Central Health Physiotherapy Blog
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Preventing Shoulder Injuries in Tennis
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Nadal missed Paris Masters due to shoulder injury
It was unfortunate that Rafael Nadal was forced to retire from the Paris Masters due to a shoulder injury.
"It is nothing to be worried about but the doctor told me I have to spend those days doing intensive treatment and functional rehabilitation with physiotherapy," the 24-year-old said in a statement.
He complained of shoulder tendonitis and was also unable to play in the Shanghai Masters tournament. Rafa has been advised to rest the shoulder but to continue with intensive treatment until he can return to practice – this seems sound advice. Shoulder injuries are not uncommon in tennis players and serving consistently at over 100mph is enough to challenge even the strongest of shoulders! The injury usually involves the rotator cuff muscles which can become inflamed.
Overtraining can be an issue and certainly the hectic tennis circuit may have had an impact on Rafa's current injury. He has had ongoing issues with tendonitis of the knee which troubled him for much of last season. However the Spaniard has had an enormously successful year, winning at the French Open and Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Many of the top ranked players, including Roger Federer and Andy Murray have called for a longer "off-season" to give their bodies an opportunity to recover from the demands of the season. There are some concerns that players may suffer from "burnout" due to the long and physically very challenging season. Any injuries sustained are difficult to alleviate when part of the grueling circuit. With many mandatory tournaments on the circuit, players can be penalized for being injured.
However for those attending ATP World Tour finals in London later this month Rafa insists he will be fit to take part in the season-ending. He returns to training this week and hopefully we'll see him in the finals at the O2!
Elaine Byrne, Lead Physiotherapist, Portobello Clinic, Notting Hill
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