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View Full Version : Ouch...... knee pain.... common for S&V?


dozu
08-19-2004, 06:50 AM
Tons of S&V this summer, averaged 6 sets a week plus light hitting of 6 hours/week.

Since 3 weeks ago both knees are getting bad, pain just below the knee cap, hurts the most when trying to stop forward momentum.

I am quite sure this is caused by the split step after serve.

age 36.

Is this a common problem for s&v players? maybe it's a myth that one should play more S&V while getting old. The side to side moves along the baseline didn't give me this much knee pain before.

Or is there something wrong in my split step. I went back to some McEnroe and Henman clips and seems even though they split step they don't appear to slow down the forward movement much at all, hence not putting too much pressure on the knees.

Hardcourts obviously is a major factor, there is no give in every stop and go. Maybe it's time to do exclusively clay.

kevhen
08-19-2004, 07:09 AM
Maybe you come down too hard on your split step and need to be more light on your feet when you split. Seems like the top pros split but it's not really a hard jumpstop, but more of a temporary transition touch (hop) before moving on. My volley sucks compared to the rest of my game or I would S&V more.

ferreira
08-19-2004, 12:40 PM
My volley sucks compared to the rest of my game or I would S&V more.
Lucky you. MY volley sucks, but compared to the rest of my game, it rules. That is why I S&V!! :lol:
Just kidding (I hope). I'm just coming out of a minor slump, therefore the rant.
Dozu, I haven't had much trouble with my knees. Like kevhen said, maybe you're not light enough on the split step. You should avoid landing on your heels, since it transmits a lot of shock to the knees.

Bungalo Bill
08-19-2004, 01:37 PM
Tons of S&V this summer, averaged 6 sets a week plus light hitting of 6 hours/week.

Since 3 weeks ago both knees are getting bad, pain just below the knee cap, hurts the most when trying to stop forward momentum.

I am quite sure this is caused by the split step after serve.

age 36.

Is this a common problem for s&v players? maybe it's a myth that one should play more S&V while getting old. The side to side moves along the baseline didn't give me this much knee pain before.

Or is there something wrong in my split step. I went back to some McEnroe and Henman clips and seems even though they split step they don't appear to slow down the forward movement much at all, hence not putting too much pressure on the knees.

Hardcourts obviously is a major factor, there is no give in every stop and go. Maybe it's time to do exclusively clay.

Sounds like "runners" knee. Chaffing of the cartlidge under the knee cap. Otherwise known as Chondromalacia and recently known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. I have it when I overtrain and I used to get it a lot when I did triathlons. Sometimes so bad that my knee would swell up and I could barely bend my knee.

Age is a factor and you're right about that age that it starts to become more noticable. As we get older the cartlidge softens - sorry. Read all about it here and continue learning more about it.

http://www.drpribut.com/sports/spknees.html

dozu
08-19-2004, 07:49 PM
Bill how did you recover from it?

medicines? rehab excercises? or just rest?

good article by the way.. thx... getting started with straight leg lifts today.

doubletrouble
08-19-2004, 08:31 PM
dozu
I am an over the hil......... err....over 50 S&V player and like you suffered the same kind of pain. Here's what I found that helped me.

First took a break from S&V and worked on my baseline game. Couldn't quit playing altogether and I think it is the stopping of forward motion that is the cause the problem.

Next did the leg exercises lighter weights higher reps to strengthen the knee. Now I make sure I thoroughly warm up before I hit the courts. I'll either bike to the courts or jog lightly before getting on the courts. Lastly I picked up a pair of neoprene knee supports the warmth seems to help.

Now I play relatively pain free ... after 50 you are never completely pain free. :lol:

Bungalo Bill
08-19-2004, 10:59 PM
http://www.ourfootdoctor.com/images/runnersknee1.gif

These steps will help improve this issue: It may not be perfectly solved as in my case. For instance, the other day, I went for a jog on soft grass on the inside of a track (I dont jog on cement, dirt, or asphalt any more. I also get my aerobic workout mainly on an elliptical machine). Then I played singles. In the third set, my knee area started to stiffen and swell a little. I finsihed the set and went home to ice the area and do my stretches. I dont think I will ever fully heal. I am 45 now and that is life!

But here are some things you should look to do:

1. Compression on the patellar tendon helps to keep the knee cap up. It is not the solution it is just an aid to help keep swelling down and chaffing to a minimum.

http://www.kneeshop.com/images/qbabymini.jpg

2. I would not reccomend leg extensions, squats, etc. I would recommend what I did in physical therapy. When you contract the lower thigh muscles try and contract the inner lower thigh muscle first! In other words, you should see it move before the other muscles join in. Over the years our brain sends signals to fire the wrong muscles first mainly for protection. But it is not the solution and is only masking the problem. If it goes undetected, as most of the time it does, you will have a muscle trigger imbalance, so you have to retrain the leg to fire a certain muscle first.

If you feel you need to do leg extensions do them with a light weight and concentrate on firing the lower inner thigh muscle first. The muscle is in the area that makes that V near your knee cap. Fire the inner one first. Do this over and over and over again. Watch TV while you're doing it.

3. I also did stretching excercises like moving my knee cap around and around my knee joint. I held the stretch to one side for 30 seconds then moved the knee cap in another direction and held it for thirty seconds. That felt weird. But I would stretch the tendons that went over the knee cap. You definetyl dont want one tendon tight and the other loose as that causes the knee cap to track improperly.

4. The other thing I did was stretch the illotobial band that runs along the outside of the leg. This is usually an area that gets very tight over the years. Lots of stretching in this area. If you watch American football you will see a lot of those guys strecthing this area. In fact, this is a heavily massaged area after the game. Sprinters stretch and massage this area a lot. Since you S&V, you do a lot of sprints, I would look into massaging this area. Get this product if you cant afford massage therapy. Itis called "The Stick"

http://www.thestick.net/images/slide2.gif

http://www.footguru.com/FG-FF/HL%20pic%20illotobial.jpg

Other things to do:

5. Ankle strength was the other thing I worked on. They had me draw the letter in the alphabet with my toes by moving my ankle around in different directions. I also worked with Therabands for ankle strength.

6. Rest. Avoid weight-bearing activities, and keep the foot elevated as much as possible.

7. Avoid any activity that requires frequent bending of the knee. LOL, like tennis and S&V!

8. Apply ice to the lower femur, patella, and upper shin areas for 15 minutes every 2 hours. This will help to reduce inflammation. If the ice becomes uncomfortable, discontinue its use immediately.

9. Massage the area.

10. Avoid walking down stairs and inclined surfaces.

11. When the pain subsides, you may gradually return to activities; however, the pain may not subside completely, or it may return quickly if the pronation present in the feet is not treated.

12. In order to obtain long-term relief, you must control the biomechanical abnormality (such as pronation) in the feet which causes the knee cap in the knee cap groove to rub abnormally with excessive force.

Unless this problem is quickly and properly overcome, the pain may not completely subside, or if it does, it will usually return when normal running begins again. To treat this abnormality, you must stabilize the feet and provide proper shock absorption in the feet, so that abnormal forces are absorbed in the feet, and not passed on to the knee. In a short word - orthotics!

Welcome to the club of ageless wonders!

dozu
08-20-2004, 04:46 AM
Thanks Bill and doubletrouble, this will put me on the right track. and the plan is:

1. stay more on the baseline.... certainly easier to dig low balls without bending down a lot, and much less stopping forward momo.

2. strength excercises and stretches as Bill suggested.

3. transition to Golf!

Bungalo Bill
08-20-2004, 02:18 PM
Thanks Bill and doubletrouble, this will put me on the right track. and the plan is:

1. stay more on the baseline.... certainly easier to dig low balls without bending down a lot, and much less stopping forward momo.

2. strength excercises and stretches as Bill suggested.

3. transition to Golf!

Sounds about right, I will probably be at #3 sooner than you though, so I will have a head start! :)

dozu
08-20-2004, 05:30 PM
Thanks Bill and doubletrouble, this will put me on the right track. and the plan is:

3. transition to Golf!

Sounds about right, I will probably be at #3 sooner than you though, so I will have a head start! :)

I picked up a 5 iron 3 weeks ago just so that I can hack around when I take my 3-year old to the playground.... now I am addicted... there is something magical about hitting that little white ball 150 yards, it gives a sense of power! the same feel when I hit a rare ace down the T. (with my 85mph first serve).

On a further note, Bill I wish you will be able to analyze a golf swing like you do a tennis one...... I have been looking all over the place and I haven't found a golf equivalent of Bungalow Bill

Bungalo Bill
08-20-2004, 09:41 PM
Thanks Bill and doubletrouble, this will put me on the right track. and the plan is:

3. transition to Golf!

Sounds about right, I will probably be at #3 sooner than you though, so I will have a head start! :)

I picked up a 5 iron 3 weeks ago just so that I can hack around when I take my 3-year old to the playground.... now I am addicted... there is something magical about hitting that little white ball 150 yards, it gives a sense of power! the same feel when I hit a rare ace down the T. (with my 85mph first serve).

On a further note, Bill I wish you will be able to analyze a golf swing like you do a tennis one...... I have been looking all over the place and I haven't found a golf equivalent of Bungalow Bill

Yeah, I dont think I am qualified to analyze a golf swing (as I can barely keep the darn thing straight) but I know someone who is!

He frequents this board quite often and knows a lot about how to hit a golf ball. We email each other quite a bit and the man KNOWS his golf!

dozu
09-01-2004, 04:01 PM
just a follow up and hopefully this benefits other folks... turned out it's the shoes..

I have been alternating between a pair of Wilsons and a pair of Addidas. And based on your folks' posts above, it came to my senses that when I wear the Wilson pair, my arches collapse too much as there is not enough support...so I sticked with the Addidas pair for a couple of days and the pain is all gone !!!

Off to the courts to another 3 hours of hard-core S&V !!!!!!

A side note... past days I have been practising the split step without slowing down too much.. this definitely puts less stress on the knees, and put me closer to the net for the first volley, and MUCH closer than my old style for the 2nd volley put away... however I need to adjust to 2 things... moving to the side is more challenging than before, and volley on the move I need to get used to. But overall it's a good change.

Bungalo Bill
09-01-2004, 04:15 PM
just a follow up and hopefully this benefits other folks... turned out it's the shoes..

I have been alternating between a pair of Wilsons and a pair of Addidas. And based on your folks' posts above, it came to my senses that when I wear the Wilson pair, my arches collapse too much as there is not enough support...so I sticked with the Addidas pair for a couple of days and the pain is all gone !!!

Off to the courts to another 3 hours of hard-core S&V !!!!!!

A side note... past days I have been practising the split step without slowing down too much.. this definitely puts less stress on the knees, and put me closer to the net for the first volley, and MUCH closer than my old style for the 2nd volley put away... however I need to adjust to 2 things... moving to the side is more challenging than before, and volley on the move I need to get used to. But overall it's a good change.

Great, but your still not out of the woods. I use Addidas shoes as well. The Barricades. I have orthotics in them to help with my over pronation. Tennis shoes for some reason are still in the dark ages in providing supination and pronations support. I use MY SOLE ORTHOTICS. Check it out, they really improve the arch support but make the shoe a tad heavier. I didnt care because I would rather postpone our golf date.

http://www.orthoxpress.com/foot/08-011f.html?OVRAW=sole%20orthotics&OVKEY=sole%20orth otics&OVMTC=standard

If you find something better please let us know.

finchy
09-01-2004, 05:00 PM
this is bad.... im only 15 and i'm starting to get these pains. mostly when im running after a ball and have to change directions. i guess i need to start running and lifting weights again...

Bungalo Bill
09-01-2004, 05:26 PM
this is bad.... im only 15 and i'm starting to get these pains. mostly when im running after a ball and have to change directions. i guess i need to start running and lifting weights again...

check those shoes

finchy
09-01-2004, 05:46 PM
i've been playing in breathe frees but i just got the breathe free 2's. hopefully i can improve my footwork or something...