We are happy to have guest blogger Peter Fryer on the Body Helix blog today. Fryer is a longtime friend of Body Helix and author of lovetennisblog.com. Read on to learn about his recent struggles with an injury and how he is working towards getting back to 100%.
Tennis is such a good workout that it works all major muscle groups and tones and strengthens the body. Even the smallest niggle in a thigh or bicep can affect the overall game and prevent you from playing your best. I have been quite fortunate as a sportsperson in that I have never had any serious tennis injuries so far. Of course I have had the off muscle strain or stiff back but rarely have I been side-lined for longer than one week as a result of being injured. I am lucky and very fortunate.
When I saw Andy Murray in such trouble at Wimbledon 2017 I was a little shocked and saddened. I saw him struggle during points and the Scot was not his usual fast paced self around the court. He limped between points. How can a guy who is playing a professional tennis match and move quickly and change direction many times be limping between points? It just doesn’t tally. I watched Andy Murray Live from Glasgow’s SSE arena in November and I was still shocked to see Murray hobble between points. How could someone who has the absolute best treatment and doctors available to him plus had months to recuperate still be limping after 5 months?
Unfortunately for me in the past few months I have suffered an injury myself. A knee injury to be precise which proved very painful and forced me to walk with a limp. This was my very first non muscular injury and as I found out required a whole lot of rehab. I rang a local physio who was only too happy to assess my injury. He found the source of my pain was actually from my back and he set about trying to loosen some of the muscles. This particular physio had an expertise in acupuncture and he merrily punctured my lower back with tiny little needles. It was sore to say the least and when he twisted them I was almost paralyzed on his physio bed. At that moment had the building burned down I would have burned down with it. Having hobbled around for a few weeks and traipsed back and forth to the physio I found that my knee was indeed improving. The horrible limp that I had been sporting these past days had gone, or at least I thought it had. I used a great little support from Body Helix. 3 weeks to the day from when I hurt my knee I was walking down a corridor in work, a colleague said
‘ I see you are limping’
I responded ‘Am I ?’
‘Yeh its pretty bad he said.’
I responded ‘Well if I am limping now you wanted to see me a few weeks back.’
Since then I have been asking random folk did they notice anything funny with the way I walk. Most have been polite but told me to my face others were less so. So it turns out that my injury is almost back to 80% at least. I still hobble and I try hard not to. It is almost ingrained in my psyche, a self protection mechanism. I tip toe to prevent that sharp pain rifling through my knee. The pain I become familiar with these past few months. So a lot of the hard graft is over. The knee strengthening exercises I have been doing ad naseum have helped me. My mobility is improved and I can trust my knee a little bit more. The trouble is it is just not the same as before. My physio advises me it will be a few more weeks before I can truly begin to trust my knee again and put full weight on it without the fear of hurting myself again.
So Andy Murray is also undergoing a period of rehabilitation on his hip. I now know and understand why he has been limping and can have some sympathy as to his situation. The fear has actually been more crippling that the pain itself. The fear of a relapse, that the knee or in Andy’s situation the hip is going to give way. The nagging doubts in my mind what if I treat it as normal and then I undo all the hard rehab I have been doing? They can fill my head all day every day and I’m not a professional. I can just imagine what it must be like for a professional athlete who doesn’t have to go to work9-5 and only have their recovery to focus on. The struggle is as much physical as it is mental. I must admit I am a complete wuss and want instant recovery. Don’t we all? It is hoped that Andy will be back on court soon hopefully for the grass court season at Queens Club.