Tennis or paddle tennis. Paddle or tennis. This is the doubt that many people who want to start or return to a racket sport still have today. And one of the reasons that is valued more as we get older is which sports discipline causes the most injuries. And of course, it depends.
To begin with, “tennis is a sport with tradition and paddle tennis is a young sport in the process of evolution and, due to its short history, there are few studies to date regarding injuries,” explains Dr. Ángel Ruiz Cotorro, director of Teknon Tennis Clinic, belonging to the Quirónsalud Group.
His team, after coordinating with the medical services of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals 2023 (the women’s Tennis World Cup that was held recently in Seville), will also provide health care to both the tennis players and any member of the organization or the public. to attend the Davis Cup finals, which will take place in Malaga from November 21 to 26, given that Quirónsalud is the official provider of medical services for both competitions.
There are many factors that influence. «In professionals, both circuits are quite on par in the percentage of injuries. In amateurs, on the other hand, there are more injuries in paddle tennis.”precise.
But that is due to a factor outside of the sport itself. And the thing is that «people start playing paddle tennis without having had a learning period. That is to say, in childhood, paddle tennis is practiced less than tennis, which implies that the percentage of injuries is slightly above tennis and there are already studies that prove it,” he explains.
Another possible factor is that many people who have played tennis think that they can play paddle tennis without problems despite 20 years or more passing since they last picked up a racket, and another is age. Paddle tennis seems easier, as the court is smaller, until a ball goes like a missile to the eye.
«The main difference between both sports is that Padel is more traumatic than tennis and the variety of injuries is greater.says the director of the Teknon Tennis Clinic.
In the case of spinal injuries, “such as disc injuries and facet syndromes, they are common in both sports, as is the case with tennis elbow or epicondylitis. “The padel leg, in padel, represents 20% of all injuries,” he details.
«In the shoulder – he continues – rotator cuff and slap tendonitis are very common. In the lower body, injuries can be even, but they are more frequent in paddle tennis than in tennis.
As for specific injuries, both sports already have injuries to their own name. Thus, as Dr. Ruiz Cotorro explains, “in tennis: tennis elbow, tennis elbow or epicondylitis and tennis leg or disinsertion of the inner calf. In paddle tennis we are already beginning to see several very specific injuries, such as the paddle leg, which is the same injury as the tennis leg, and injuriee eye, which are eye bruises that occur due to the ball bouncing off the walls, as well as the injuries to the subscapularis tendon caused by the well-known paddle layup, the most iconic blow in this sport.
To all of them we must add traumatic bruises. And in this, paddle tennis wins by a landslide, since as the doctor points out, “when played on a closed surface, traumatic bruises often occur on the walls. It is played at a higher speed and has a greater risk of falls than tennis and injuries to the hand and wrist are common when trying to stop on the wall. This is why scaphoid fractures can occur. Furthermore, since it is a small, closed surface and is played at high speed, there may also be bruises to the eye of greater or lesser severity.