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wimbledon

Wimbledon Tennis – Movement Patterns in Sport

Wimbledon Tennis  – Andy Murray & Movement Patterns

Relating Injuries to Movement Patterns & Compensations.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to spend the day at The Wimbledon Tennis Championships on Tuesday, in fact we were on Centre Court. The bonus for the day was the chance to see Andy Murray play Liam Broady. However I very soon found myself drawn into watching how Andy Murray moved between points, the walk can tell us so much about a person in terms of injury and movement patterns. Now I know Andy is in very good hands with his current physiotherapist, however the patterns presented did make me think about how we can explain to clients the importance of an old injury, the obtained movement patterns and how these can affect other areas of the body.

So what did I observe? Essentially the first thing that presented was the lack of ankle dorsiflexion, ability to bring the knee forwards over the foot when it is on the ground, during walking at the right ankle. There seemed a restriction present that he had to move around, having not followed tennis excessively I searched for old injuries and there it was. Back in 2011 there was an old ankle injury described in a newspaper that had caused some issues. If the ankle is unable to move the knee past the foot effectively (dorsiflexion), then our bodies will natural search for another area to complete the required movement. This is where compensations can begin. One part doesn’t move another moves excessively to compensate, stressing the soft tissues.

wimbledon, tennis, championships, 2016, andy murray, mens tennis, injury, preventionThe second observation was the apparent tightness of the hips, there seemed a real lack of hip extension during walking, they were almost stuck in flexion. Dynamically across the court he is amazing, moves smoothly and effectively, however the compensations in the hips during a low threshold activity is, again, going to transfer load to another region. We already know the ankle on the right cannot compensate as it is already restricted, and this is a normal area for this type of restriction to compensate. So this leaves the knees, the back and pelvis region.

I continued observing, but it was not until I had the chance to see him walk away from me that I could gather how the area was addressing the problem. There is a subtle, however marked, excessive rotation of the pelvis to allow for the lack of hip movement. This in turn will increase the rotational force through the back, and even I know that Andy Murray has had back surgery in the past 18 months. Tennis is one of the toughest sports on the body and so it is hardly surprising to see one of the top athletes in the sport have a few compensations present.

The real point to be made here is related to the connection of injuries, both old and new. Why we as physiotherapists ask about previous injuries, even if they do not seem related to your current problem. The information, the secondary compensations are so important to understanding the full treatment pathway for a client. This allows us, as Movement Specialists, to not only assess and resolve your pain issues but take you on towards movement health with rehabilitation programmes that allow us to remove restrictions, weaknesses and imbalances within the body. Essentially we can help create an improved movement version of you, then you will have the freedom to enjoy tennis and all the other activities in your daily life.

 

Body Logic Health is part of the Performance Matrix team, offering movement screens to assess, analyse and improve movement patterns. We have a sports specific screen for tennis so we can really analyse how you move specifically to the sport you play. During July we are running a special offer on the Tennis Screen for everyone, so you to can be assessed and treated just like the stars you follow. Improve your performance on the court, call today for a TPM Active tennis screen, quoting: Wimbledon16 to secure your discount.

Normally £115 for a screen & retraining session. For July only £95.

Enjoy your tennis everyone.