When to retire because of injuries?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by heycal, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I'm 44 and resumed playing tennis about 18 months ago after taking lessons as a kid. Since starting again as an adult, it seems I've suffered more injuries than Evil Kneivel did in his entire career... I remember reading accounts in these forums and elswhere of the trials and tribulations of older folks like me first returning to the game, so I know I'm not alone. But man, this really sucks. (I used to weightlight and jog before I took up tennis, and rarely got injured, but now I do neither since they aggravate my tennis injuries. So the world of sports injuries is pretty new to me; as a kid playing sports, I almost never got hurt or missed a game of anything.)

    I keep waiting for my body to finally acclimate to the game and figure out how to play it without getting hurt, but it's been 18 months and it hasn't happened yet, and after suffering a right calf tear the other night -- an injury called "tennis leg" appropriately enough -- an injury that will sideline me for probably six weeks or more and interfere with my non-tennis activities as well (I'm very familiar with this injury since it happened to my LEFT calf last year), I'm beginning to wonder if it's time to quit the game for good. Sure, maybe some people can play tennis into their 70's and 80's, but it doesn't mean we all can, does it?

    Why suffer back pain, tennis elbow, rotator cuff problems, sore knees and torn calves all the time? Why spend half an hour a day on various boring and tedious stretching and strengthening routines I never had to do before just to combat my existing injuries -- only to pick up new ones every month or two? Why spend probably four months of the year total on the DL waiting to heal while jonesing to play again? There has not been a single day since I started playing again when something did not hurt, a time where I felt pain-free everywhere.

    Is there any end in sight? If I perservere long enough will my body finally get used to the game, or am I destined to continue to suffer injuries for as long as I'm stupid enough to keep taking the court?

    In one sense, it's very simple -- obviously I should quit the game since my livelyhood doesn't depend on it, nor have I spent years and years investing time, energy, and money into this game. I'm just a newbie hack. But man, how I love it so! I am hopelessly addicted to this STUPID GAME I CAN'T EVEN PLAY HALF THE TIME!!!

    I am very depressed...:-(

    Any folks have any words of wisdom?...
     
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  2. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    I would continue to try your best, I suffer through constant blistering an minor "ankle worries" but I just tough it out. You'll thank yourself for sticking with it.
     
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  3. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    how much do you love the game? no shame in quitting if it means you'll live a happier, more fulfilled life.
     
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  4. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, Voltron. Heck, if a 15 year old can withstand the slings and arrows of the aging process, I don't see why I can't either. Bring it on! ;)
     
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  5. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    How much do I love the game is an excellent question. And I don't really know the answer... It sure seems like I love it more than anything, but then, I managed to live the last 20 or 30 years without playing tennis or even thinking about it at all before I became addicted 18 months ago. Strange how I suddenly live for the game after ignoring it for all these years...
     
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  6. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    What kind of injuries ? Strains ? Sprains ? Pulls ?

    I'd strongly suggest taking up Yoga or Pilates
     
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  7. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Yes, yes, and yes. In fact, it would be easier to list the kinds of injuries I have NOT had yet -- broken bones and gaping flesh wounds. Nor have I experienced any ear injuries of any kind...

    Maybe Yoga or Pilates would help, but I'd almost rather retire -- now I have to learn and add yoga routines to my already crowded daily stretch and strengthening schedule if I want to continue to play?! Man, this sucks...
     
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  8. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    LMAO

    Ouch

    Really; along with running and resistance; seriously consider pilates and/or yoga !
     
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  9. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    But tennis messed up my running and resistance routine... The knees don't like the running and the elbows don't like the weights.:confused:

    Oh wait, left wrist! I haven't hurt my left wrist yet either -- add that to the non-injury list.
     
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  10. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    LOL


    How about the eliptical machine ? How about swimming ?
     
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  11. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    sup heycal, I dont really know what to say to you to actually get your body better.

    I know youre aware of my shoulder injury, and then not sure if you read or not but I had ANOTHER serious injury in January that progressively got my wrist very bad due to using stupid form working on making my backhand better, which really put alot of strain on it (left wrist). Its been the worst year of my entire life dealing with all of this, its so hard for me but I keep having hope, and I keep getting back up, and I keep thinking of the day when ill be myself again, and then things go bad and my hopes are shot down some days and Im as depressed as Ive ever been in 23 years.

    BUT, I dont know... something about me just doesnt give up my want to play tennis, and train hard. I guess when I think about it, I have a real passion and love for this game, and more so the beauty of going after something; something to live for and strive for. I dont even have college eligibility left after last year, and since September I planned to train SO hard to make a run at the pros, but I havent been able to do it because of these obstacles. But I keep hoping, and wanting to get back going again and train for this summer and play tournaments every weekend and practice hours everyday. Im to the point where ill be on my own and getting a job, a huge transition in life, and yet I still have tennis as the biggest, and largest influence in my life, my pride and what I consider myself as- an athlete that worked hard at tennis. Im at peace with my life and view and perform everything in life better waking up everyday knowing Ive done what Ive done; instead of backing down, or doing other things that are more fun, I have spent so much of my life going after tennis aspirations. But Ive found I just love competing, I love hitting, though usually its training and serious, I love playing with any player of any ability, having fun with them, teaching them as much as they allow me to. Thats why I want to be a tennis instructor or coach somewhere soon for the rest of my life, because I love playing this game. If you love the game, as so many do and for different reasons with different life stories, I can only say to you to never give it up, never give up at anything when times are tough unless its truly the right decision. The only way things will turn around for anything, is if you do what you gotta do to make it happen. and you have to believe things will get better, since thats the driving force behind everything we want to do well. most would say youre still young, injuries and hard times are a part of life I guess. But I say dont give up hope, and continue to play the game you enjoy. Do the rehabd, see the doctors, and think about how much youll appreciate playing and feeling healthy. Right now, appreciate the health and fortune you do have already, because things can always be worse and can always get worse. Think about how someday youll be back playing healthy, and playing well, loving every minute of it. That moment is going to be a sweet moment. I know I miss when I was healthy and playing care-free, and I keep hoping it will be that way again soon, so I can finish out my most competitive phase of this game on the right note.
     
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  12. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    You're right about things always being able to get worse than they are. I remember when I was warming up for my match on Saturday night and doing all these tedious stretches and strengthening exercises and thinking to myself, "Man having to do all this stuff before a match sucks" -- little did I know something that sucked even more was in store for me that evening. But in the bigger picture, a calf tear that sidelines me for 6-8 weeks is better than a broken leg or a knee injury that requires surgery.

    In any case, I wish you the best of luck with your own troubles, Tonlars. I can see tennis means a lot to you and your love of the game really comes through in your post, so hang in there, and I bet your youth and drive will keep you in the game for many years to come.
     
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  13. Bab06

    Bab06 Guest

    Before you retire, try everything you can. Try getting 1 gallon water daily, 1g protein per pound bodyweight (at a minimum), fish oil, weight training, correct diet, etc. Check out cissus, its a proven tissue repairing extract. I have personally used and liked Osteobolin-C from Applied Nutriceuticals (.com). One thing thats helped me a lot when i feel like quitting is watching tennis on tv, and how it always makes me wish I was playing.
     
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  14. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    At some point, one has to wonder when enough is enough. If I have to join the Y to find a pool or an elliptical machine and work out there regularly -- in addition to the elbow and shoulder and back strengthening exercises I'm already doing -- when is there time to play tennis? I've heard people on these boards say stuff like "I have to work out 12 hours per every 4 hours of tennis I play", and it just seems so crazy for those of us who are merely hacks, doesn't it?

    I just want to play some bad tennis a couple of times a week, not spend my life in the gym or the pool or the weight room or the yogatorium getting fit enough to play that bad tennis...
     
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  15. Phil

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    Heycal - You are asking the right questions (for once)...
    I'm responding because I have had these thoughts myself.

    You have to do a cost-benefit analysis. For example, is the joy you derive from a few hours of tennis each week enough to offset the almost constant pain, injuries and the possibility of being hobbled in your later years? Do you want to play so badly that you'll risk not being able to stand up straight 20 years down the road or being unable to lift your grandchild?

    And then there's the training time-good point; how MUCH does one need to train just to remain injury-free on court (and no amount of training can actually guarantee that anyway...).

    I've had a few nagging injuries from tennis-maybe not as many as you, but I have to look at the long term up and downsides. Last summer I cut out a day of tennis and used the time to start hiking on the various trails and mountains surrounding my city. I can walk forever, with little pain, and I cannot remember waking up sore on the morning after a 17 or 20 km hike. Not at all. Sore immediately after, yes, but a couple hours later, or less, nada. This tells me that tennis is even harder on the body than other fairly robust activities. The torque, the stress on the joints...it's all not good. And at our age, the constant pounding will break you down LONG before it builds you up-but it does the same to younger guys too.

    But I love tennis and I'd hate to forsake the skills that I acquired, so I'm doing the training, as time consuming as it is. I think it sucks-like you do, but there's no way around it. I am looking for the most efficient, quickest (though no "short cuts") training methods, and so far, nothing really replaces weights and cardio, but yoga is a help and you can cut the weights and cardio to a minimum if you do them correctly and intensely.

    My suggestion is to listen to your body-it IS talking to you (as corny as that sounds), listen to your mind, and DON'T listen to any of the macho posters here-the ones who play through serious injury or tell you to drink a gallon of water a day...listen to your head, man.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
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  16. heycal

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    I don't know what's more alarming: your suggestion that tennis injuries could prevent me from lifting my grandkids someday, or one American addressing another and referring to the length of his hike in kilometers instead of miles.

    Since little can be done about the latter, and the less said about it the better, let's address the former: Do you really think tennis is the kind of sport that hobbles people later in life and leads to them not even being able to stand up straight down the road or lift their grand kids? Now, I agree tennis is a tough-on-the-body activity with all the twists and turns and stops and starts, but I can't say I hear of many folks virtually crippled from their years of recreational tennis like you might hear about former pro football players. If anything, it seems that people who play tennis for years and years are overall a healthier and fitter bunch than sedentary types, and thus less likely to be debilitated in the manner you describe. As tough as the game is, there are many people in the 60's and 70's who play it regularly as we all know.

    As for listening to my body, and to my head, this is where it gets tricky... My body is telling me to stop, but my head is telling me, No, you love playing sports again, and sooner or later your body will adjust to it, and you'll be playing for the next 30 years and enjoying the health benefits of it as well with only the occasional nagging injury here and there.

    I think the fact that many older people play tennis without problems makes this issue so complicated -- it's very tempting to ignore the people my age and younger who can't play sports anymore for whatever reason and instead look at the senior tennis set and say "if these old gals and guys can play the game, why the hell can't I?" It's not like I'm asking to play full-court basketball here, I just want to be able to do what so many others can do without devoting my life to having to train for it. It doesn't help matters that the woman I'm dating, who is older than me, plays tennis about 8 times a week, never does any sort of real stretching and strenthening, and is NEVER injured.

    How old a man is old Phil, anyway? Is he younger or older than me own 44 years?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
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  17. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    About the km thing-I've been living overseas for way too long-I used to automatically convert-or try to-km to miles-and now I'm too lazy to do that. As for lifting your grandkids, I was referring to YOUR injuries specifically, and a "possible", albeit worse case, result of continuing to play with the injuries you have, and seem to be accumulating.

    Depends on the circumstances. Does playing tennis automatically lead to those kinds of injuries? No, of course not. We've all seen the old folks out there hitting away. But did they sustain so many injuries years earlier? And with such injuries, did they continue to play? I don't know, but each person has a slightly different history of injuries/or not and has different physical tolerances to the stress caused by high or mid-level tennis. If you're a 3.5 or better and you play with "gusto", swinging harder and running out balls, you're gonna put more stress on your body than the 2.5 moonballer using the Weed racquet, who's been playing that way for 60 years.

    Not necessarily true. If you've read on this board of the guys who have had spinal fusions, hip arthritis, shoulder and knee surguries-a long litany...you will realize that as bad as leading a sedentary life may be, it doesn't cause such trauma to the skeletal and muscular system. I've read that with more and more 40-ish people staying active, hip and other joint replacements for "younger baby boomers" are becoming quite common.

    True-and if those people's skill levels are beyond the recreational hacker, you've got to ask yourself-what is their injury history and how much have they cut down from younger days? I'm not saying that tennis, per se, will make you into a doddering cripple; but with YOUR injury history, which seems to be expanding, I'm saying that it won't get "better". At a certain point, you cannot "acclimitize" your body to such stress. It will only get worse, unless, possibly, you're willing to undergo the level of training that you don't really want to do (and I don't really blame you-as you said, you're not making a living from this).

    Yep, it's a dilemma-I've been asking myself the same. I sat out 6 weeks in December/early Jan., not because I was injured, but simply because there was no one around to play. I never felt better. I was doing stuff in the gym that I hadn't done in a while-as far as weights/reps and amount of time on the bike.

    I think you do have to look at both sides. Personally, I look at the older people who still play as inspiration-if they can do it, so will I. But, I look at the younger ones, like those on these boards, who have undergone a lot of pain and suffering, as cautionary tales. Meaning, if I AM to play this game for life, I have to do it judiciously-not play 8x per week or when something really hurts, or play 4 hours when 2 will do just fine. I also think I have to be physically up to the task. I dislike going to the gym, but GOING is half the battle or more, so I've tried to incorporate it into my life in as seamless a manner as possible-kinda like breakfast, but not quite as seamless as taking a dump. Just think of it like a regular meal-a routine and DAILY part of life. And of course, this wouldn't just benefit your tennis-a regular exercise regimin benefits your entire life, including-snicker snicker-your sex life...I'm no Jack LaLanne-if I could play tennis and walk around every day without a thought to doing exercise, I would, but I can't-not anymore.

    I'm close, but I look much younger.
     
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  18. Thud and blunder

    Thud and blunder Semi-Pro

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    Heycal, have you had someone evaluate your stretching and strengthening routines, or is it something you've put together yourself?

    I ask because clearly you've either been very unlucky, or your strengthening / stretching is not doing the job for you (or quite possibly both), and in your posts, I haven't seen you really questioning the efficacy of your routines, which would be my first area I would focus on.

    Also, I have to ask: when you're not injured, how much do you play? I see some guys on these boards gunning for routines that would tax the average teenager...some of them get away with it through freakish good luck or genetics (or both....), but most people would just blow themselves out playing singles 5 times a week plus drilling, or similar...
     
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  19. chess9

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    Cal:

    Quite whining you yogurt munchin' tofu degenerate! :)

    On the other hand, I know what you mean. Except I will lose matches simply because I don't want to overstress my body running wide for one more forehand. Stopping is not something I'd like to do but I only have a few more years and I love it, so why not?

    Have you considered hiring a personal trainer for a few months? You probably need someone to watch you train, play, lift, stretch, etc. because you are still very young. Yes, you may not have the genetic STUFF to last, but I doubt that's the problem. Rather, I'd guess you are training improperly. I can't tell you what you are doing wrong, because I'm not there. Regardless of how good your training is, our bodies are traitors. They will fail us time and time again. But, the solution is not to punish your body for being a traitor, but to reward it. If you are from Cali, this approach should come naturally. :)

    Something else. Tennis may just not be a sport that is good for your body type. Simply put, you may get more enjoyment (i.e., less pain) out of bicycle racing, skiing, table tennis, swimming, hiking, running, rowing, weight lifting, etc. Shuffleboard is always an option....

    You've got a very good brain, Cal, so you are way up the scale of living organisms. :) You only have to believe in yourself and your ability to solve problems.

    Wishing you the best of luck....

    -Robert
     
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  20. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    I'd suggest to use your winters mainly for conditioning (say playing not more than once a week), and summers for tennis. You need to establish a good base. It's a good balance.

    Perhaps you're playing too much throughout the year.

    Also, perhaps 3 times a week is too much for you (I have no idea how frequently you're playing). Reduce that to your own level of comfort.

    Also, how's your weight? If too much, than the stress on your joints may be severely increased.

    In terms of grip: RELAX it. Too much grip, and all the shocks are transferred to your arms, shoulders, etc. Think of having a feather in your hand. Hold it with 3 fingers to relax the grip. Let the racquet inertia work for you. You may be straining too much your body, by fighting the ball and the racquet. Have a nice, well-timed, impact.

    Move more on your toes. You may bumping the ground (and your joints) too hard, if your weight is placed on your heels.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
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  21. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Maybe you can get more cortisone shots?

    In all seriousness, you're likely doing something very wrong. If you want to continue playing this game, you need to retool your game to be much, MUCH more efficient on court. This many injuries sustained in club level tennis is a classic symptom of over-work, brute force, and frankly poor technique.

    Look around at successful older players - they've perfected the art of getting better results with less effort. Find a gray-haired teaching pro that fits that mold and pay him to help you. The guy I met that finally showed me the light was maybe 5-7 and 140 lbs - total flyweight. He was also a fixture in open level tournaments, capable of just enough power - and he never ever pulled up lame.

    Tennis isn't like weights or running - simply throwing in more effort and determination won't bring the same rewards.
     
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  22. chess9

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    One thing I do notice about the guys over 60 is that they tend to be much lighter and smaller than me. I think that confers a huge benefit in terms of joint/tendon/ligament wear and tear. Cal may be a big boy. :)

    -Robert
     
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  23. StevieC

    StevieC New User

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    Dude,

    Face it. It's time to leave. That's why they have golf :D
     
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  24. BillH

    BillH Rookie

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    I'm 53 and started playing tennis again about 9 years ago after playing in my late teens and early 20's. In the last 3 years I've had two acl reconstructions and my share of sore backs, ankles, feet, elbows, etc. Quit playing? I will never quit playing until they pull my sun-burned, leather-skinned carcas off the clay courts of Florida (where I hope to retire someday). There are those glorious spring days when the skies are blue and the wind light - those magnificent October evenings when the full moon hangs above the court and the first hint of autumn coolness is noticed - sharing those times with the great people who play this game is about as close to perfect as I can imagine. And its those thoughts and memories that have gotten me through the two 6-month rehabs I've had to do for the acl injuries. There's a lot more to playing tennis than playing tennis and I'll find a way to do it no matter what challenges my body may throw at me over the years.
     
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  25. chess9

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    Brilliant! I have so many friends from tennis and my other sports I wouldn't change my life for anything. I'd play wheelchair tennis if I had to, and many do.

    -Robert
     
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  26. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Jeez, fellas. I don't know where to begin. I appreciate all your input, and will comment on individual aspects of it soon. But in the meantime, where's that damn guy I remember from several months back who said his body was riddled with injuries the first two years he started playing and then he stopped getting hurt after awhile? When is he going to weigh in here?
     
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  27. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I like to think of my injuries as more in the nagging category than "crippled for life" category. TE, rotator cuff tenderness, sore knees, even my stiff back, which both an MD and a PT think is not indicative of major trouble. Nor do I continue playing through moderate or severe injuries. Minor ones, maybe, but when my calf pops like it did the other night, the racket goes in the closet for the prescribed length of time.

    I'm also trying to tone down my "gusto" factor on the court. After the third time of diving for a ball on hard court, I decided that's not really a good idea. I'm also very good at not going crazy all-out for every ball, particularly early in a match. Sometimes I'll play my girlfriend and she'll hit some shallow shot or something in the first game or two, and she's astounded when I don't run for it. "What's the matter, baby? Why didn't you try for that ball?" "Well, honey, I didn't try for it because A) Odds are I wouldn't have been able to reach it, and B) I didn't want to rip a hamstring trying to get a definitive answer to the question of whether I could have reached it or not."

    The newest area I'm working on is grip, trying not to squeeze too hard as Marius suggests, particularly on serves and overheads. I think this is helping with my TE issues, as is the two handed backhand. (I'm also trying to swing slightly less forcefully on serves and some other shots as well, which probably helps the shoulder and everything else.)

    Most of the stretching and strengthening routines I do were either precribed for me by MD's or PT's or, in some cases, just stuff off the internet. And in many cases they've been helpful. It's the new and different injuries in unexpected places that cause more problems. It's like "Wow, I really feel like these rotator cuff exercises are strengthening my shoulder and now when I serve it doesn't -- arrgh, my calf!!"

    Basically, I'm doing well enough strengthening the trouble areas I know about, and like to think I'm getting better at playing a more efficient body-friendly game. I also don't generally play more than 2 or 3 times a week for a couple of hours at a stretch, and a bit less in winter, so it's not like I'm playing 6 hours of tennis every single day like some of the folks around here. I also play with my other hand about 50% of the time these days, either against my girlfriend or a beginner buddy of mine, so that saves wear and tear on my good arm (and spreads the injuries to my weak arm...) I'm also relatively fit and don't carry much extra weight around (and look even younger than Phil) so that's not a problem area, either, Robert! (I'm 5'10", 160ish). And I guess I still cling to the hope that all of these factors and modifications will indeed allow my body to "get used to the game" and allow me to continue on with less troubles in the future. That's my dream anyway...

    Why didn't you tell me? I would have played with you, Phil.:p As often as injuries have sidelined me, I've missed opportunities to play when I was healthy enough simply because I couldn't find a partner. It's bad enough when one is injured and can't play; it's maddening when one is healthy and can't play. Such a waste...
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
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  28. heycal

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    Wow. What a post! Very inspiring.

    A bit less inspiring...
     
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  29. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I know. It's disgraceful... Particularly when my galpal plays 16 hours a day, 9 days a week and can't understand how a little game like tennis could cause someone such problems.

    Well said.

    I'm from New York. This crap ain't gonna fly.

    Hiring a personal trainer for a few months seems a bit much for my budget, and I have no interest in things like cycling or rowing. I like games, winning and losing, competition, etc. As for the idea of taking up skiing, I think we can relegate that one pretty quickly to the 'bad idea' department.

    Shuffleboard, on the other hand, is a competitive game with winners and losers and doesn't seem too tough on the body...
     
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  30. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Are you suggesting you had similar troubles with injuries before changing your game? Do tell.
     
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  31. TonyB

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    I'm with you, heycal. Back in December, I bought some new shoes to help my sore ankles (nothing major, just some stiffness after playing for a day or so). After playing in the new shoes only 4 times, my left knee felt like it was going to collapse. Sure, I noticed a bit of a "tired" feeling in the knee after the first and second days of playing, but I figured it was just some minor overuse and it would get better with some rest and strengthening.

    Well, as I said, after the 4th time out with the new shoes, I had to just stop playing tennis altogether. Now it has been almost 2 months since then and my knee STILL has some pain in it. Nothing dramatic, but it's NOT going away. It feels maybe 85%, but it never seems to get back to 100%.

    Now, mind you, I didn't twist it, wrench it, hyperextend it, or anything else. It was more of a "gradual overuse" type of injury, quite probably from wearing the wrong tennis shoes, even though they felt GREAT on my feet and ankles (no sore ankle problems with those shoes).

    So here I am, I have pain when sitting, standing, walking, with my knee straight, bent, or whatever. And I haven't even played on it for months. I keep hoping someday when I wake up in the morning that the pain will be completely gone. But that hasn't happened yet.

    I keep thinking about whether or not I should even bother playing again, as it would almost certainly aggravate my knee. The non-stop, nagging little pain is just really bugging me to no end. I'm thinking it almost WOULD be worth it just to stop playing tennis altogether and find something else to do with my time.

    So, in brief, you're not alone. And there's nothing wrong with quitting. It doesn't make you a "quitter," it makes you a person who puts the priority of his health and physical well-being above playing a game.
     
    #31
  32. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Different in kind. I've had absolutely no pain playing tennis until a minor elbow issue and somewhat more major wrist issue in my late 20's. In both cases I hung up the rackets for at least a month and came back very gradually. I also went to the trouble of having people look at my strokes to see if there was anything in particular that might be contributing to the pain.

    In both cases, it turned out there was some minor inefficiency that had probably been there the whole time - but only in the context of age and changing life priorities (in terms of available practice and training time, etc.) did those things become actual injuries.

    The time-off also gave me the chance to talk to some older players about things, and they essentially told me that tennis when you're older basically boils down to two things: 1) avoiding injury and 2) avoiding expending more effort than necessary. They said that lots of guys in their 30's and early 40's have the game and strength to come blazing into open level and age group tournaments, but I guess you can tell pretty quickly which ones were susceptible to injury and which ones would fade in later rounds because their games simply required too much effort.

    If you really value tennis, you can afford to pay someone for an hour or two of their time to evaluate your game.
     
    #32
  33. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    Keep going Heycal, I'm sure you'll make it. On another note, the young don't have it quite as easy as you would think, I've had my fair share of injuries too. (I won't list them unless you ask me, I don't want to bore anyone) Seriously though heycal, tennis is well worth it, you'll thank yourself later when you're 90 in a nursing home (or with kids hopefully) that you can look back on all the happy memories of tennis. Then you'll drink an entire bottle of brandy. ;)
     
    #33
  34. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    "I'm from New York. This crap ain't gonna fly."-SAYS CAL

    Uh, oh, the Woody Allen School of Kvetching and Wretching, a heresy of the John Paul Sartre School of The Impossible Made Worse. There's no hope for you Cal. You will develop blisters and Boreditis playing shuffleboard and soon the blue-haired ladies will be spotting you points. :)

    Has your whole life been one existential crisis after another, or have you had quiescent periods of disastrous calm? :)

    -Robert
     
    #34
  35. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    God, I begged you to get rid of those shoes back when you first wrote about them, TonyB, to turf those treads and have them sent off to the knacker's yard ASAP...

    I assume you went to a doctor? (And changed shoes?) If it's just the knee injury and not a host of other injuries as well, I would try and keep playing if I were you. I agree there's nothing wrong in quitting -- in fact, it's probably the smart thing to do for many of us -- but in your particular case that might be premature.
     
    #35
  36. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, as mentioned, I'm working on developing a more efficient and less taxing style of play. As for having my game evaluated by a pro, I think that might be helpful for injuries like TE, but when it comes to torn calves and certain other kinds of ailments, I don't know how much that a TP or anyone else can do for you.

    Ah, the optimism of youth....

    But I do realize the young can get injured too, and many of you younger players have had much worse injuries than mine. And sure, you can list them here if you like!

    Well, "crisis" might be too strong a term...
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
    #36
  37. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    I think there's some good advice here-for you, and for me too. It wouldn't hurt, heycal, to take a step back, with the help of a tennis coach and a PT, analyze what you should and shouldn't be doing and approach both tennis and for-tennis conditioning with a beefed-up perspective.

    It's hard for me, on principal, to fork out $75 for an hour or so of a tennis pro's time, but I'm planning on doing it at least once. Even the best players-and I'm not in that category-need to have their strokes gone over with a fine toothed comb on occasion, to iron out the kinks.
     
    #37
  38. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    Guys, this is a great topic and some wonderful comments have been made. I have now passed the age of 60. Quite frankly, it's been a great disappointment. ;) In the past three years I have had foot surgery, major rotator cuff surgery and elbow surgery, all on the right side of my body. I was playing at least three time a week and lifting on the off days. Shortly after the shoulder surgery, I questioned if I really wanted to try to get back on the courts. It took a while. I slowly went out and hit a little. There was just something about being out there, the sights, smells and sounds. It is a year since the shoulder surgery and rehab has been very tough. But I had a personal trainer for six months and my shoulder is fully recoverd. I can't wait for league season to start. I play adult league and senior league, 3.5 level, and routinely beat guys more than half my age. But winning or losing really doesn't matter that much anymore. I can't quite put my finger on it, but tennis is an activity that makes my life better. It is a great social outlet for my wife and I. In a way, I suppose tennis validates the importance of joy in life a little. But I also know that if, for whatever reason, I could no longer play, I would get into another outdoor activity. We are thinking of learning to kayak this summer. But for me, the aches and pains are part of it. But I know my body pretty well. I'm not going to try to play through something serious. So, it is truly a personal choice. I hope to be one of the 90 year olds I hear about that is still out on the clay, slicing and dicing. Heycal, I hope to see there. :)
     
    #38
  39. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    OK heycal, Rolled ankle x2 Shoulder overuse injury x 3 Knee overuse injury x 1 Wrist tendonitus x 1 Blisters x 27 (I counted) I lost all the "tread" off my feet x 1 (actually very painful) Skin abrasions from diving volleys on clay x 2 (2 x 6 patch of skin was gone) killed toenails x 3 Minor injuries most, but they still hurt like hell at the time. Oh, and I could go on and on if you really want. :(
     
    #39
  40. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I'm sure it couldn't hurt, and perhaps I will take a lesson concentrating on this aspect of things when I recover from this injury in 2009. But I still doubt that Nick Bolletieri and Brad Gilbert combined would be able to look at my backhand mechanics and say something like "Careful, your achilles tendon is about to tear!"
     
    #40
  41. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    This what I'm hearing while reading this list: "Blah blah blah sprained ankle, blah blah blah blah".

    However, we will give you partial credit for creativity for coming up with wearing out the "tread" on your feet.;)
     
    #41
  42. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    LOL, like I said, most are minor, and kept me out for what? one day? But I wanted to fill it out a bit between rolled ankles and more filler. ;)
     
    #42
  43. Phil

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    I'm sure they couldn't, but what they COULD probably do is adjust the stroke you have in a manner that would be more efficient (i.e. utilizing-or should I say "recruiting"-both lower and upper body-especially the "large" muscles) and less taxing on any particular body part. And, consider yourself a lucky boy-if Nick and Brad are willing to take a look at your stroke. I don't have the kind of juice it takes to get those two to even acknowledge my existence!
     
    #43
  44. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    What, do you play barefoot or something? Shoes, man, shoes! I know shoes may be an advanced concept for some some people, but c'mon!
     
    #44
  45. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for your input, Tennis-n-sc. More inspiration to stay with it...
     
    #45
  46. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Could you elaborate a bit more on this wacky one, Voltron? I mean, are you sure you lost the tread on your foot as opposed to, say, merely misplacing it? Have you checked your bag?
     
    #46
  47. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    I wear Barracade IVs Phil, barefoot is not for me.

    I mean I wore down all the "tread" (think fingerprint) off my feet, now all the skin is falling off, it feels like a bad sunburn. This is because I play for several hours everyday. You guys are beating this to death and then some.
     
    #47
  48. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Are you sure you're wearing them properly? I'm pretty sure they go on the feet.

    You wear out the fingerprints of your foot by pounding on them six hours a day like some sort of modern day Shoeless Joe Jackson, and we're the ones beating something to death?
     
    #48
  49. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    God damn it! :rolleyes: I'm never encouraging you again heycal. ;)
     
    #49
  50. FEDERER89

    FEDERER89 Rookie

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    keep playin through injuries play like a beast and go out and grind every day
     
    #50

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