Its always nice to get asked again to your opinion as a sports injuries expert, but even more so when I am asked to comment about the outstanding athlete and sportsman that is Sir Andy Murray.
I have been lucky to of met Andy on numerous occasions throughout his career (from a youth athlete to the World Senior number 1), and throughout he has always been a figure demonstrating a high level of determination, an athlete who is constantly looking to achieve excellence. Indeed this is what has made him the athlete and figure he is today.
His recent hip injury has been well documented, however as yet the nature of the injury has yet to be disclosed, and feel that it would be inappropriate to speculate about these.
It is important to remember however that professional athletes are constantly exposed to stresses and strains which are repeated both in training and in game play. These ultimately are delivered through the joints, especially the weight bearing hips.
Added to this, tennis player’s play on multiple changing surfaces throughout a season (each one increasing or decreasing friction which creates even more demands on a players body), which in turn increase the forces through this weight-bearing joint. As the game of tennis has changed, so has the speed power and time of rally. These again increase player demands.
It is no wonder therefore that so many players experience hip pain and injuries.
As a sports injuries professional the aim is to first reduce the chances of these injuries through preventative screening, rehabilitation (focussing on mobility and stability) and recovery protocols (as well as examining nutrition, lifestyles etc.)- working constantly with the player (who is at the centre) and other backroom staff, in order not only reduce injuries but increase performances and achieve goals.
When injury does occur the decision is made on whether to treat conservatively or surgically. This is a complex decision requiring expert opinion and assessment – however both decisions involve the need for collaboration between staff and athlete, in order to rehab specifically and functionally for the sports task. Added to this it must also include maintenance of sports skills, CV and mental strength – so that the player when ready is able to compete as before (or even better!).
This is a balancing act – however I am a great believer that often injury can force athletes to seize the opportunity to work on other game weaknesses whilst the recovery process and rehabilitation takes place. This in the long term can be seen as a positive not only for the athletes game, but reduce the chance of further injury. A philosophy that I have always adhered to no matter the level of play the athlete competes in.
Everyone at Back2Fitnes wishes Andy a speedy and successful recovery!