July 3rd marks the start of Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Over 750 players will play nearly 680 matches at the 131st edition of the grass court tournament.

Tennis has got to be one of the most the most punishing sports on the body. It’s fast moving with quick changes of pace and direction. It’s aerobic sometimes anaerobic. It’s long, with players competing up to 3 or 4 hours over the 5 set slam format. To add to this the tennis season is 11 months long with players constantly travelling the globe.

In recent years we have watched Andy Murray climb to the top of the world rankings. Here’s a list of his achievements to date:

– 45 career titles

– 3 Grand Slams

– 2 Wimbledon Titles

– 2 Olympic Gold Medals

– Knighted in the New Years Honours List.

It’s staggering to think that Andy Murray continued his rise to the top despite having a chronic low back problem. 

After struggling with low back pain for eighteen months. His back flared up during the Rome Masters in 2013 and he subsequently pulled out of the French Open. It’s all the more remarkable that he went on to win Wimbledon less than a month later. Following his historic win, Andy was diagnosed with a lumbar disc injury and under went microsurgery in September 2013.


Often referred to as a slipped disc, a herniated disc occurs predominately in your lower back. Discs act like cushions between the vertebrae and allow for support and shock absorption.


Your discs consist of two components:

ANNULUS…..the tough flexible outer ring of the disc
NUCLEUS…..the soft jelly like centre

Discs are about 80% water based and to function properly they must be well hydrated. As we age the disc loses it’s ability to retain the composition of water within, causing it to dehydrate and become less flexible. This can lead to pain and injury.


Some or all of the following:

  • low back pain
  • leg pain ( sciatica )
  • numbness or ” pins and needles” in the leg or foot
  • weakness in the leg or foot
  • loss of bladder and/or bowel control (this is known as “cauda equina syndrome”, it’s very rare but requires immediate medical attention)

While a small percentage of people with a herniated lumbar disc will require surgery the vast majority will improve in a few weeks and will benefit from conservative management such as osteopathy.

At froc our osteopaths are trained to diagnose and treat herniated lumbar discs. We find gentle osteopathic treatment, exercises and advice gets good results.

Osteopathy has been recognised by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the NHS as an effective treatment for lower back pain.

All’s not lost though for those few that do require surgery. Pete Sampras withdrew from the 1999 US Tennis Open with acute low back pain. Following surgery he went on to win Wimbledon and the US Open in 2000. At the time this made him the all time singles leader with 14 titles.

Please call us on 01342 823722 to make an appointment or to discuss your lower back pain.