Venus Williams recently backed out of the Madrid Open due to lower back issues; Here’s why.
Venus Williams is one of the greatest female tennis players. Recently, she was forced to withdraw from the Madrid Open because of lower back problems. She also withdrew from Miami for the same reasons this year. Clearly, this has not been a good year for Venus. Knowing the types of people most professional sports figures have access to, she has likely had access to some knowledgeable doctors and therapists but still, she cannot compete. Are Venus and her doctors missing something? How much core stabilization training can one do until they realize they are not recovering the way they are supposed to?
Here is an analysis from a different point of view.
While doing research into what may be going on with Venus, I found a number of photos of her that allowed us to look at her body style. As per the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain, the first thing that is noticeable is that Venus has feet that turn out. It also turns out, that her right foot toes out more than her left. To most people, this would mean very little. To those who understand that our individual body styles have ramifications, we need to look further to find some answers.
According to Rothbart’s bio implosion principle, the more the foot turns out and falls in, the more we will compensate in the upper body such as her shoulder on the same side of foot flare rolling in as seen in some of the photos above. Body style determines function, and when one side of the body functions this way and the other does not, it sets up the conditions to create lower back pain by creating a condition known as tortipelvis. Imagine, one side of the pelvis turning one way, the other side of the pelvis turning the other creating a sort of tug of war through the sacrum, the bone the spine sits on top of. Now imagine, the myofascia, the connective tissue that surrounds the core responding to these asymmetrical forces and helping to distort the hips more. Since the power we generate to walk and run is developed through the pelvis, a torqued core does not allow for appropriate leverage from the ground up, and we recruit the abdominal, lower back, and leg muscles in causing us to become inflexible. Most people assume that if they are inflexible, it is just normal for them. Perhaps, since these inherited traits are there from the age of three and by the age of 6 we are walking in a similar way to how we walk as adults, the way we feel at that point is what we consider normal. This of course brings into question what is normal and what is not. The answer is that there is no normal, just what we are used to and this is how we judge what feels normal to us and what does not.
The worse the core torques, the more injuries to her lower back and discs she will experience. Most importantly, you cannot train a torqued core. Unfortunately, many people try to which results in them having injuries and becoming tighter. I am surprised she has never had knee problems, neck problems, or plantar fasciitis, however, without the appropriate way of looking at her problems, they are likely future problems she may experience.
Here are some recommendations that may help Venus get past this; perhaps she may have tried some of them.
1. Venus needs to wear foot orthotics when she plays. This will level the pelvis and improve the way she moves on the court. It will also improve the efficiency of her gait and pelvis. She is a powerhouse but often, those bad days where you miss the line may have more to alignment issues than you are aware of.
2. Find a good myofascial therapist who specialized in runners and other athletes. Sports chiropractors who use Active Release Techniques, Myofascial Release, or instrument-assisted soft tissue may be quite helpful to you. You need someone who looks at you, not just your parts.
3. Once you get your core working properly, a good regimen of core stabilization exercises can markedly improve your future tennis games and career.
I have some recommendations that may help Venus get past this; perhaps she may have tried some of them.