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Old 06-07-2013, 11:20 PM   #48
Raul_SJ's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Jose, California
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Originally Posted by ga tennis View Post
No one would be wise to teach the Roddick serve to little kids. Andy cannot even play tennis now because his shoulder is so messed up.
I would not necessarily attribute Roddick's shoulder injury to his service motion. It may be simply an overuse injury...

What specifically in Roddick's motion would make it an inappropriate one to emulate?
Andy Roddick “Preventing Shoulder Problems"
Robert Donatelli PhD PT
Feb 07, 2011

After an evaluation of his shoulder and elbow I explained to his coach, Terick that the real problem was muscle imbalances surrounding Andy’s shoulder. The muscle imbalances resulted in structural changes caused by muscle weakness and muscle tightness. This imbalance caused joint restrictions and the need to compensated during specific movement patterns such as the serve and ground strokes. In this case Andy’s elbow was hurting because of the above problems. I then proceeded to treat some of the joint restrictions by with soft tissue mobilization techniques and developed a specific strengthening program to improve performance.

Athletes overuse muscles with high velocities repetitive movements, such as throwing a baseball or the tennis serve. Some muscles respond to this trauma by becoming tight and others respond by becoming weak. This is referred to as a muscle “imbalance”. Muscles work in pairs while one is contracting the other needs to relax or slow down the movement. (Agonist vs. Antagonist) The treatment approach must include a combination of stretching techniques and specific strengthening exercises to get the athlete back to the high level of performance that is necessary to compete.

I have heard coaches, athletes, trainers, and medical practitioners over emphasize the need to stretch. There are two basic reasons to stretch, increase range of motion of the joint and/or to increase the flexibility of muscle and other soft tissues, attempting to prevent injuries. The literature shows us that raising the core body temperature prior to athletic activities can be just as effective in preventing certain muscle strains then if we stretched prior to the activity.

In rehabilitation we use several different kinds of stretching techniques such as, low load prolonged stretch, continuous passive stretch, stretch relaxation techniques, and manual therapy which is a very specific method of stretching soft tissues, in order to over come shortened muscles and other soft tissues surrounding joints. In Andy’s case the rotators of the shoulder, which include the rotator cuff and the shoulder blade rotators were asymmetrical causing instability of the shoulder and trauma to the elbow. Some of the muscles were tight causing structural asymmetries and others were weak causing inefficient movement patterns. My job was to mobilize the restricted tissues and strengthen the weak muscles, in order to re-establish a symmetrical and stable shoulder.

After working with Andy and his coach we have eliminated his shoulder pain for the past year. Last season he won the most matches on the ATP tour, without shoulder pain. Andy has worked hard at maintaining the strength and flexibility of his shoulder. He has been pain free for the past 3 years and increased his velocity from 139mph to 155mph. He broke the serve velocity record by 8 mph, 3 years ago.

Last edited by Raul_SJ; 06-07-2013 at 11:29 PM.
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