Playing Tennis After A Shoulder Injury

Fewer things bug an athlete more than an injury. The worst, of course, comes when you injure a body part that is one of the main appendages you use in your sport. A soccer player hates leg injuries and a baseball pitcher hates elbow injuries. In tennis, one of the worst things you can injure is your shoulder, especially on your swinging arm. You are almost constantly using it throughout the match, and without it, it’s almost impossible to play. If you do injure yourself, the first question you will probably ask is “when can I play again?” Well, let’s find out how fast a tennis player can come back from a shoulder injury.

Know Your Injury

There are a couple of “main” injuries in the shoulder that tennis players suffer from. These are rotator cuff tendinitis, shoulder impingement, and shoulder bursitis. While not the only injuries, they are certainly among the most common.

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

For rotator cuff tendinitis, a minor case or small tear in the cuff typically calls for only a two to four-week recovery period. If swelling and inflammation are controlled early on, recovery will speed along. If not, you could be looking at more time on the sideline. Ice and rest are advised here along with painkillers to help with inflammation.

Shoulder Impingement

It can take a couple of months up to a whole year to recover from shoulder impingement, depending on the severity of the injury. However, you can try returning to the court after about three weeks if you feel comfortable. Rest and anti-inflammatory medicines should be used as well as some physical therapy.

Shoulder Bursitis

Again, with shoulder bursitis, the name of the game is to reduce swelling and inflammation. This can be done with either ice or medicine. As with any of the other injuries, just don’t place the ice directly on your skin. If taken care of properly, you can recover and be back in action in just a couple of weeks.

Of course, how quickly you can return to the court depends on the severity of your injury. Some require a little physical therapy, others need injections to stop inflammation, and sometimes full-blown surgery is needed.


Need some more information about treatment? Contact Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates today to talk with a team dedicated to providing the most advanced and compassionate care.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Life After a Hip Replacement

Hip replacements can be a life-saver, especially for those who have been suffering from pain for a long time. Here’s how you can speed up the healing process and maximize the results of a hip replacement.

Getting Back to Your Sport After Surgery

Have you been resting for a while after an injury, and are you itching to get active again? Our experts explain what steps you can take to speed up recovery and ensure you don’t get injured again.