This is my 8th year working at the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne. And it is always an exciting, action packed few weeks, with very little time to sit down! Every year the level of competition gets higher and higher. The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the year. The players have had their time off for the year, before entering into a grueling preseason training. As a result we see a huge amount of tendon injuries, not usually seen at other events.
Tendons attach muscles to bone. The most common tendons to injure are the Achilles (behind the heel) and rotator cuff ( in the shoulder), but also often at the side of the hip called the gluteus medius tendon, as well as at the knee cap – the patella tendon – or at the elbow, commonly know as tennis elbow. The problem is that tendon problems can simmer below the surface but they hate rest and they hate too much load too quickly. So taking time out in the off season followed by a massive training load in the preseason, of any sport, sees a huge increase of this type of injury. And as a result the physios are kept very busy!
The same applies to us all. We have had time off over Christmas and New Year and now we are fuelled by our resolutions of becoming a superfit demi god or goddess and have gallantly attacked our new exercise programs…….only to break down a few weeks later. Please don’t fall into this trap. Increase your load slowly. If you have any pain, take a couple of days off and then go back to the previous level of exercise that didn’t hurt and stick at this level for a few weeks. Eat healthily and hydrate well. Recover well with stretches and massage (you can do this yourself or else see one of our talented massage therapists). And if things persist then get onto them fast and get in to see the physio so you learn what to do and what exercises you need to include to allow you to keep moving forward with your exercise program.