Why Does My Wrist Hurt When I Serve Tennis? Explained 6 Reasons of 2023

Last Updated on November 3, 2023 by Robert A. Foreman

Do you often feel a sharp pain in your wrist when serving in tennis? If so, you’re not alone. Many tennis players experience wrist pain, especially during serving. So, one of the most commonly asked questions coming up from tennis players is: Why does my wrist hurt when I serve tennis?

Well, many underlying medical conditions including Tennis elbow, Osteoarthritis, Tendinitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, etc can be responsible for this. Contrarily, the pain might also arise due to overuse injuries or poor sporting technique as well.

In other words, there’s a plethora of reasons why your wrist might hurt when serving tennis. That’s why in this article, we’ll explore the causes of wrist pain in tennis and how you can prevent it. So, if you’re suffering from wrist pain, head down below, learn, and get relief!!

6 Reasons Why Your Wrist Hurts When Serving Tennis (Approved By Physicians)

Reasons Why Your Wrist Hurts When Serving Tennis

Doctors relate a lot of reasons and medical conditions to wrist hurting when playing tennis. For your convenience, we have listed down the most probable ones below:

1. Tendinitis

Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the bones to the muscles. This can cause pain and swelling in the wrist, making it difficult to play tennis. 

Tendinitis can be caused by repetitive movements, such as serving, and can be exacerbated by the wrist’s constant twisting and turning.

2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the wrist and into the hand, becomes compressed. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the wrist, as well as difficulty in gripping and holding objects. 

Serving in tennis can put a lot of pressure on the wrist, which can make the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome worse.

3. Osteoarthritis: 

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that results from the wear and tear of the joints. This can cause pain and stiffness in the wrist, making it difficult to play tennis. 

Osteoarthritis is a common condition in older adults and can be exacerbated by repetitive motions, such as serving in tennis.

4. Overuse injuries: 

Tennis involves repetitive motions such as serving and backhand shots, which can put a lot of stress on your wrist. Over time, this repeated stress can lead to wrist tendinitis, wrist ligament strain, and wrist bursitis. 

These conditions occur when the tendons, ligaments, and bursae in the wrist become inflamed and painful.

5. Poor technique(s): 

False grip, positioning, and motion when serving can put extra stress on your wrist, leading to pain. 

If you’re not using the proper technique, you’re likely putting too much strain on your wrist, which can result in pain and injury.

6. Tennis elbow: 

Tennis elbow is a condition that affects the outer part of the elbow and can cause pain and weakness in the wrist, making it challenging to serve. 

This condition is caused by the repetitive motion of playing tennis and can result in pain and weakness in the wrist and elbow.

7 Solutions If Your Wrist Hurts When Serving Tennis

Here are some on-point solutions that you can consider if your wrist is hurting badly when serving/playing tennis.

1. Rest: 

Give your wrist time to recover by taking a break from playing tennis. This can help to reduce the inflammation and allow the tissues in your wrist to heal.

2. Ice: 

Applying ice to the affected area can reduce swelling and relieve pain. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and place it on the wrist for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.

3. Stretching: 

Regular stretching can help to maintain flexibility in the wrist and reduce the risk of injury. Stretch your wrist and forearm regularly to keep them limber and reduce tension.

4. Wrist brace: 

A wrist brace can provide support to the wrist and limit its movement, reducing the stress and strain on the wrist during serving. Some of the best wrist braces for tennis in the market today are specifically designed for tennis players and feature adjustable straps for a customized fit. 

So, if you can manage to get such a wrist brace for yourself, you can kiss goodbye to wrist pains forever.

5. Massage:

Massaging the wrist can help to increase blood flow and reduce stiffness, which can relieve pain. You can also use a foam roller or tennis ball to massage the wrist and forearm.

6. Improve technique(s): 

Improving your serving technique can help to reduce stress and strain on the wrist, which can reduce the risk of injury and pain. Seek out a tennis coach or professional who can help you to improve your technique and prevent damage.

7. Alternative activities: 

Engaging in alternative activities, such as swimming or cycling, can help to strengthen the wrist and reduce the risk of injury. These activities can also provide a welcome break from tennis, which can give your wrist a chance to rest and recover.

You may enjoy reading: Should I Wear A Wrist Brace While Playing Tennis


Some of the frequently asked questions related to this topic are as follows:

How do I know if my wrist pain is due to overuse injuries?

If your wrist hurts only after playing tennis for extended hours, especially when serving, you likely have an overuse injury. Overuse injuries typically cause pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area.

Can I continue playing tennis if I have wrist pain?

We don’t recommend continuing to play tennis if you have wrist pain, as this can make the injury worse. Instead, you should rest your wrist and seek medical attention to get the proper treatment.

How long does it take to recover from wrist pain in tennis?

The recovery time for wrist pain in tennis depends on the severity of the injury. In most cases, wrist pain can be treated with rest, physical therapy, and medication. If the injury is severe, surgery may be necessary.

Final Words 

Well, there you have it, people. Now that hopefully, you’ve got a clear understanding of this query, why does my wrist hurt when I serve tennis?

It’s important to remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. If your wrist pain persists or becomes worse, it is essential to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Remember that with proper care and attention, you can surely recover from wrist pain and get back to playing the sport you love.

So next time you’re on the court and feel that sharp pain in your wrist, make sure you take a break and take care of your wrist!

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