Walking Wounded on the Tennis Court

“Sharapova withdraws from Hong Kong exhibition

HONG KONG (AP) — Defending Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from a Hong Kong exhibition tournament because she is still recovering from a shoulder injury just weeks ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year.”

How many times have you read a headline like this? I mean we all see the tennis player with every brace, wrap and sports medicine gadget known to man propping them up just so they can play in their friendly doubles match with the neighbors, but why are the top athletes in the sport dealing with injuries like these?

I mean a rotator cuff tear (like the one Sharapova has) that stems from repetitive use can be prevented! Is anyone looking at how ther est of her body moves? Her ankles? knees? Her hips or low back? Probably not, just the source of the SYMPTOM her serving shoulder. This is a travesty, the best that money can buy often are stuck in outdated paradigms. the body must be looked at as a whole, not just scrutinizing the “part” that has the symptom. Sure her shoulder needs work, all tennis players have shoulder issues, the only real questions is when will they be symptomatic or will that “problem” manifest itself as a back injury or the ever popular Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow). Elbow problems are usually shoulder problems much like knee problems are usually ankle/hip problems.

Drives me nuts! Especially when I see many of the young athletes that I encounter getting treated for injuries that could have been prevented with a holistic and integrated approach and putting more time in preparing for and recovering from tennis and less time actually playing tennis.

I know, you need to play tennis to get better at it, I agree, but who cares how good you are when you are in the stands with an ice pack (or worse!) while a less talented, but better prepared player is on the court?

Thanks for reading!

Happy New Year, 2009 is going to be awesome!

Eric Beard

Corrective Exercise Specialist

Athletic Performance Enhancement Specialist



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