“Epicondylitis, bursitis, tendinitis. There are more and more cases of people who present these types of problems following an incorrect approach to padel, the sport of the moment.” This is stated by Andrea Grasso, orthopedist and traumatologist who, with Consulcesi Club , deals with Ecm training for doctors and health workers on a variety of diseases affecting muscles and joints. And which warns: “Against increasing trauma, we need more prevention and physical preparation.” Born in the 1970s in Mexico, padel (or paddle) is now spreading with surprising rapidity also in Italy, reaching mind-boggling numbers. Just think that in 2019 the Fit members were just under 6 thousand while in 2021 the Federation already counted over 55 thousand. sports have not been long in favoring and responding to the new desires of Italians: the latest data reported by Sanità Informazione speak of + 155% more padel fields in just one year (2020-2021), which went from 1,832 to 4,669, scattered from north to south of the peninsula. “Its success probably lies in the fact that it is considered much more as a ‘game’ rather than a sport as the tennis, more physically and mentally demanding, ”reflects the doctor. Played in a smaller field than its ancestor, the peculiar couple sport attracts people of any age but with a greater prevalence in the 30-55 age group and, as the doctor continues, “even people who have never done anything particular, neither a tennis base nor above all a base for muscle strengthening, or exercises aimed at a correct biomechanics of gestures. “” Compared to tennis where most of the shots take place from below, below 90 degrees, therefore under the shoulder that so it is relatively exploited, in padel you often go with your hand and arms above the height of the shoulder, thus exposing the tendons and ligaments of this to significant overloads ”, explains the orthopedist. They range from inflammation of the tendons and subacromial bursa, to the so-called ‘tennis elbow’ (epicondylitis) up to sprained ankle and knee injuries, caused by the sudden and short changes of direction that sport requires in the small synthetic field. “And I have to say – adds Grasso – in the more adult population, therefore the over 50s, we are witnessing several tears and injuries of the Achilles tendon, as well as tears and muscle injuries of the calf “. As the experience of the orthopedist also confirms, in recent years the cases of epicondylitis in tennis players have drastically reduced, “also thanks to an improvement in tools such as the racket, the study of the problem and the changes made to the preparation of athletes”. In padel, on the other hand, it remains one of the most common pathologies, “also following the use of a racquet without strings and with a reduced surface.” “In cases of pain, especially if linked to pathologies of overload and repetitiveness rather than of traumatological origin , padel players often do not want to stop to do, so to speak, 10 physiotherapy sessions, choosing instead to resort exclusively to cortisone or hyaluronic acid infiltrations, therapies that have an anti-inflammatory effect but that do not solve the problem in the long run term ”, continues the expert. “Treating the pain is necessary, but we need to understand the causes and act on them to prevent the problem from recurring”, concludes Grasso, who dedicates an ECM course to all professionals of the health. “Furthermore, although I am not against the use of infiltrations and indeed for knees and ankles I often use them, in the specific case of epicondylitis, as well as for osteoarthritis, I personally believe that those based on Prp are more suitable”, specifies Grasso , which further explores this technique in the course “Arthrosis: Prp as a therapeutic alternative.” That of infiltrations is a technique that has been present in Italian medicine for years but that requires an expert and competent hand because, as the doctor explains, “if for error for example, if high-density hyaluronic acid were introduced into Hoffa’s body of the knee or into the synovial membrane, the patient would have an important inflammatory reaction ante and pain for at least a month “. It is therefore essential to know where to do the infiltrations “but also to treat the cause and even first to work on prevention” by dedicating oneself to exercises to improve reactivity and elasticity, finally recommends the expert. “To sportsmen I say: always stretch before and after a game, and work for muscle stabilization. I recommend to professionals the continuous updating on the infiltrative techniques and the medicines involved “, concludes Grasso who among the accredited training courses also includes that on knee prostheses and fractures of the proximal humerus.
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