Nadal does it again and wins the US OPEN

Tennis champion Rafael Nadal has recently celebrated winning the US Open, his 16th Grand Slam title and first hard-court title since 2014.

With his familiar grit and determination, he has proven to the tennis world that he is still a formidable force and now holds the coveted number 1 ranking again.

Rafael Nadal and Luke Fuller

Ace Sports Clinic’s Luke Fuller is now back in the clinic after working at a number of events throughout the US Open series.

In this week’s BLOG, we share with you what a day on the ATP World Tour working with the top male players consists of.

Life on the ATP World Tour

63 Tournaments in 31 Countries across the world

Grand Slams – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open

Daily Schedule – 1.5 Hours before play until the end of all matches are when the ATP Medical team is onsite for player treatment

Preparation of players

Most tennis players have their own typical pre-match routine that helps them ‘get in the zone’ and ready to compete.  This may include listening to music, meditation and visualization and a dynamic warm up to prepare the body to perform.

Many players require some taping, usually of the ankles, back, knee or shoulders either for prevention or to protect an existing injury.

Blister protection is important, especially around the feet where they move, twist and turn in multiple directions generating high frictional forces; and hands where they sweat and move their racquets around many times during a match.

Treatments

Tennis is a sport that involves multi-directional movements across the joints of the body.  Injuries can vary depending on court surface, travel fatigue and environmental changes like temperature.  A change in equipment (shoes, or racquet string tension etc) may also contribute to a particular injury.

Generally the players receive treatment either after their match or practice sessions.  Treatments can involve massage and muscle energy techniques, stretching and manipulation of specific joints.

Acute injury assessment and management (on-court)

When a player requests to see an ATP Physiotherapist on-court, usually they have an acute new injury, an exacerbation of an existing injury or feel unwell.

Following an assessment a decision on whether a player can receive a medical time out is made by the ATP Physiotherapist.  Treatment follows and the medical time out lasts for 3 minutes from the moment the treatment begins.

Recovery

All players have a recovery routine that helps limit the effect of muscle soreness and get them ready for their next match.  This can involve stretching and massage therapy, foot care to shave down dry skin and dress blisters, ice baths and compression garments, re-hydration and nutrition.  Sleep is still one of the most powerful ways to assist in recovery so players are disciplined with their sleep habits and try to stick to a routine.

Tips for High Performance

  1. Preparation is paramount
  2. Consistency in all conditions
  3. Professionalism – seeking assessment and treatment, recovery and good habits
  4. Being in the zone – mentally switched on when it counts
  5. Focus and attention to detail

For the best physiotherapy, osteopathy and massage therapy in Toronto, visit us today – www.acesportsclinic.com

 

 

Suffering from elbow pain when serving or throwing?

Pain on the medial side (inside) of the elbow often plagues the overhead athlete.

If this pain persists it is usually an indication of either:

1. Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)

2. Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain

3. A combination of both of the above

What’s medial epicondylitis?

Medial epicondylitis, commonly referred to as “golfer’s elbow”, involves injury and irritation to a complex of tendons that converge to become the common wrist flexor tendon. This common wrist flexor tendon is mainly responsible for flexing the wrist and fingers, and attaches onto a bone at the inside of the elbow called the medial epicondyle. With injury, movements that generate force through the common wrist flexor tendon produce pain at the medial epicondyle. Most commonly, these movements involve stretching the common flexor tendon by extending the wrist/fingers or contracting the tendon by actively flexing the wrist/fingers. For tennis players, this will likely mean pain with serving and forehands as both these strokes involve aggressive wrist flexion and extension actions.

Just a quick note – the suffix “itis” in “epicondylitis” refers to inflammation and assumes that there is an inflammatory process associated with tendon injury as opposed to a degenerative process. Controversy in the research on this topic has spawned the term “epicondylosis”. So if you’ve ever come across both “epicondylitis” and “epicondylosis” with confusion it’s totally understandable. For the purposes of this post and for simplicity’s sake, we will stick with using “epicondylitis”.

What’s an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain?

The ulnar collateral ligament (or UCL for short) is a ligament that is responsible for providing support to the inside of the elbow. Similar to the common wrist flexor tendon, the UCL attaches to the medial epicondyle of the elbow and will thus produce pain here when injured. As with any sprain, a UCL sprain will cause pain when force is applied through the ligament. A force termed “valgus stress” puts the most stress on the UCL and will typically produce pain at the medial epicondyle when the UCL is sprained. A great example of valgus stress can be seen in the late cocking/acceleration phases of a baseball pitch or tennis serve (seen in the image below). It is during these actions that pain from a UCL sprain will be most pronounced in the overhead athlete.

How do you tell the difference between medial epicondylitis and a UCL sprain?

Although the location of pain in both conditions will be similar, a UCL sprain will typically be unaffected by wrist and finger movements as it has no direct attachment points there. Instead, a UCL sprain will be affected when valgus stress is applied through the elbow, manifesting in pain, and decreased accuracy and speed during a baseball pitch or tennis serve. Conversely, medial epicondylitis will be most affected by wrist and finger movements but not valgus stress through the elbow. It is also possible that a UCL sprain and medial epicondylitis can simultaneously co-exist. In this case, wrist movements, finger movements, and elbow valgus will all produce symptoms at the medial epicondyle.

Treatment

At Ace Sports Clinic, treatment of both medial epicondylitis and UCL sprain will typically involve soft tissue work and specific rehabilitation drills in order to guide tissue healing and regain tissue resilience.

It is also important to consider the surrounding joints such as the shoulder, wrist, and even the hips and spine. Because of the complex interconnectivity of the human body, limitations in one joint may contribute to overloading and subsequent injury elsewhere. Thus assessment and treatment of areas other than the area in question may be required for effective intervention and long-term resolution of injury. And if you’re a tennis player, it may be important to have your stroke technique analyzed by our team of experts at Ace Sports Clinic to identify areas that may be contributing to injury.

Come visit us and experience the Ace difference!

Dr. Keenan O’Young is a Canadian trained Chiropractor, former national- and international- level tennis player, and tennis coach. As a chiropractor, Keenan’s mission is to provide the highest caliber of evidence-based manual therapy and rehabilitation in order to help his patients optimize movement, prevent injury, and relieve pain. His intention is to set a new standard of Chiropractic that is at the cutting edge of musculoskeletal health and sports injuries. Keenan’s treatment style is based on a combination of soft tissue work, exercise prescription, joint mobilization and manipulation, and acupuncture. He takes a holistic approach to healthcare and is passionate about positively influencing others.

Federer does it again!

Tennis champion Roger Federer has defied the odds and recently become the first player to reach 18 grand slam wins.

After about 6 months out of the game, recovering from a knee injury, he came back to win the Australian Open.

Ace Sports Clinic’s Luke Fuller was down under at the Australian open series treating the male players.

Luke’s family caught up with Rafael Nadal

Follow our new blog to receive tips on health, wellness and injury management.

If you play tennis, golf, soccer or have children who play sports, the Ace Sports Clinic team has the expertise and experience to elevate your game.

Our therapists have multiple skill sets – our Chiropractor is also a high level player and tennis coach; our Registered Massage Therapist is studying Osteopathy; and our Physiotherapist was a key member of the Toronto Pan Am games.  Come in today to experience ‘the Ace Difference’.

COMMON TENNIS INJURIES

Tennis is a game of skill, speed and strategy.  It involves a player possessing strength, endurance and good hand-eye coordination.  The effectiveness and efficiency of a player’s court movement and tennis strokes is an important component of successful tennis play.

Ace Sports Clinic’s practitioners have years of experience treating and rehabilitating tennis injuries in tennis players of all ages.

Tennis injuries can affect the entire body due to the multi-directional nature of the sport.  Common injuries include :

  • Spinal injuries such as facet joint sprains and lumbar disc bulges
  • Muscle strains particularly of the thigh, abdomen and shoulder
  • Joint sprains like ankle ligament sprains, and knee ligament injuries (particularly on hard courts)
  • Labral tears of the hip and shoulder
  • Tendinopathies including rotator cuff and tennis elbow

As you can see from the above list, our bodies need to be well prepared to withstand the physical demands of tennis.

Visit our clinic today, for expert advice on rehabilitation, injury management and preventing injuries so you can stay on the court and enjoy all the positive health benefits of tennis.