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

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

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.

ankle sprain netballAnkle 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.

The good news is that if rehabilitated well the risk of re-injury and CAI decreases. A good rehabilitation program is split into 5 phases below and progressed as the injury heals:

about1 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.

Treatment involves reducing your activity to the point where the tendon is no longer irritated. This does not mean to stop exercising. In fact rest has been shown to be of little benefit to the overall healing of tendon injuries. It may be you have to stop tennis or running, but you can still cycle or swim. There is a very specific strengthening protocol.

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