Quantcast
nodot nodot
Tennis SET
March 2002 Article

Latest Tennis SET Article

Tennis SET Archive

Send a message to Jani

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

You will join 25,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
 
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Eugenie Bouchard
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Ana Ivanovic
tennis ball Caroline Wozniacki
tennis ball Na Li
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
 ... more profiles
 
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball David Ferrer
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Kei Nishikori
tennis ball Marin Cilic
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Andy Murray
 ... more profiles
 
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
 
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
 
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
 
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
 
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
 
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:


Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
 
Tennis Server Match Reports
 
Editor's Letter
 
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
 
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
 
Tennis Links on the Web
 
nodot
Tennis SET
 
Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
Wheelchair Tennis Double Feature
Medical Conditions

Jani Macari Pallis, 
Ph.D. Photo
Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D.

Every few months someone asks a question at Tennis Server's "Tennis Business Discussion Forum" about wheelchair tennis. What are the rules? Our club would like to teach wheelchair tennis - where do I get instructional information? Can a wheelchair player play on our high school team? (If you are not a member of the forum - you can get more information on it from http://www.tennisserver.com/tennisbiz/. It's another terrific free service of Tennis Server especially for those in the industry to exchange ideas and share information.)

This month, Dan James, the US World Team Cup and Tennis Paralympic Coach and I have done a "double feature" on wheelchair tennis. Dan has written this month's "Wild Cards" feature on the basics of coaching wheelchair tennis. Dan is covering: the history, rules, mobility, grips, divisions and where to get more information. This column, "Tennis SET," will cover some of the common medical conditions and injuries wheelchair players sustain. So Dan and I will be cross-referencing each other's articles this month.

Common Player Disabilities

Wheelchair tennis players have a medically diagnosed mobility-related disability which results in a significant or complete loss of use of at least one extremity (arms or legs).

The major medical conditions include:

  • Amputation
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spina Bifida
  • Polio
  • Cerebral Palsy

In turn these medical conditions have characteristic impairments which may affect voluntary motor functions, sensation, body temperature regulation, fatigue, cardiovascular, bowel and bladder function, respiratory, spasms and skin breakdowns. Some are unique to the disability, others common to all.

In Dan James' article, he uses the word "incomplete" to describe an injury. An individual with an incomplete injury can move and have sensation far below the neurological area of injury. In contrast an injury is called "complete" if there is no voluntary motion or sensation below (within 3 segments) the area of neurological injury.

Amputation: Amputees are considered to have "incomplete" injuries. Amputation may have been needed due to an accident, related to a disease such as cancer or due to circulation problems such as diabetes. Individuals may choose to compete in a wheelchair versus using a prosthetic device (like an artificial limb). Amputees usually have normal voluntary muscle movement and sensation, cardiovascular, respiratory, bowel and bladder function and body temperature regulation.

Spinal Cord Injury: Spinal cord injury (SCI) affects movement, sensation and other nervous system functions which regulate body functions such as temperature, bladder and bowel control and heart rate. A SCI is often a result of a fall, vehicle accident or sports injury. The spinal cord may be severed, or as a result of the trauma bones in the spine may bruise or press on the spinal cord. This disrupts the transmission of nerve impulses between the brain and other parts of the body.

Below is a chart of the neurological levels of injury. (You may want to click on the thumbnail diagram to see the larger version.) Again, Dan has described this a bit more in his article, but the letters in the diagram refer to the neurological level: C for cervical, T for thoracic, L for lumbar and S for sacral. In turn, these correspond to specific motor, sensory and autonomic nervous system functions.

Based on the level of neurological injury, an SCI athlete in general will not have motor function or sensation below that level. Bowel and bladder control are most often affected as well.

Athletics with injuries in the cervical and thoracic areas may be more susceptible to respiratory infections (for example due to the lack of ability to produce a strong cough). They may also experience spasticity (an increase in muscle tone) which can cause leg shaking or spasms.

Due to a lack of sensation, skin breakdowns are common. Sitting for long periods of time can produce pressure sores or ulcers which can become infected. Athletes may not even recognize when they have been injured due to lack of pain sensation.

Spina Bifida: While SCI is normally caused by an accident or fall, spina bifida is a congenital (from birth, but not hereditary) condition incurred while the spinal cord developed during the mother's pregnancy. Individuals with spina bifida often experience many of the same limitations of an SCI (motor, sensatory, bladder and bowel function), although they do not generally experience body heat regulation and spasticity problems.

Polio: Polio or postpolio paralysis is caused by a virus which sometimes migrates to the body's neurological system. The virus attacks motor nerve cells resulting in permanent muscle weakness. Some individuals may experience more fatigue, pain or muscle weakness with age. This may be a normal aging process (all of us experience this due to how our nerve cells change over time), but more attention is being given to the theory that the remaining functional nerve cells are overworked and begin to deteriorate. Of course, this would be a concern for athletes who train at high intensity.

Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy affects muscular coordination and voluntary movement. Either during development or at birth areas of the brain which control coordination, motor function, speech or muscle tone may be affected.

Understanding a player's disability enhances the athlete's, coach's and trainer's ability to maximize performance, training and conditioning, adapt for limitations, minimize discomfort and prevent serious injury or illness. As Dan noted, we've just provided a brief overview.

Resources

Dan has suggested resources in his section. I highly suggest a 6-part article series developed by Dr. Kathleen Curtis which appeared in "Sports 'n Spokes" over several years. Although not specifically focused on just tennis, the series is a terrific overview of the various medical conditions which affect wheelchair athletes and contains practical advice for tournament directors, medical staffs and trainers for accommodating wheelchair athletes.

Thanks again to Cliff Kurtzman, editor-in-chief of Tennis Server, for supporting this "Wheelchair Tennis - Double Feature" - Cliff as always an innovator in the tennis community. As well many thanks to Dan James for taking time out of his hectic schedule to contribute to Tennis Server this month. One last thanks to Alan Chandronnait of Chandro Tennis for his insightful questions and e-mails on wheelchair tennis.

Don't hesitate to contact Dan or I using this form with questions.

Until Next Month .... Jani


Spinal cord diagram is adapted from the American Spinal Injury Association, 1989 and is provided by Cislunar Aerospace, Inc. with thanks to Jessica Villarreal.

References: Curtis, Kathleen A, Health Smarts, Strategies and Solutions For Wheelchair Athletes, Sports 'n Spokes, January-February, 1996, pages 25-31

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Tennis SET Archive

If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D., all rights reserved.

Dr. Jani Macari Pallis is the founder and CEO of Cislunar Aerospace, Inc., an engineering and research firm in San Francisco. In addition to her engineering practice, she has led two collaborations between NASA and Cislunar, creating educational materials on the aerodynamics of sports for pre-college students and educators. As the head of NASA's "Aerodynamics in Sports" project, she has led a team of researchers investigating the aerodynamics, physics and biomechanics of tennis. The group has conducted high speed video data capture at the US Open and research of ball/court interaction, footwork, serve speeds, trajectories and ball aerodynamics. Pallis received a BS and MS from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an MS in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from the University of California, Davis. She is a member of the Executive Committee of The International Sports Engineering Association.

Questions and comments about these columns can be directed to Jani by using this form.


 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Tickets 11/7-11/14
 
Davis Cup Finals: France vs Switzerland Tennis Tickets 11/21
 
Chris Evert Pro-Celeb Tennis Classic Tickets 11/22-11/23
 
2015 BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells 3/11-3/22
 
2015 Miami Open Tennis Tickets 3/23-4/5
 
2015 US Open Tennis Tickets 8/31-9/13
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
 
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
 
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
 
Most Recent Articles:
 
October 2014 Wild Cards: Roger Rolls Through 300; Serena Wins First Championship In Cincinnati by Vince Barr.
 
Tennis Warrior: Five Powerful Tennis Concepts by Tom Veneziano.
 
October 2014 Tennis Anyone: Why Can I Not Poach? by John Mills.
 
October 2014 Turbo Tennis: Momentum Revisited by Ron Waite.
 
October 12, 2014 Between The Lines: Home Stretch 2014 -- On the Hard Courts of Asia by Ray Bowers.
 
Tennis Warrior: In Tennis, Principle Trumps Emotion by Tom Veneziano.
 
September 2014 Tennis Anyone: Things To Do and Not To Do by John Mills.
 
September 2014 Turbo Tennis: The Only Thing You Have To Fear Is Fear Itself!!! by Ron Waite.
 
September 9, 2014 Between The Lines: Dissecting U.S. Open 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
August 2014 Wild Cards: The Tennis Round Table: Interviews With Jim Courier, Todd Martin & Mark Philippoussis in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Miami Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 1 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 2 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 3 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 4 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Final Session 26 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Women's Final Session 25 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Semifinals Session 24 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Women's Semifinals Session 23 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 22 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis All Session Strip Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 1 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles Qualifying Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 2 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles Qualifying & Women's Singles 1st Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 3 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 1st Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 4 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 1st Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 7 Second Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 6 Men's First Round Women's Second Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 5 Men's First Round Women's Second Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 4 Opening Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 3 Opening Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

 
 
"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 

Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
Editor-in-chief
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy