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Sports Medicine: Key Points For Sports Medicine

(The information in this article was taken or adapted from the High Performance Coaching Program Study Guide.)

  • Use the PRICE method as your initial response to an acute injury, in order to decrease pain and initiate healing.
  • Apply heat to an injury after the initial pain and swelling have subsided, not simply after a pre-set number of days.  Heat is effective prior to activity to enhance flexibility and decrease stiffness.
  • Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are the three primary heat illnesses that can be encountered in tennis players. To prevent heat illness, maintain proper hydration.
  • The most common injuries in tennis are overuse injuries such as tennis elbow and shoulder tendonitis. Four types of common musculoskeletal injuries are sprains, strains, tendonitis, and stress fractures.
  • To treat bleeding, apply pressure to the area, elevate the bleeding area if possible, and wear rubber gloves for HIV protection.
  • If a player has pain, evaluate the level of pain in order to decide if he or she should continue playing. If a player has pain that prevents proper stroke patterning or that is in the region of a joint, do not continue tennis play or training until the player’s injury has been evaluated and specific measures have been taken to address the pain.

Have a complete medical profile for each player for whom you are responsible, and never dispense prescription medications without permission.

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