In February 2018, Dr. Saltzman presented at The Society for Tennis Medicine & Science North American Regional Conference and used Matthew as a case study. Matthew suffers from a Grade 3 Spondylolisthesis (broken vertebrae L5-S1) as a result of hyper extension and flexion in his serve growing up. At the time of diagnosis Matthew was on court 6-8 hours per day and in the gym training. To say the least he was very functional and would never have been able to predict the degree of dysfunction that he actually had. The general messaging Matthew was given was that his back pain could be attributed to overuse, muscle soreness & cramping. If proper evidence based screening was taking place on a continual basis, players like Matthew would be able to mitigate musculoskeletal injuries. Both the training he did on court as well as off court contributed to the degree of dysfunction we see in Matthew’s movement patterns. After listening to similar stories from practitioners at the conference having had similar experiences working with players both as adolescents and as adults, it became very apparent we needed to better educate both players and coaches at a grassroots level.

About the Program

We quickly realized, given our backgrounds in tennis, we should develop a grassroots Tennis Sports Medicine Program.  We believe that tennis should be a life-long sport and players of all levels should be able to maximize their potential. We also believe that player education and coaching communication play a pivotal role in optimizing your performance. Currently we only see tennis sports medicine at a “high performance” level, when in reality it is something players at all levels should be well versed in. Staying healthy in tennis can be a tedious process, but it doesn’t have to be.

The mission of our Tennis Sports Medicine Program is to optimize performance and enhance movement both in training and in everyday life. We assess from a technical standpoint, stroke efficiency and injury risk based on an evidence-based video analysis. We then run off court functional screens (again evidence based) with Dr. Saltzman and, using all this information, put together a program for the player. We recommend players re-assess every 3 months for a new program better goal oriented to meet their new function/playing ability.

Our program can be broken down into the following stages:

  1. On court Evidence Based Video Analysis focusing on Stroke/Serve Efficiency & Injury Risk Assessment Protocols
  2. Off Court Functional Assessment (Screening) followed by Treatment Protocols & Movement Restoration Patterns applying Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization Techniques
  3. Connecting the dots between Training, Treatment, & Performance – Creating a synergy between off court work and on court performance

The final stage of our model is what we truly pride ourselves on. We use a customer facing software/app to be able to set up highly individualized Micro/Macro Plans, communicate between coaches/trainers/practitioners, review video analysis, and educate both coaches & players on the most frequent musculoskeletal injuries resulting from sub-optimal training and inefficient biomechanics. The vision for our program is to see Tennis Sports Medicine playing a pivotal role in coaching education and player development at clubs across the province.

Who Will the Program Help.

This program is aimed at engaging juniors, team level competitive adults, and the health-conscious players focusing on longevity in the sport. The initial cost of the program is $200, which includes the assessments and program design. Participants will be given a plan which in some cases will encourage sports chiropractic care, integrated movement training, as well as on court technical work with a tennis pro. For participants choosing to engage the full value of this program expect to see higher associated costs. You will also see a much more in-depth individualized plan if you are continuing care under our practice. Although there is no one way to hit the ball, there is general consensus that certain biomechanics must be present for optimal stroke efficiency and injury risk mitigation.  Investing in your health and using Tennis Sports Medicine can be the difference in beating your junior rival, winning league championships or even just playing for the next 20 years. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

By: Dr. Erin Saltzman & Matthew Porter

Exercise Sports Movement Clinics was proudly founded by Dr. Erin Saltzman and Matthew Porter with a mission to provide Functional Integrated Therapy focusing on performance optimization and movement restoration. If you are interested in learning more about our Tennis Sports Medicine Program or having us come to your club for a presentation please contact us by email at or Phone: 416-225-2623