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When you see the professionals in action it suggests that it is a fast paced sport which takes its toll on the body and it can be.
Let’s be honest, if the professionals played it any other way then they wouldn’t last long on court.
But we all don’t have to run around the court animated like John McEnroe as the sport can be played at a more leisurely pace which still offers a great cardiovascular workout. The only issue this time of the year is finding a spare court in the park as everyone dusts off their tennis racket.
The type of court you are playing on can also influence the impact it has on the body. There is no cushioning on hard courts so when you’re jumping around it can be bad for your ankles and knees as they are taking the impact from the court. Softer surfaces like grass have a little more give in them and lessen the impact on the joints (but wet grass can be hazardous).
Injuries can happen to anyone at any time and if you’re attempting to play like Federer or Nadal (or even Murray) then you are far more likely to pick up an injury than when enjoying a casual stroll around the court, especially if you’re not at the standard or have the fitness and training that the professional guys and girls do.
Tennis can cause a great deal of stress on the lower joints, especially when playing on a hard court, as the impact is increased. The sport itself also involves a great deal of pivoting at speed, which can have an impact on the knee and ankle joints, with overuse and fatigue being two of the main causes of the injuries sustained.
It is worth noting that following any injury you should adopt the RICE principles in that of rest, ice, compression and elevation. This approach can limit the risk of further damage being caused and give you the best possible chance of a speedy recovery.
Should the condition fail to show signs of improvement following a few days of rest then you should seek a professional diagnosis.
The NHS has a complete section devoted to knee pain and possible conditions incurred which can help with your own diagnosis.
Bracing has become more popular and more mainstream, now seen as a badge of honour rather than something to hide away. Some of the latest braces available on the market come in different colours and designs which act as fashion accessories whilst also offering clinical benefits.
Moving off topic (slightly), Andy Murray now wears ankle supports in all his matches following previous injuries and uses them prophylactically. He is wearing a high level of strapped support to offer stability when mobile, minimising the risk of his ankle rolling following a quick turn or following a slip on the court.
Back on the topic of knee braces, in general they offer compression, stability or both and the one you choose will be dependent on the injury sustained and the level of support you need.
A compressive sleeve offers just that, compression. It is designed to manage inflammation which will also offer a degree of pain relief but is ultimately designed to keep you active for longer.
A brace designed to offer stability is something which will be hinged and is strap based, with the straps acting as external ligaments to offer additional support whilst the hinge ensures that the braces conforms to the movements of your knee.
A combination brace does both, allowing you to remain mobile through the application of compression and the stability (from the straps).
Unfortunately there is no easy answer to the ultimate question of which brace you need to buy as it depends on your needs and what may be recommended to you by your doctor / clinician as part of your rehabilitation.
Bracing is designed to extend the life of your physiotherapy by offering support outside of your sessions, working alongside exercise and physiotherapy. Whilst the brace you require will depend on the injury sustained we have discussed some of the most common types of injuries sustained on the court and corresponding brace you may consider.
If you are ever in doubt as to which product to buy (check the indications for use on the product page to make sure yours is listed) then speak with a clinician.
This is one of the more common knee injuries sustained, typically as a result of overuse where the ligaments within the knee joint become stretched following extended periods of activity which results in inflammation and stiffness of the joint. The condition itself is largely self-limiting and you should expect to see signs of improvement following a few days of rest, using ice to manage any inflammation experienced.
The injury can also occur as a result of a slip or trip, with the joint moving quickly in an unnatural direction resulting in adverse pressures on the ligaments and causing them to stretch and become inflamed. If you’re running across a slightly wet grass court and then suddenly attempt t change direction then there is a risk you’ll end up in a heap on the floor and could potentially injure yourself.
In considering the best knee support you need something which is able to offer compression to help manage any inflammation you may experience. The compression offered can allow you to remain mobile for longer and is designed to be worn when active.
Ligament damage is one of the more severe knee injuries a player can sustain, with the ACL being the most widely recognised of ligament injuries and prevalent amongst those in extreme and high impact sports from snowboarding to football to tennis.
The ligaments within a joint are responsible for its overall stabilisation, allowing an individual to walk, run, jump, which are essential in high impact sports. Any damage to the ACL can affect your ability to remain mobile and ultimately compete at the highest level.
Damage to the ACL is typically as a result of a bad fall or twist, where the joint twists beyond its normal range of motion resulting in a tear or even rupture of the ligament and more serious than a simple strain or strain. Surgery is often required to remedy the issue, though it is possible to continue being ACL deficient, with a graft of the groin or hamstring being used to replace the damaged ligament.
The type of support you choose is dependent on the severity of the ligament injury and the damage sustained, but you can brace both before and after surgery to aid your overall recovery. Where there is instability in the joint following minor knee injuries then you should opt for a hinged knee support which is designed to offer compression as well as addition support for the affected joint so that you are able to remain active for longer. Where there is instability then you need a strapped based support such as the Form Fit Knee Support, offering the highest level of protection from a soft support.
If you’re involved in extreme sports you may consider a rigid support such as the CTi knee brace, manufactured from carbon fibre to offer maximum protection against impact damage and protecting the knee joint from subsequent injury. The brace essentially prevents the knee joint from moving beyond its natural range of motion without inhibiting it. If you take a fall on the slopes at speed then there is only so much force the knee can cope with before it bends in a direction it is not meant to bend in and this is what the CTi stops from happening.
If you are unsure as to the type of knee support you require then you should seek a professional diagnosis where a physiotherapist or clinician will be able to advise on the most appropriate product for your condition.
The short answer is no.
In fact the long answer is also no.
Bracing is one option but you should consider a collective approach (combined with physiotherapy, strengthening exercises and appropriate levels of rest) to your recovery to give the best results.
If you want to lose weight then cutting out the bad stuff is a start, but if you combine this with eating healthy and exercise then you’re getting the benefits from different channels and will not only lose weight but be healthier at the same time. Exercise will also increase the rate at which you burn fat (speeding up your metabolism).
From a strengthening exercise perspective you should speak with your physiotherapist in the first instance but there are loads of videos online showing different techniques to help out. This is an important step as following injury there is an inherent weakness and what you’re doing here is strengthening the affected ligament to minimise the risk of it happening again.