For a game that is generally considered to be mild on the activity spectrum of sports, ping pong boasts a fairly strong injury record among its players. Here at Arora Hand Surgery, we see injuries resulting from the game pretty regularly, but the good news is, our patients’ injuries are usually treatable and have quick recovery times. In this blog, we’ll talk about common ping pong injuries and how to prevent them.
Due to its abrupt and bursts-of-movement nature, ping pong’s common injuries usually occur to the limb that holds the paddle. In the upper extremities, the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints are the most vulnerable injury spots, with ankles coming in at a close second.
How dangerous is ping pong?
As one of the most popular sports in the world, this all-age sport is generally considered to be on the safer side of extracurricular activities. When injuries do occur, it’s usually in players who perform at high levels of athleticism and play very regularly. When pain begins to occur, we see that it’s due to bad stroke habits, hitting too hard, and not warming up correctly.
What should you do when you feel pain?
First, we want to clarify that when muscles contract regularly, tenderness is to be expected. However, if you notice that the tenderness or “ache” has evolved into a dull or sharp pain, we encourage you to stop playing and see a physician immediately if the pain does not go away after 24 hours.
What are the most common injuries from ping pong (or table tennis)?
There are several injuries that occur from ping pong, the following are the ones we see the most often at our office:
Tennis elbow – a painful condition identified by inflammation of tendons that connect the hand to the elbow. This is usually caused by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm.
Wrist sprain – this occurs when the strong ligaments that support the wrist stretch far beyond their limits or actually tear from a twisted force.
Rotator cuff injury – these account for around 10% of the injuries we see from ping pong. They are caused by progressive wear and tear of the tendon tissue over time.
How to prevent ping pong or “table tennis” injury:
- Choose a lighter racket.
- Wear stabilizing wristbands.
- Warm up!
- Learn about the energy linking cycle and how it can prevent injury in the sport of ping pong.
- Stop playing when an ache has progressed into a pain.
Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of ping pong, or table tennis, injuries are very important for your safety. If you think you’ve suffered an injury or want to know more about hand, wrist, and elbow injury treatment options, make an appointment to see Dr. Arora, the hand specialist himself, at his West Bloomfield, Warren, Macomb Township, or Howell office.