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Wed, Jan. 22

Column: How to deal with aches, pains from tennis matches
'My Point'

Does your body have its own way of talking to you like mine does after playing a tough tennis match?

You wake up the next day or even hours later with a special stiffness in your legs and back. Maybe the shoulder and arm have a bit of soreness from the amped up workout as well.

Normally if you give it a day or two you’re pretty much back in business - but if still feeling a twinge it’s nothing an aspirin can’t help cure for your next outing; but maybe your muscles are still trying to let you know there’s more you might do to help them help you.

If you seem to be stuck in the cycle of aches and pains from slight over-use or under-conditioning you have a couple choices that should help the cause.

Without going over-board, either on the court or off it, work out the muscles on your off days that are getting sore. Let those muscles know you’re expecting more from them by simulating what’s taking place that’s making them sore.

Then when you play a longer or tougher match they’ll be a bit more ready for what you’re asking them to do.

If you’ve reached the point where your muscles are “screaming” from over-use, it’s surly time for some rest and slower rehabilitation, maybe the use of a good tennis professional or physical therapist, because the cure may be in making sure the repetitive actions that are stressing your body are with correct form.

Nothing wrong with a good massage and letting the body enjoy the warmth and jets of a hot tube too.

When your body takes a beating it’s not used to, the results cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibers, where as many believe it’s a buildup of lactic acid which is only a temporary cause.

Come back to life slow and correctly, take a pain reliever like ibuprofen, do some ice and heating pads, ingest some antioxidants, and work out the muscles you plan on using in advance of hurting yourself - then you’ll be as ready physically as possible.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 45 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or

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