Some individuals experience left hip pain after playing tennis. The hips and neighboring muscles produce a large amount of force that powers a swing in tennis which causes immense and repetitive stress on the hips. This leads to hip pain and injuries while poor swing mechanics increases the risk for hip pain. It is best to consult a doctor if the individual suffers from persistent hip pain.
Twisting in an awkward manner while playing, overtraining or falls can result to hip injuries including bruising, torn muscles, tendinitis, femoral neck stress fractures and arthritis.
When it comes to a femoral neck stress fracture, it is a small-sized crack in the upper part of the thighbone due to repetitive stress. As for iliotibial band friction syndrome and piriformis syndrome, they are overuse injuries that can lead to hip pain as well.
Other injuries to the hip include torn cartilage, ligament sprains and bursitis or inflammation of the bursa sac.
What are the other symptoms?
The hip pain can be described as achy, piercing or radiating. Aside from hip pain, the individual can also experience muscle weakness, swelling and joint stiffness. Other symptoms include the following:
- Point tenderness over the site of injury
- Clicking and catching
- Popping sensation
Playing tennis and other activities that require hip movement can worsen the symptoms.
The initial treatment usually involves rest, application of ice, compression and elevation (RICE method). Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen can be given to reduce any residual pain.
If the individual has a femoral neck stress fracture, crutches can be used while walking to minimize pain and promote the healing process. The hip muscles should be stretched particularly the piriformis muscle and abductor muscles for those who have iliotibial band friction syndrome or piriformis syndrome. In addition, the doctor might recommend corticosteroid injections, massage therapy, physical therapy and surgery.
Always bear in mind that correct swing mechanics is vital in preventing hip injuries. The areas to improve include hip rotation, foot position and coordination as well as the timing.
For further guidance, the personal trainer or coach can be consulted. It is vital to allow enough recovery time between the tennis practices and matches in order to avoid overtraining. Proper stretching before and after playing must be observed in order to maintain flexibility. Lastly, always include strengthening exercises such as lunges and squats in the exercise routine.