You may like to push yourself really hard during your weekend tennis sessions, but eventually your body might push back. Injuries to the Achilles tendon -- which connects the calf muscles to the heel -- are common for tennis players. You might not like to hear this, but according to MayoClinic.com, they're pretty common among weekend warriors or middle-aged people who work out only intermittently. Don't be embarrassed though, you're obviously not alone. When it's time to get back on the court, you'll be able to baby your injury a bit by wrapping it with some therapeutic tape, though you'll need a friend to help you.
Get your doctor or physical therapist's OK to start playing tennis again. Starting your activities up again before your Achilles is fully healed is a recipe for long-term damage.
Lie the person being taped face down on a bed or bench, allowing the feet to hang off the end of the bed or bench. The affected foot should be in a position that is similar to a standing position, with about a 90-degree angle between the top of the foot and the leg.
Cut a piece of therapeutic elastic tape about 1 foot long.
Stick one end of the tape around the heel, so 2 to 3 inches of tape appear along the bottom of the foot.
Pull gently on the tape to create some tension, and then stick the other end along the calf. Press down on the center of the tape and run your hand up and down along the length of the tape to stick it firmly to the person's skin.
Cut a second piece of therapeutic elastic into a 6-inch piece.
Remove the backing on the tape at its center, removing just an inch or two of backing for now.
Pull on the two ends of the tape to create some tension, and then stick the center of the tape right over the painful portion of the Achilles, in a perpendicular position from the first piece of tape. Stick the center down and then remove the rest of the backing, keeping some tension in the band as you stick the ends onto the leg.
- If you continue to experience significant pain in your Achilles during your tennis game, stop what you're doing. Working through the pain might seem like the tough-girl thing to do, but it's not going to help your cause toward healing.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.