What Makes Champions at the Australian Tennis Open

Kirsty McNab (Sports Physiotherapist) is an extremely experienced and valued member of the Australian Open Team, working as one of four Tennis Australian Physiotherapist for all the female athletes competing at the Open. 2018 marks her 11th year on the job.  Here she talks about some of the things that make Champions at a Tennis Grand Slam.

This year I had the wonderful and very privileged experience of working with the great Billie-Jean King. This year marked her 50th year since winning the women’s singles Australian Open in 1968, one of the 39 Grand Slam Titles she won in her incredible career. As she says, great champions aren’t just made by what they do on court, but also what they do off court.  Making time to give back to your profession, to supporting others less fortunate around you, to always taking time to appreciate all those that help you be where you are in life, to fight for what you believe in and put in the effort to change even the smallest thing, are all lessons I think we can learn from.

What else makes these champions? Dedication and hard work are everything. Hours go into the gym and on court training. But hours also go into rehabilitation. Every minor and major ache is checked out and a routine put in place to ensure it is nipped in the bud.  This means regular sports massage, self trigger pointing, pool recovery, hours of small, specific physio exercises to keep the body working perfectly, stretching sessions with the physio.  Many of these athletes spend several hours a day, every day with us in the treatment rooms under Rod Laver Arena.

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Wimbledon - What Injuries do the Players Struggle With

Gena Wallis, Physiotherapist at Physiologix, works extensively with tennis. She is involved with the Queensland Tennis Academy as well as covering many tennis events in Brisbane.  She also writes for a well known physio website and here she revewis an article all about injuries at Wimbledon:

Injuries in professional tennis are common due to the high loading demands on the body.

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Tendon Injuries at the Aussie Open 2015

This is my 8th year working at the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne. And it is always an exciting, action packed few weeks, with very little time to sit down! Every year the level of competition gets higher and higher. The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the year. The players have had their time off for the year, before entering into a grueling preseason training. As a result we see a huge amount of tendon injuries, not usually seen at other events.

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Lessons from 2016 Australian Tennis Open

For the ninth year in a row Kirsty McNab, Sports Physiotherapist, from Physiologix, in The Gap, has worked at The Australian Tennis Open as one of four Tennis Australian physios working with the women. Kirsty works in a room adjoining the changing rooms, treating any of the players that require pre or post match management, as well as providing long term programs for the athletes as they go on to other tournaments. Here are a few things that Kirsty has to share with a few tips we could all learn from:

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Tennis elbow (in tennis players)

Tennis elbow (TE) affects up to 40-50% of all tennis players in their lifetime. In tennis, repetitive strokes place large demands on the wrist extensor muscle group. Backhand strokes have been shown to invoke higher stresses on the elbow than forehand strokes. The force imparted by the ball onto the racquet during a backhand stroke is transmitted via wrist extensors to the common extensor tendon origin on the outside of the elbow. When overloaded greater than capacity, the tendon begins to break down and lead to tissue disruption, hence the feeling of pain and weakness around the elbow.

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Are you doing the best for your shoulders?

Many people think about the shoulder joint when they are recovering from a shoulder injury or when they want to strengthen their arms. But most people forget their scapula, or shoulder blade. The scapula fixes our shoulder to our body. It is the base that ensures we can position our arm exactly where we want it to go. It transfers strength from the trunk to the arm making the arm stronger. Failing to strengthen this area is guaranteed failure with your shoulder strength program and a high likely hood you are heading for a shoulder injury.

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Shoulder Injuries and The Australian Tennis Open

Every year for 3 weeks in January, Kirsty McNab, Sports Physiotherapist, owner of Physiologix, upstairs at The Gap Health and Racquet Club, is buried  under Rod Laver Stadium at The Australian Tennis Open, working with the players, based in their main changing room.

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The Australian Open Tips On Knees

Day 1 of the Australian Tennis Open and I hope you will be enjoying some of the performances these amazing athletes will be putting on. Watching you will see many of the athletes with their knees taped. In such a fast moving, dynamic game, the stresses and strains these players place on their knees is intense and many of them have early arthritic changes. Tape can be used in a multitude of ways to change the alignment of

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Do you have the same knee injury as Rafa Nadal?

If you have pain at the front of the knee just below the patella (knee cap) you may have patellar tendinopathy. Rafa has fought long battles with his knees and patella tendinopathy throughout his career. It is no wonder when you look at the stress tennis puts on Rafa’s knees with his “never stop” attitude to move on court. Patellar tendinopathy is common in athletes who perform a lot of repetitive jumping, change of direction and deceleration movements such as tennis and other sports including basketball and volleyball. The patella tendon becomes subject to forceful repetitive

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Knee Pain

1. What is patellofemoral pain (PFP)?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is pain surrounding or underneath the patella (knee cap). The pain can be sharp or dull and achy and can come and go during and after activity. Pain usullay occurs with activities such as squatting, lunging, running and going up and down stairs. There may be some associated swelling or puffiness around the knee and you may hear some abnormal clicking from the knee. In some cases you may feel weak or unstable like the knee’s giving out.

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Achilles Tendinopathy - Is It Your Achilles Heel

 The Achilles tendon is the thick band of tissue that joins the lower part of the calf (the muscles at the back of the lower leg) to the heel. These muscles play an essential role in pushing off the ground when walking and running but also in absorbing forces as you land. Sudden increases in the amount of exercise you are doing, especially where there are larger forces involved, for example, running further, running uphill, playing more tennis etc, can often result in the break down of the Achilles tendon. This results in Achilles Tendinopathy.

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Ankle sprains… Not so simple

Ankle sprains are one of the most common lower limb injuries in sports. There is no such thing as a simple ankle sprain however only 55% of patients seek medical treatment for an ankle sprain. Many people underestimate the severity of the injury which may lead to persistent symptoms, recurrent ankle sprains and chronic ankle instability (CAI). CAI encompasses multiple insufficiencies that have occurred due to inadequate rehabilitation of the ankle. The ankle can become weak, feel unstable or stiff and cause difficulty balancing or walking/running on unstable surfaces. In sports is can begin to affect performance with less ankle stability and decreased ability to perform changes of direction or cutting manoeuvres. It can also affect confidence levels and certain movements or sports may be avoided due to a fear of re-injury.

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The Classic Sprained Ankle.

Many people experience a rolled ankle at some point in their lives. It can be the result of a sudden turn in sport, a bad step off the sidewalk or even just tripping over thin air. 

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Strong Ankles - Sprains and Strains

The ankle and foot are an amazing complex that mould to the surface of the ground and allow the body to move in the direction of our choosing. Given it is such a slim, small structure in comparison to the rest of our body, it has to be incredibly strong, durable and flexible.

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Taping in Sport

Many of you are I hope tuned in to watch the Australian Tennis Open over the next 2 weeks. You will see many of the players wearing different types of tape, some of it helping them get through matches, maybe preventing injuries from getting worse, and often to prevent an injury from occurring.

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Recovery Do As The Pro’s Do

Gena Wallis has been working for Tennis Australia at the Pro Tour $25,000 Tennis tournament last week at Tennyson. For these elite athletes, jumping onto an injury early is everything. Here are a few tricks we could all learn from.

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Playing Tennis in the Heat: How to Manage

Exercising in Queensland during summer is hot work! The body sweats to get rid of internal heat effectively. Sweat is mainly water but also contains important electrolytes sodium and chloride and a small amount of potassium. If the loss of fluid and electrolytes with sweating is not replaced it may cause cramps, heat exhaustion and decrease exercise performance. The following article written by Dr Bergeron of the US Tennis Association includes recommendations for how to manage

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The (Evil) Foam Roller

Physiotherapists often prescribe the use of a foam roller for a variety of different injuries. It’s usually quite uncomfortable while rolling, but after gives a great feeling of space and mobility.

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Sore muscles after Exercise? You may have DOMS.

Sore Muscles After You Do Exercise? You May Have DOMS!

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS, is the fancy name for the pain and discomfort that is experienced the day after exercising.   If you’ve taken some time off or even just changed up your routine a bit, your body is vulnerable to a few days of soreness.

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8 Physical Demands of Tennis

8 physical demands of tennis and what you need to improve your game:

-By Gena Wallis (Physiotherapist at PhysioLogix)

  1. 1.Cardiorespiratory fitness: Tennis is a stop/start sport that requires many repeated short explosive bursts of energy with average point durations of 6.3 seconds on hard court for high performance players. The predominant energy system used is 90% anaerobic and 10% aerobic however the variability of playing style, point duration, recovery times between points and overall match durations will require players to be trained both anaerobically for performance and aerobically for recovery during and after play.
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