Courts take toll on athletes’ knees

Senior+Shivneet+Nag+experiences+hip+pain+from+playing+tennis.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Courts take toll on athletes’ knees

Senior Shivneet Nag experiences hip pain from playing tennis.

Senior Shivneet Nag experiences hip pain from playing tennis.

Senior Shivneet Nag experiences hip pain from playing tennis.

Senior Shivneet Nag experiences hip pain from playing tennis.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In a close game or match, the player can be in a lot of stress on the court. However, what’s in more stress under every jump and cut is their knees.

Knees are under the pressure of nine to 11 times the athlete’s body weight during athletic activity. This pain can be exacerbated by the hard courts like in basketball, volleyball and tennis.

“There’s a lot of body weight transferred when you hit (the ball in tennis),” senior Shivneet Nag said.

In tennis, Nag mostly uses his hips and arms, but does experience some knee pain.

Although Nag is not extremely affected, others, like freshman Grace Austin and her volleyball teammates, have major pain and issues.

Jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis, is a chronic overuse injury to the patellar tendon. It can cause knee pain, swelling and stiffness.

“A lot of the girls on my club team have jumper’s knee, and are already wearing tape and pre wrap around their knees,” Austin said. “They’re only 15.”

With the constant pounding of one’s body weight on hardwood floors in basketball and in volleyball and the concrete-like court of tennis, athletes can easily suffer from knee pain or jumper’s knee.

“(I have more pain) in practices because we are going hard the whole time, but during matched you get a lot of breaks,” Nag said.

The constant pounding is not the only factor that contributes to knee pain, tight leg muscles, uneven leg muscle strength, misalignment, not properly padded shoes and obesity can worsen it.

“It does hurt after a while after constantly jumping,” Nag said.

Luckily, this is self-treatable and can even go away completely with constant treatment after practices and games. Simply stretching one’s legs can help with the pain or warming up before an activity and icing after activity can make a major difference.

“I use ibuprofen a lot,” Nag said. “But I’ve actually read up that if you put your legs upside down, it reverses your blood flow.”

Ibuprofen or Advil and other over-the-counter drugs, like Aleve and Tylenol, can help with temporary swelling. The inversion of the legs also decreases swelling and pain by stopping the increased blood flow to the area of inflammation.

“We’re young athletes who shouldn’t have to

Pullquote Photo

We’re young athletes who shouldn’t have to worry about our young joints having problems by the time we’re 20”

— Grace Austin

worry about our young joints having problems by the time we’re 20,” Austin said.

Simply ignoring the pain and playing through it can cause more pain and even a serious injury.

“(The tennis court) is hard; it’s really rough on your body,” Nag said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email