Rodger Federer Tweaked His Lower Back While Playing Ivan Dodig; Here’s Why.
Roger Federer tweaked his back during his win over Ivan Dodig at Indian Wells, but says he thinks he’ll be fine, and adds that these types of injuries are common on the tour.
This was not the first time though. Federer recalled when he pulled out of his quarterfinal match against James Blake with a back injury at the 2008 Paris Masters, which was the first time he had pulled out prior to match after he had already began playing an event. Read more about this story here. Read on to find out why we believe he has biomechanical traits that make him likely to have future back and leg problems.
Roger Federer is possibly the greatest tennis player, who has one of the most consistent volley styles. He is also built asymmetrically and his feet toe out as you can see in the photo above. He is a tough subject because most photos of him show him in active play rather than standing casually. According to Rothbart’s model which is referenced in the book, Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain, when the foot turns out, the shoulder rolls forward (see how in each of these photo’s, his right shoulder falls forward. This is a normal compensation according to Rothbart’s model of bio implosion where the shoulder will roll in as compensation for a foot that toes out. When this happens (it is an inherited trait, so he was always built this way), the myofascia on that side will respond in kind and form differently than it would on the other side which toes out less. This form of foot overpronation when symmetrical may cause some flexibility issues in the lower back and legs secondarily affecting the upper back.
Roger is not very asymmetrical though, which means he will have some issues (as you have read, he does) but they can be controlled with foot orthotics to level the hips and improve symmetry. Tennis players at his level are incredible athletes and unlike us, they hit all balls hard and fast with serve speeds exceeding 110 mph. It stands to reason that even though he is in great shape, any mild asymmetry in an elite tennis player like Rodger is can have those mild problems amplified to where they will tighten and lock up and distort the the lower and even the upper back and pelvis resulting in pain as we read about in this news report as well as that disappointing game with the missed shots. I am sure because of who he is, he has a team of people who help him physically train and win including personal trainers.
Rodger, if you are listening, I have a couple of suggestions for you.
1. If you do not wear them already, foot orthotics can improve your game and reduce the likelihood of injury.
2. Foam rolling you will find quite helpful before a match. While many of the athletes do have Kinesio Tape applied, nothing prevents pain during a match more than flexibility and the foam roller can help.
3. A good chiropractor, preferably someone who does myofascial release.
4. Good tennis play and conditioning. Here is a site that offers training like this.
What do you think? As always, I value your opinions.