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The tennis season is in full swing and watching the tennis greats at Wimbledon will inspire many of us to don the tennis whites and get out on the court. Unfortunately tennis and other racquet sports can put strain on the muscles and joints of the shoulder, causing shoulder pain. This can lead to pain in the neck, shoulder and arm and other symptoms such as clicking and locking in the shoulder joint. Overstrain with overhead activities can occur as a result of muscle imbalance whereby certain muscles are overworked and others are weak.
Functional screening can be helpful to assess if a muscle imbalance is present and what exercises are needed to correct this. If muscles are overworked, tender points called Myofascial Trigger Points can develop in the area causing pain. Dry needling of the affected muscles can be helpful to reduce shoulder pain and increase movement. The rotator cuff tendons can also be put under pressure with the repetitive nature of tennis. This injury will often respond will to manual therapy of the shoulder and upper back as well as a comprehensive stretching and strengthening programme.