Shoulder pain can occur in tennis players because there are repeated stresses during tennis strokes, particularly the serve. There are several sources of shoulder pain in tennis players, but one of the most common causes is Shoulder Bursitis. Bursitis is inflammation of a sac of fluid called a Bursa.
In the shoulder frequent overuse of the Rotator Cuff muscles (a group of small muscles, situated close to the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder, that provide stability to the ball and socket) can cause the Bursa to get impinged' between the muscles and the bony prominence of the shoulder, leading to inflammation. This causes pain whenever the arm is raised.
For tennis players attention must be paid to flexibility, strength and endurance of the shoulder muscles. Shoulder stabilisation exercises under the supervision of a chartered physiotherapist can also help prevent impingement.
In addition, any increases in the amount of training or competition must be gradual so as not to overload the shoulder. In particular, repetitions of the service action should be increased gradually to allow the body to adapt to increased workload.
The first aim of treatment is to reduce the amount of inflammation through ice therapy (never apply ice directly to the skin) and anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by a doctor. The Shoulder Cryo/Cuff is the most effective method of ice therapy treatment at home. It is easy to use and stays cold for 6 - 8 hours. Alternatively, a reusable cold pack can be used with a wrap that fixes the cold pack in place. If kept in the freezer this can be used again and again. If you don't have access to a freezer where you play tennis, then Instant Cold Packs provide a quick disposable method of ice therapy.
Once the inflammation and pain has settled, exercises to regain full movement can begin, followed by a carefully graded strengthening and stabilising programme.