their performance.

Work Ethic

Work ethic starts with passion.  As quoted by Wayne Gretzky, “Maybe it wasn’t talent the Lord gave me, maybe it was the passion.” In his book, “the Sports Gene,” David Epstein devotes a whole chapter on the genetics of work ethic, drive and intrinsic motivation. Based on animal research, he postulates that while human drive to “work hard” is part nurture, there is a strong correlation to our genetic make-up. Although any pitcher can improve his or her performance by working with pitching and strength coaches, those who do extra work on their own will most likely outperform their competition.

Successful pitchers spend time alone fine tuning their mechanics, running for cardiovascular endurance, strength training to improve performance and reduce risk of injury, and studying other successful pitchers.  There are many quotes that characterize this type of athlete, such as “going the extra mile,” “giving it 110 percent,” “a gym rat,” “a student of the game,” etc.      

Intelligence

Yogi Berra told us that “Baseball is 90 percent mental, and the other half physical.” I didn’t like math either Yogi, so this makes perfect sense to me. As mentioned above, to be a successful pitcher you must keep your ERA low. This means getting more batters out than you let score.

The key to getting outs is keeping the batter off balance. It would be nice to strike everyone out, but even flame throwers who regularly hit 95 MPH or greater can’t strike everyone out. There are a few ways to keep batters off balance. One is to throw very hard. This decreases the time a hitter has to see the ball, and increases the chances they will not make good contact. But what if you don’t throw hard?

Other ways to keep a batter off balance include ball movement and changes in location. Having the capacity to throw a ball to the location you would like (athleticism), along with keeping the batter guessing where the ball will go next, places the advantage in the pitcher’s hands (literally). A successful pitcher will use past experiences and formulate a strategy to always keep the batter uncertain and off balance.

Stay Healthy

In addition to the traits listed above, pitchers must pay attention to their bodies and stay healthy in order to be successful at their position. Although some discomfort in the throwing arm is normal after a pitching session, this discomfort should be monitored and addressed if it doesn’t subside or becomes worse. When this occurs, it is a good idea to contact your nearest Athletico location to schedule a complimentary injury screening.

Schedule a Complimentary Injury Screen

Golfer Elbow

Golfers elbow, also called Medial Epicondylitis, is a painful condition occurring from repeated muscle contractions in the forearm that leads to inflammation and microtears in the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle. The medial epicondyle is the bony prominence that is felt on the inside of the elbow.

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CHICAGO SPORTS MEDICINE SYMPOSIUM

August 3 – August 6

Course Description

This course has been designed to present knee, shoulder, elbow, hip and sports medicine ailments and the most advanced treatment options from nationally and internationally recognized orthopaedic surgeons. Live surgery broadcasts, workshops, case presentations and panel discussions will offer the participants the opportunity to interact with faculty and learn the most current solutions to these challenging problems.

Target Audience

Orthopaedic surgeons, primary care practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, athletic trainers, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals whose scope of practice includes sports medicine.

Objectives


Course Directors

Dr. Anthony RomeoAnthony A. Romeo, M.D.

Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgeon

Professor, Director, Section of Shoulder & Elbow, Rush University Medical Center

nikhil vermaNikhil N. Verma, M.D.

Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgeon

Professor and Director, Division of Sports Medicine, Fellowship Director, Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Rush University Medical Center, Team Physician, Chicago White Sox/Chicago Bulls


Course Chairmen: Cartilage Restoration

Dr. Brian ColeBrian J. Cole, M.D., M.B.A.

Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgeon

Associate Chairman and Professor, Department of Orthopedics, Chairman, Department of Surgery, Rush OPH, Shoulder, Elbow and Knee Surgery, Section Head, Cartilage Restoration Center at Rush

adam yankeAdam B. Yanke, M.D. 

Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgeon

Assistant Professor Department of Orthopedics, Assistant Director Cartilage Restoration Center, Rush University Medical Center


Foundation for Orthopaedic Research and Education (FORE)