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Injury prevention in adult recreational tennis players

Summary of a study testing the effectiveness of an injury prevention programme for adult recreational tennis players.

Who

579 adult recreational tennis players.

Intervention group
286 players (females: 157, males: 129)
aged 41 (±12)
Control group
293 players (females: 149, males: 144)
aged 42 (±13)

Design

Randomised controlled trial.

Intervention group

The TennisReady injury prevention programme accessed through a smartphone app:

  • cardiovascular, neuromuscular, tennis-specific exercises (on-court and off-court to choose from)
  • non-supervised ("home"-based)
  • 12 weeks
  • 7-10 minutes per session

Control group

  • trained as usual

Injury measures

Injury survey sent every 2 weeks over 16 weeks of the study:

  • number of hours playing tennis
  • injury location
  • injury type
  • time loss (number of days not able to train)
  • injuries on modified Oslo Sports and Trauma Research Centre (OSTRC) Questionnaire.

Main results

  • The intervention group had an overall injury prevalence of 37% vs 38% in the control group (no difference).
  • The overall incidence of injuries was 25.4/1000 hours of tennis exposure in the intervention group vs 24.4/1000 in the control group (no difference).
  • Time loss was 5.6 days in the intervention group vs 6.3 days in the control group (statistically significant, but not clinically relevant).
  • 8% of participants could be classified as having high-adherence. Compered with low-adherence, there was no difference in injury prevalence.

Take home message

For a clinician
TennisReady is the first "home"-based tennis-specific intervention but was not successful in reducing injury prevalence. Could be useful if performed under supervision.
For a parent
TennisReady injury prevention programme could be useful if performed regularly and under the coach's supervision.
For an athlete
Ask your coach about the usefulness of TennisReady for you.

Original article

Pas HI, Pluim BM, Kilic O, Verhagen E, Gouttebarge V, Holman R, Moen MH, Kerkhoffs G, Tol JL. Effectiveness of an e-health tennis-specific injury prevention programme: randomised controlled trial in adult recreational tennis players. British journal of sports medicine. 2020 Jan 30.

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