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View Full Version : Racquet advise for a bursitis sufferer


andirez
08-10-2004, 01:55 AM
I have been suffering from Bursitis for about 1.5 years now and I can't seem to get rid of it totally. For those of you who don't know, a bursa is a slippery, sac-like tissue that normally allows smooth movement around bony prominences, such as the point behind the elbow. When a bursa becomes inflamed for some reason, the sac fills with inflammatory fluid. This can cause pain and a noticeable swelling behind the elbow. I did undergo surgery last summer, removing some of the inflated bursa tissue (I still have my doubts if this was good idea, I will definitely not undergo surgery again), but the problem has not gotten really better since.

The racquet that gave me my current condition was a HPS 5.0 strung with lots of stuff, probably the most harmful were Pacific PolyPower and PolySpin. I know now of course that this is about the worst combination of a racquet and string that you can have, but I really did not know better at that time.

I then switched to the Yonex RD Ti-50 with natural gut but never really liked the racquet (did my very best to like it and tried numerous of configurations by adding lead tape). In the end the racquet also offered no relief for my bursitis. (Although its flex rating is very low, I found it very unforgiving on off-center hits, making it feel really stiff when you did not hit the sweet spot)

Currently I use the Prokennex 5G (a bit heavier than stock), with gut in the mains and supersense in the crosses. I really do like this racquet, the bursistis is better, but it's not that I can play painless. It comes with a flex rating of 65 which is actually quite high, but all the positive reviews of this racquet persuaded me to give this racquet a try.

Does anyone have the same condition and found a solution in the form of a specific racquet, string, exercise,... If so, I really would like to hear this. I think I might have to look at something really flexy with a large sweetspot and a decent amount of weight. While I can study the specs all I want, there is no alternative for first hand feedback on racquets. I do not have the possibility to test many racquets, the only racquets that dealers seem to carry here are Wilson, Head, Babolat sometimes Yonex or Dunlop and most of the times a very limited (read only game improvement racquets) line of products. So if I would like a Volkl, ProKennex or Fisher, I just have to order it somewhere online and hope for the best.

PS. If I stop playing tennis for a week or 2, I have no pain at all. And please, don't tell me to find another sport :)

andirez
08-10-2004, 07:45 AM
Let me add which racquets I am currently considering:
- Fischer Pro Number 1, preferably the 330 version (Flex 60)
- Volkl C10 Pro (Flex 63)
- Head Prestige Classic Mid (Flex 63)
- Wilson ProStaff ROK (Flex 60)

Michael Moss
08-10-2004, 09:30 AM
Volkl C-10 Pro has that soft buttery feel and not much feedback....off-center hits aren't too jarring and the stick stays fairly stable...easy to serve with and nice punch on volley....I've used Goshen 17 gage polys and it is very soft feeling in my opinion...flexy stick with a fairly generous sweetspot...

cakewalk
08-10-2004, 09:40 AM
wow, the pro staff ROK might be pretty bad on the elbow. When i tried it out, it felt stiff and hard. Have you tried the Ncode Tour 90s? 95? Those seem to be pretty good on the elbow.

Ronaldo
08-10-2004, 09:50 AM
The old Head Radical OS/Trysis 260 is easy on my elbow, weighs 12 oz, and has plenty of feel. However, no racquet will solve chronic pain and you need to limit how much you play. Easy to say after playing nearly 8 hrs this weekend and having serious elbow pain.

andirez
08-10-2004, 10:16 AM
The old Head Radical OS/Trysis 260 is easy on my elbow, weighs 12 oz, and has plenty of feel. However, no racquet will solve chronic pain and you need to limit how much you play. Easy to say after playing nearly 8 hrs this weekend and having serious elbow pain.

No, I don't want to hear this ;) Well, you do have a good point of course, I try to atleast limit the amount of play time a bit, but like many people on this board, tennis is a big part of my life and it is very hard not to play.

@Michael Moss
That description sounds just like what I am looking for. The only problem I have with Volkl is that I just have to buy the racquet if I want to test it.

@cakewalk
Well the specs of the ROK look okay, so I assumed it would be arm friendly. I'm a bit unsure about the 18/20 pattern though, seems a lot for a 93 sq inch head and after doing some more research, I'm not sure if it is as forgiving enough as I am looking for.
I have not tryed the nCodes, hopefully I will be able to do so in the near future (Wilson is a brand I should be able to playtest, my current store will have them pretty soon now).

Ronaldo
08-10-2004, 11:13 AM
andirez, had to limit tennis to ideally every other day and try to play no more than two days in a row. Icing the elbow after play seems to limit the discomfort the next day.

andirez
08-10-2004, 12:07 PM
andirez, had to limit tennis to ideally every other day and try to play no more than two days in a row. Icing the elbow after play seems to limit the discomfort the next day.

I don't have tennis elbow, the pain I am having is (compared to the stories of people who do have tennis elbow) a lot more bearable. I can continu to play in spite of the pain, but it isn't a pleasant feeling of course and I would love to get rid of it totally. Tried many different string setups in my PK 5g (12.8 oz), but none seem to really help. So the only other thing I can change (besides of course playing less :( ) is the racquet itself and I'd like to try that before giving up on playing tennis as frequently as I do now.

BTW. Ronaldo, I saw your name pop-up in some of the Black Ace racquet posts, so I assume that you've played with it. My local stores actually still has a couple of them (not the early version, but the more recent (less heavy) one). Would you consider this racquet arm-friendly if you can cope with the weight (I believe it is very flexy)? If so, I'll give it a test drive and see what happens.

backhand
08-11-2004, 10:13 PM
I've had bursitis and tendinitis over the years, largely due to a stiff racquet and mediocre mechanics. What's helped? Rest and lessons, mainly. Equipment: PK's, 5 or 7G, definitely top the list. Old Head Ti Rad OS, light and soft, is easy on the arm, but so is the PC Team Std, heavy and stiff. Never found the Volkls that helpful. Go figure. These days I like the Diablo Mid. Old Warrior OS is also nice. Mainly, be patient. "Playing through pain" may sound cool, but this stuff can turn you into a left hander.

andirez
08-13-2004, 03:34 AM
I've had bursitis and tendinitis over the years, largely due to a stiff racquet and mediocre mechanics. What's helped? Rest and lessons, mainly. Equipment: PK's, 5 or 7G, definitely top the list. Old Head Ti Rad OS, light and soft, is easy on the arm, but so is the PC Team Std, heavy and stiff. Never found the Volkls that helpful. Go figure. These days I like the Diablo Mid. Old Warrior OS is also nice. Mainly, be patient. "Playing through pain" may sound cool, but this stuff can turn you into a left hander.

I actually had surgery to remove some of the infected bursa tissue, something that did not help and that I regret having done (seemed like the easy way out at that time). I played left handed for a month or two while 'revalidating', after a while you can hit a few balls, but serving left is something I never did master. When I do suffer from pain and start playing, it actually just goes away after a while, but always comes back stronger two days later.

So the Volkls didn't help you, not the news I wanted to hear ;) Proper stroke mechanics will indeed also play a crucial role, I'm planning to take some lessons to improve my service motion sine I think that is (for me) the most demanding stroke. I do have a one-handed backhand, I switched to a 2 handed for a while only to find out it seems to increase my discomfort (I had a snappy motion with my right hand since I tried driving the ball with my left which hurted my right arm).

Thanks for the reply!

BreakPoint
08-13-2004, 09:28 AM
Try the Wilson PS 6.0 95. It actually plays much more flexible and softer than its stiffness rating. I switched to it after sitting out for 6 months with tennis elbow and have not had any elbow pain since. BTW, I also felt that the ROK played stiffer than its stiffness rating, perhaps due to either a stiffer hoop or the dense string pattern.

Are you located in the U.S.? If so, the TW demo program is really great. I've used it many, many times and have probably demo-ed over 40 sticks over the last two years using this program. TW has such a wide selection that you can demo just about any racquet currently on the market. :D

andirez
08-14-2004, 04:41 AM
Try the Wilson PS 6.0 95. It actually plays much more flexible and softer than its stiffness rating. I switched to it after sitting out for 6 months with tennis elbow and have not had any elbow pain since. BTW, I also felt that the ROK played stiffer than its stiffness rating, perhaps due to either a stiffer hoop or the dense string pattern.

Are you located in the U.S.? If so, the TW demo program is really great. I've used it many, many times and have probably demo-ed over 40 sticks over the last two years using this program. TW has such a wide selection that you can demo just about any racquet currently on the market. :D

Sadly not located in the US, so I can only order from TW and not demo. I might be able to demo a HPS 6.0 95 here, but I'm sure the racquet will be quite different from the PS 6.0 95 (correct me if I'm wrong).