Following the success of Olympic Gold in London 2012 and becoming the first British male winner of Wimbledon in 75 years in 2013, Andy Murray showed how tough professional tennis is on the body.

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.