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Southlake Style

Swing Without Strain!

Sep 30, 2014 10:49AM ● By Dia

By: Justin Keller, PT, MPT, OCS, Cert. MDT, CSCS

Justin Keller, Physical Therapy Director at Spine Team Texas, has treated many patients with back pain related to playing tennis.  He offered the following tips to reduce the risk of spine and back injury when playing tennis.

1.    Warm-Up!  Don’t hit cold.  Stretching, walking and light jogging can get the body prepared for the day.

2.    Warm-up practice should be similar to match play.  Include groundstrokes and serves in your training that would be similar to a match.

3.    Groundstrokes before serves.  Start in close with groundstrokes then slowly move back, gradually increasing the intensity and power of your hits.  Service places the most stress on the spine, so serve after you are warmed up.

4.    Fundamentals of footwork.  One of the keys to preventing back pain is to position your body correctly during your swing.  Proper footwork will position your body to optimize performance and minimize undue stress.

5.    Add resistance.  Resistance exercise that simulates tennis play is key to preventing injury.  This can be done with a resistance band attached from a fence or door to your racquet.  Practice high and low swings and at different speeds.  In the gym, variable speed pulley systems work well too.

About Spine Team Texas


Spine Team Texas is a comprehensive spine center specializing in the treatment of neck and back pain, from simple strains to the most complex spine surgeries. Spine Team Texas’s philosophy is to treat patients conservatively through education, spine-focused physical therapy, non-surgical treatments, and minimally-invasive spine surgery as a last resort or when medically necessary.  Established in 2004, Spine Team Texas is headquartered in Southlake, Texas. Other locations include Rockwall, Fort Worth-Alliance, and a new clinic that opened September 8th in Bedford, Texas.  For more information, visit or call 817-442-9300 to schedule your spine consultation today.  Follow/”Like” them on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.