Tennis Related Shoulder Injuries

Is your killer serve killing you? Does your backhand make you wince? In these summer months, tennis-related shoulder injuries are becoming a more frequent complaint from our patients.

The serve that you’re working hard to perfect is likely the source of your shoulder pain. Polished tennis players connect with a ball with 120% of the same force as their bodyweight. While your rotator cuff is capable of handling that amount of shock, the repeated impact will eventually take its toll.

What’s worse, your tennis game can cause a muscle imbalance, favoring the muscles at the front of your shoulder and ignoring the ones in the rear and in your back. It’s the perfect recipe for muscle pain.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

Before your pain sidelines you, you’ll want to speak with your physician for a diagnosis, as there are several potential causes for your pain. These are the most common:

Bursitis of the Shoulder

Bursitis occurs when the fluid-filled sac that cushion bones, known as a bursa, becomes irritated and inflamed. This inflammation is caused or aggravated by overuse and repetitive injuries and can be quite painful. Stretching or anti-inflammatory medications can help combat bursitis.


Just like your bursa can be irritated by overuse, the tendons in your shoulder may also become inflamed. This condition is known as tendonitis. Again, stretching and anti-inflammatory medication can help combat it.

Torn Rotator Cuff

A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that stabilize the shoulder. Occasionally, one or more of these muscles can become torn, leading to pain or difficulty raising your arm above your shoulder. Rotator cuff tears can be caused by repetitive athletic motion. Depending upon the severity of the tear, surgery may be necessary.

Treating Shoulder Injuries

The best way to deal with tennis related shoulder injuries is to address them when they first start giving you pain. If it’s a repetitive stress injury, staying on the court longer will only further irritate the injury and possibly make recovery longer and more difficult. Our staff is experienced in treating tennis related shoulder injuries – as well as all athletic orthopedic injuries. Fill out our online request form to schedule your appointment.


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