Australian Open Ends In Back Injury For Nadal
The Australian Open has now come to a close, with Wawrinka taking the title over four sets against Nadal in a tournament somewhat overshadowed by injury and complaints over the weather. Prior to the final Nadal had taken the previous 12 matches against his counterpart without dropping a single set, though his back injury was his Achilles heel in Melbourne.
Wawrinka took the title in Melbourne at the Australian Open with an emphatic victory over Nadal who had been struggling with a back injury. the tournament played host to a number of high profile injuries and the topic of at what temperature a match should be halted.
The intensity of a professional tennis tournament can increase the risk of injury to a player, with games but a few days apart allowing for a minimal rest time and thereby increasing the risk of injury or even causing further damage.. Whilst rest is the main treatment method suggested for the majority of sports injuries this can be difficult to achieve in the middle of a tournament, hence the use of physiotherapists to get players back on court faster..
With rest out of the question physiotherapists look at massaging the muscles to help relax them as well as looking at other ways of helping to manage the condition whilst a player is active, typically through the use of sports braces. They are designed to be worn during an activity, helping a player to perform for longer during their recovery from injury. Each support is completely different to help manage conditions across the body from the ankle to the elbow.
This article looks at two different types of tennis braces available in a tennis elbow support and back support, the latter being something Nadal will probably need to invest in following his injury in Australia.
What is a tennis elbow support?
A tennis elbow support is designed to help manage the condition of tennis elbow, though the same product is equally able to manage golfers elbow simply by twisting the band round and focussing the compression on the inside of the forearm rather than the outside.
Tennis elbow is known clinically as lateral epicondylitis and refers to the pain and inflammation on the outside of the elbow joint following a repetitive activity.. It is described as an overuse injury and can result from any repetitive task from playing tennis to painting and whilst categorised as a self-limiting can take up to two years for a patient to fully recover following rest.
The condition can take up to two years to fully recover from, though sitting on the sidelines for this amount of time is somewhat impractical and hence the use of a tennis elbow support to get a player returning to action faster.. It works by reducing the tension on the muscles attached to the lateral epicondyle to reduce the effects of the condition, with inflammation and pain being the main symptoms.
The support sits beneath the elbow joint and allows a patient to apply varying degrees of compression depending on the severity of the injury and personal preference. Whilst a tennis elbow support should be used as a part of your overall treatment programme, should the condition fail to subside then it would be advisable to speak with a clinically professional as further treatment may be required.
What is a back support?
Back injuries are common in tennis, most recently costing Nadal a chance to pick up his 14th grand slam title. To his credit he refused to give up and concede with a physio working to relax his back but clear to see that back injuries can have a huge impact on a professional tennis player. The twisting nature of the game puts an enormous amount of pressure on the back and it is overuse in this area which can lead to injury.. Andy Murray also sustained a back injury last year requiring surgery and resulting in him missing the remainder of the season.
The lower back or lumbar region is the area most commonly affected by injury, either through muscle strains or trapped nerves. This can lead to stiffness and affect mobility from walking to bending even getting in and out of the car.. The severity of an injury will dictate the course of treatment offered, though it is advisable to rest for a few days and should the condition fail to show signs of improvement then you should speak with a clinician for a professional diagnosis..
The purpose of a back support is to apply compression to the affected area of the back, allowing them to remain active for longer through reduced inflammation.. It can help a patient during their daily activities and work in conjunction with their overall treatment programme in allowing them to remain active for longer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Regis reviews injury rehabilitation through the use of braces and supports for the management of sports injuries. He focusses on the use of a back support in the management of back injuries sustained form playing tennis.