Best play-style for injury prevention?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Red Sunset, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    As I've posted before, I've just had my second knee op in 18months. Had meniscal cartlidge tears in each knee.
    Surgeon says I have to be careful about the way I play from here on out, because I have less cartlidge in my knees than normal, as a result of the operations. I'm doing physio and all that stuff. But it's got me wondering if I should alter my game style now. I tend to be a bit of an all-courter these days, and serve and volley often in doubles. Maybe if I camped on the baseline a bit more, or went for winners early, or something like that my knees might be put under less strain. What play-style is the easisest on your body? I'm 32 years old, by the way.
     
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  2. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    I would say aggressive. When you're being aggressive you're going to be able to do much less retrieving because if you hit a quality shot, you generally will know where the reply is going to be hit.

    Also, you should probably work on making your footwork as efficient as possible and losing extra weight if there is any. Continuing strength and flexibility training obviously will help as well.
     
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  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Swing as hard as you can the first shot of every point. Repeat on the next shot. Don't run for balls. If they come to you great. Otherwise, just call the ball out.
     
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  4. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Haha, nice. That would go down well with my opposition I'm sure! I think you're both right though. Will have to get the first blow in. Might flatten out the ol' forehand a bit!
     
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  5. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    You need to play far less often. With less meniscus material you already likely have some bone-on-bone contact and are headed for traumatic arthritis, which usually leads to knee replacement surgery. The articular surfaces need more time now to heal a bit after you play, and that simply doesn't happen if you play often. You're deluding yourself if you think "playing style" makes a big difference. Simply walking is causing trauma to the surfaces involved.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Short points, what I do.
     
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  7. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    hahaha

    Going for winners early,,lots of trunk twist, little to no knee action, hit the ball to the center all the time--cut down return angle so you dont have to move around to much
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Swinging hard when out of balance can lead to injuries.
    Instead, swing hard when you have balance, otherwise use short angles and drops shots, anything that makes the opponent have to move more than you do.
     
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  9. Prodigy1234

    Prodigy1234 Rookie

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    Hit aces when you serve, when returning swing for a winner unless the ball is right at you. This can usually get you one return game, so you win the set 6-4 right?
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hard serves often stress the knees and ankles.
    Body shots, go for short angles.
     
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  11. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    #11
  12. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    All useful information. Thanks guys.
    And thankyou Ollinger, for crushing all my dreams. :evil:


     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
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  13. Prodigy1234

    Prodigy1234 Rookie

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    I'm not saying hit hard serves, I'm saying that a well placed slice or kicker can be an ace
     
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  14. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    For the most part, ollinger is correct on this. However, there is a playing style that should be very knee/meniscus-friendly...

    Low-impact tennis style
     
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  15. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Maybe I'll just take up golf :(
     
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  16. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ Dreams can take a beating!! But unless your dream was the pro tour, it's not so bad. I had a meniscus procedure ten years ago and since then have played a little less (two or three times a week, try to avoid consecutive days), and no running at all except on the court (I do elliptical and bike). So far, so good.
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Golf might be harder than tennis, on your bad knees.
    Even riding a cart, you get out, walk to the ball, but need all your body parts do perform a correct swing, all the while wearing plastic cleats that may or may not slip on the side of the fairway that changes with each and every one of your shots.
     
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  18. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I also find golf to be hard on my knees since I use a lot of leg drive when hitting. It stresses my knee in a different way (twisting) than tennis does. In tennis it's the lateral movement and impact on hard court that affect my knees.

    If you can, play on clay as much as possible. So much nicer on the body. Also, most of the better male players at my club over 35 stick to doubles because of the shorter points and having less court to cover and leave the singles spots for the young guns .
     
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  19. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Geez, this is all getting a bit depressing to a 32 year old. What about table tennis!? I'm going to gym and rehabbing properly. I just don't want to give up competitive sport. And I'm a hopeless swimmer.
     
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  20. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Swimming is the best thing you can do, no serious trauma to the knee. Rehab will not restore cartilage.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Table tennis is all twisting, jerking, jumping, and quick explosive movements...kinda like net play in tennis.
    Swimming as noted, biking (not motocross) is highly recommended, except for bad drivers and traffic.
    I can ride 40 miles in 2.5 hours, but cannot run one step due to detached tendons in my ankle/foot, and a bad medial collateral leading to moderate swelling (about 3/4") after serious physical activity.
     
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  22. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Yes, I'm well aware my cartilage is gone forever, but rehab will help protect my remaining cartilage. I have discoid menisci on both knees, so even tho I've had some removed, I've still got plenty remaining. I'm NOT swimming. Biking maybe. Sounds like table tennis might be out. What about rowing?
     
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  23. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    Play more doubles, keep your weight down, and run in waist/chest deep water if you don't like swimming.

    Sorry to hear you have that much trouble at such a young age.
     
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  24. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Hate to throw more rain on your parade but rowing is another sport that is very tough on the knees. Puts a similar load on the knees as doing squats, repeated over and over again.

    As for biking, I have two friends who have really bad knees and have both gotten into biking as a last resort and are now nuts about it. One of them did a 100-mile ride this summer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
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  25. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Thanks Goran. There is a velodrome near where I live. Maybe it's worth a shot.
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Biking....
    Don't crash.
    Don't sprint until you have ridden for at least a base # of miles.
     
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  27. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

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    :)wii tennis, or any video or computer tennis game
     
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  28. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    I have had knee problem since college soccer. I am 30 and train 7 days a week. As long as I maintain a decent strength program my knees don't bother me. You must strengthen all of the muscles around your knees and you can't ever slack off. Also if your goal is to play high level tennis, you have to drop any other activity that is hard on the knees, don't run use the eliptical Also you have to maintain a healthy weight, extra weight is really tough on your knees.
     
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  29. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Back to the original question. Surely playing like Aggassi or Del Po is a bit easier on your body than playing like Rafter? S and V has gotta put more pressure on your knees?
     
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  30. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I am with Ollinger. I don't think style will solve your problem. Even if you play a 'low impact' style you will have occasions where you quite naturally go with full exertion..

    I don't care if you are playing doubles with seniors - those guys are going to expect you to run that lob down since you are still young.

    Limit your tennis to 1 match a week for a season.. Because if you push it too much you are going to have to give up tennis. It sounds like your Doc wants to you to quit already.

    Do the rehab and whatever other exercises you can find that help your injury religiously. And personally though its quackish I know I would take both fish oil and a joint supplement..
     
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  31. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Sprinting up to the net once (or twice if you fault) is a lot easier than running balls down side to side to side to side to side to side to side.
     
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  32. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Well, you guys were all correct. My physio agreed with surgeon (and Ollinger!). No more tennis for me. Cycling, Swimming, or Golf only. Oh well. Played tennis from ages 10-32 and got to 5.0 at my best. On to the next challenge!
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
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  33. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Sorry to hear that you have to hang it up, but (1.) if I had to choose between another year of tennis and dealing with severe knee pain/injury the rest of my life I'd have made the same choice, and (2.) not many players ever get close to playing at 5.0 so you've had a good run. Best of luck to you in cycling/swimming/golf.
     
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  34. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Thanks Groan. Appreciate it.
     
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  35. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    *Goran, not Groan, lol.
     
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  36. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    Yeah, but that's only if you serve and volley so well that all volleys are within easy reach. Otherwise you get nothing _but_ sharp starts, stops, and direction changes.
     
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  37. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    also avoid hard and cement courts
     
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  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Key to playing injured is your MIND.
    You have to be willing to let shots go that force you to stretch fully or run hard, and just smile and say... "nice shot".
    I haven't run 10 steps in over 5 years. I play doubles just fine, and drop a level in singles over my doubles play.
     
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  39. Red Sunset

    Red Sunset Rookie

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    Think I'll just take the advice of my surgeon and physio, both of whom I trust, and take up cycling or golf. I don't wanna be 50 and not be able to walk up a flight of stairs.
     
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