Friday, May 20, 2011

Loyola Opens One of Nation's First Tennis Medicine Programs

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Loyola University Health System has launched one of the nation's first Tennis Medicine programs to treat tennis injuries and teach patients injury-prevention techniques. The Loyola Tennis Medicine program is unique to Chicago, and the only one of its kind in the Midwest. The Loyola Tennis Medicine program will be offered at the new Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge, the Loyola Outpatient Center-Musculoskeletal Care and the Loyola Center for Health, 1211 W. Roosevelt Rd., Maywood. The Web site is

The program will address tennis players’ needs by evaluating and treating injuries with a tennis-specific approach, including any needed rehabilitation, injections or surgery. Patients also will receive selective on-court evaluations or video analyses, coordinated with the patients' tennis teaching professionals. The program's director is Dr. Neeru Jayanthi, a board-certified sports medicine physician. Jayanthi has studied tennis injuries as a player, coach, physician and researcher. In addition to treating tennis injuries, Jayanthi has developed injury prevention techniques and strength and conditioning programs at several junior training academies. Jayanthi has been a competitive player since childhood and continues to compete in tournaments at the highest amateur level. He is chairman of the education committee of the International Society for Tennis Medicine and Science and has published several studies on tennis injuries in young tournament players and adult recreational players. He is a certified tennis teaching professional and tournament physician for the ATP World Tour. "While most tennis injuries are not necessarily severe, they can significantly affect performance," Jayanthi said. "Our goal is to get patients back on the court as soon as possible and teach them the techniques that will reduce their risk of further injuries and maintain their performance." Tennis injuries in adults are typically caused by overuse. They include tennis elbow (tendon degeneration of the wrist/forearm muscles), rotator cuff disorders, lumbar disc disease, meniscus (knee cartilage) tears and arthritis. Junior and competitive players can experience traumatic muscle and ligament injuries, stress fractures of the lumbar spine and overuse injuries of the shoulder, elbow and wrist. Jayanthi has spoken extensively to parents, teaching professionals and medical specialists on how to treat tennis injuries. Jayanthi offers tips on how to prevent injuries. For example, grip the racket moderately or lightly, and only on contact; pick the heaviest racket that does not affect swing speed for your style of play and hit flat serves before adding spin. Clay courts are easier on the knees and lowering the racket's string tension is easier on the arms. Tennis is a great exercise, Jayanthi said. It improves aerobic fitness, lowers body fat, improves cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and improves bone health. But playing too much tennis at a young age can increase the risk of injuries. In a recent study of 519 junior tennis players, Jayanthi and colleagues found that youth who played tennis year-round were at a higher risk of being injured in tournament play than players who did not specialize. "Parents, coaches and players should exercise caution if there is a history of prior injury," Jayanthi said. "And parents should consider enrolling their children in multiple sports." Jayanthi is medical director of primary-care sports medicine and an associate professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.