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Tango1967
03-10-2008, 09:43 AM
HELP! I played for a year with a Wilson N-code racquet (about 9.2oz, I think that's the unstrung weight), had not played in about 15 years, started with beginner classes/drills and worked my way up to Int/Adv drill classes, played 2 hours twice/week - I'm a 5'6" female with somewhat small-ish hands, and I hit the ball fairly hard. I didn't have help when selecting a racquet (in hindsight, my fault), but one instructor told me to get one with the smallest grip, and another strung it with the tightest because I hit so hard and he put on a dampener too.

Last May (07) I developed bad tennis elbow in my forehand arm (I've got it a bit now in other arm) and have been in therapy since (thankfully no surgery). I tried a Beg drill class a few weeks ago, which went ok, used the instructor's racquet, these were Wilson's and felt even lighter than mine - my mojo and control were TERRIBLE, the ball was all over the place, I know it's going to take time to get up to speed again. I was a little sore, but not in pain, making sure I'm stretching, etc., I wear a support brace too. Yes, I know proper technique is important too, I'm workin' on it. I'm going to ask if my instructor tonight has a racquet I can use with a little more weight to it with the partial thinking of "letting the racquet do the work for you", which the ones I was using felt like I was swinging a stick.

I'm so confused what type of racquet I should be using now that I'm trying to get back to playing on a more regular basis. I've had so many differing opinions from instructors, therapists, online "experts"/data ... I know vibration absorption is important, but beyond that I can't seem to sort out what I should be using. I'm not ready to buy a new racquet yet - if this will be the best course of action - and I'm on a bit of a budget/can't spend huge amount of $ on it.

Any/All guidance, suggestions, etc, would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if I've left out any relevant info to help answer my dilemma.

THANKS!

scotus
03-10-2008, 10:21 AM
Try ProKennex 5g or 7g. These racquets are bona fide arm-safe racquets.

Prince Original Graphite is great but I doubt you could handle the weight since you are used to an under-10-oz racquet.

If you want a light but arm-friendly racquet, give Head Protector a try.

Your string selection is as important as your racquet selection. Stay away from poly strings and go for a soft multi, synthetic gut, or if your budget allows, natural gut.

bigmatt
03-10-2008, 10:25 AM
Although most tennis elbow problems are technique-related, equipment issues can hurt, as well, and you seem to have some of them. Too small of a grip can force the forearm muscles to squeeze too tightly and injure the arm; overly tight strings (and/or too "unforgiving" of a string) can force you to overwork the arm; and the wrong choice of frame (too stiff and/or light) can hurt you, too.
To begin with, have your pro check if your grip size is too small. Also, have your racquet restrung with the most forgiving string your stringer offers, and have him/her recommend a proper tension. If the frame feels too light, try applying some lead tape in the handle area to add weight and bring the balance point down (this would really help if you have an ncode frame that is head heavy and light).
If all this fails, it would be time to look for a new stick, preferably with someone who knows what they're doing and can watch you play.

Go Tennis
03-10-2008, 10:42 AM
Well, Tango 1967, I'm a former professional, so my advice isn't strange. I pay attention when you said that you hit very hard. You should go to another way. Tennis is 110% a mental game. So give up to hit hard and, brushing up the ball, start to imagine your ball going with spin and also 5 feet above the net. ONLY IT.
With the time, you will naturally increasing the acelleration. At the baseline you play with total acelleration ( heavy ball ) not hitting haaaarrrrdd.
At last, but not the least, in tennis first you play with the legs, and after you play with the hands. So FOOTWORK all the time.

saram
03-10-2008, 11:34 AM
The smallest grip and tightest string setup could be a big contributing factor. What ncode were you using?

scotus
03-10-2008, 12:15 PM
Well, Tango 1967, I'm a former professional, so my advice isn't strange. I pay attention when you said that you hit very hard. You should go to another way. Tennis is 110% a mental game. So give up to hit hard and, brushing up the ball, start to imagine your ball going with spin and also 5 feet above the net. ONLY IT.
With the time, you will naturally increasing the acelleration. At the baseline you play with total acelleration ( heavy ball ) not hitting haaaarrrrdd.
At last, but not the least, in tennis first you play with the legs, and after you play with the hands. So FOOTWORK all the time.

It's nice to have a former pro onboard.

Out of curiosity, how high up the ladder did you go?

Go Tennis
03-10-2008, 02:03 PM
What's ladder, mate?

nickb
03-10-2008, 02:06 PM
What's ladder?

He means what was your highest ranking...

Nick

Go Tennis
03-10-2008, 02:24 PM
I could say, for myself, I knocked on heaven's door.
Bob Dylan was in concert yesterday here in Rio de Janeiro.

nickb
03-10-2008, 02:33 PM
So not that good then...? :)

Go Tennis
03-10-2008, 02:53 PM
No, I like Bob Dylan's sound.....

Litmstr10
03-10-2008, 05:36 PM
Well, Tango 1967, I'm a former professional, so my advice isn't strange. I pay attention when you said that you hit very hard. You should go to another way. Tennis is 110% a mental game. So give up to hit hard and, brushing up the ball, start to imagine your ball going with spin and also 5 feet above the net. ONLY IT.
With the time, you will naturally increasing the acelleration. At the baseline you play with total acelleration ( heavy ball ) not hitting haaaarrrrdd.
At last, but not the least, in tennis first you play with the legs, and after you play with the hands. So FOOTWORK all the time.


This is the best advice I have read on these boards in a long time.

anirut
03-10-2008, 07:04 PM
At last, but not the least, in tennis first you play with the legs, and after you play with the hands. So FOOTWORK all the time.

I just love this part ... absolutely true.

Alafter
03-10-2008, 07:56 PM
Since tennis elbow is a tear in the tendon, I would assume that the tendon would feel better if it can rest & doesnt have to do any work and have time to heal up. The torn tendon is prolly more sensitive to shocks too (hurts, like somebody brushing on a broken limb or finger--the guy would scream).

From that, I am guessing whichever racquet lets you get away with the least amount of work, and yet still feel shock-less, that's the one. I am gonna call head protector OS since it prolly fits the bill.

Of course, I need to humbly say here now that this is just a possibility and also racquet mayhaps is only a partial solution and perhaps not even at all, since i dont know you, your personal life, how you play, etc. "Least amount of work" is so subjective to many other factors it would be impossible to help you determine that.

What does your doctor say about your elbow? I went to the doc too--my wrist began to hurt a bit, and rather than letting it become chronic, I've stayed off courts for 4 wks now and regularly having my doctor check my wrist. I dont think I will go back to the court until it fully heals--which in my case apparently it can (according to doc).

TNT16
03-11-2008, 05:28 AM
HELP! I played for a year with a Wilson N-code racquet (about 9.2oz, I think that's the unstrung weight), had not played in about 15 years, started with beginner classes/drills and worked my way up to Int/Adv drill classes, played 2 hours twice/week - I'm a 5'6" female with somewhat small-ish hands, and I hit the ball fairly hard. I didn't have help when selecting a racquet (in hindsight, my fault), but one instructor told me to get one with the smallest grip, and another strung it with the tightest because I hit so hard and he put on a dampener too.

Last May (07) I developed bad tennis elbow in my forehand arm (I've got it a bit now in other arm) and have been in therapy since (thankfully no surgery). I tried a Beg drill class a few weeks ago, which went ok, used the instructor's racquet, these were Wilson's and felt even lighter than mine - my mojo and control were TERRIBLE, the ball was all over the place, I know it's going to take time to get up to speed again. I was a little sore, but not in pain, making sure I'm stretching, etc., I wear a support brace too. Yes, I know proper technique is important too, I'm workin' on it. I'm going to ask if my instructor tonight has a racquet I can use with a little more weight to it with the partial thinking of "letting the racquet do the work for you", which the ones I was using felt like I was swinging a stick.

I'm so confused what type of racquet I should be using now that I'm trying to get back to playing on a more regular basis. I've had so many differing opinions from instructors, therapists, online "experts"/data ... I know vibration absorption is important, but beyond that I can't seem to sort out what I should be using. I'm not ready to buy a new racquet yet - if this will be the best course of action - and I'm on a bit of a budget/can't spend huge amount of $ on it.

Any/All guidance, suggestions, etc, would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if I've left out any relevant info to help answer my dilemma.

THANKS!

Here are some thoughts:

1. At 5'6 being a fairly hard hitter, the really light racquets could make things worse. Perhaps you want to try something in the low 10 oz range

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCWILSON-KZENT.html

or

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCWILSON-KSURGE.html

Budget - try to demo these and other racquets until you find the one you like, then look for a used one of them on these boards or on the auction site.

2. Definitely small grip - but not too small - there should be enough room for one finger (not two) between your fingertips and your palm as you hold the racquet.

3. *Low* string tension - try high 40s to low 50s.

4. Soft strings (as mentioned), multifilament . . . something like Technifibre NRG2 or Gamma TNT2 would work (or other similar strings).

5. You mention your forehand arm - where exactly does it hurt? On the inside of your arm or on the outside? As mentioned in other posts here you should have someone look at your technique - there could be a hitch in your stroke(s).

6. What causes pain? Which stroke specifically (or most)? At what stage? Try to narrow down what exactly is causing pain and combine that with #5 above.

7. Rest - if the pain is really noticeable you may want to take a few weeks off; unfortunately that is the best remedy.

8. TE is an INFLAMMATION of the tendon -- so treat it as such; you need to baby it. Ice it and then keep it warm with a neoprene or similar brace. You may also use an Ibuprofen lotion (I forget brand but it helps).

All this based on experience - hope it helps you.

TNT16
03-11-2008, 05:30 AM
Forgot to mention:

String gauge - the thinner the better but definitely no 15 gauge.

Fresh string job - do not play an entire season with the same strings.

Tango1967
03-13-2008, 06:25 AM
THANKS everyone for all the feedback, it does help but also adds to the confusion because again differing opinions, but overall I think I get the idea.

To answer or re-answer some questions posed:

When the TE hit last May, I stopped playing immediately. Did the whole "RICE" for about 2 mos, then started therapy with a chiropractor once a week, he's helped a lot, I would say I'm about 90-95% better now. My chiro has done a variety of treatments on me and doesn't think I have nerve damage. At the beginning it hurt like !@#$%^. I did not played AT ALL for 10 mos until about a month ago when I played once, and just played again on 3/10. During that time I babied my arm and as a result, develop a little TE in my left arm from overcompensating.

I know my technique is off and really working on it, and I'm not purposely trying to hit the ball hard (ok, sometimes I just want to crunch it!). When I played this last time, I used a little heavier racquet and it was better. I was not in pain and played for an hour. My arm has been sore-ish and stiff, but not too bad. Most of the pain/stiffness now is the muscle on top near elbow, the shooting pain in my elbow is basically gone (YAY!).

As I said before, I'm getting back to it SLOWLY, only playing once a week in a beginners drill class to see how I do. And I do wear a brace during class.

I can't remember which N-code my racquet is, maybe 4 or 6, I bought it about 2yrs ago at a sporting goods store (I know), but I'm in Chicago, not a lot of options here and on a budget.

Again, the problem I face is one instructor says one thing and another something different. A pro at a shop will probably saying something else. I will continue to borrow my instructor's racquet for now before investing in something. And he's being conscious of my TE and how I'm doing, as is my chiro who I'm still being treated by.

Thanks!

fuzz nation
03-13-2008, 12:42 PM
All I can think of is trying to hit a soccer ball any distance with a whiffle ball bat - your racquet being the bat. I'm not going to tell you to go out and get racquets as heavy as mine, but I'd definately encourage you to try some heavier gear, especially since you like to lean on some of your shots. If you get better, you'll eventually want a heavier, more stable frame anyway.

I don't think that an 11 oz racquet like the Dunlop M-Fil 300 or the Head Liquidmetal Radical would be too much for you to deal with and inexpensive 2nd hand frames are in the classifieds here all the time. Try a few heavier sticks out as your TE heals up and see what you might be comfortable with.

Robbnc
03-13-2008, 01:00 PM
Man , before you ever layoff tennis for 10 months again you should read
my thread on PRP under Health and Fitness. No one seems to believe me
but there is really no need to waste that much time on TE anymore.

TNT16
03-13-2008, 01:08 PM
Man , before you ever layoff tennis for 10 months again you should read
my thread on PRP under Health and Fitness. No one seems to believe me
but there is really no need to waste that much time on TE anymore.

Found your thread on PRP. Thanks!
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=179998

timsims
03-13-2008, 07:21 PM
I have mention again the Pro Kennex 5g or 7g. I'm speaking from personal experience. The 5g helped me get through my tennis elbow battle in 2006. I've stayed with heavier, higher flex, head light racquets and my tennis elbow has not returned. I'm currently playing with a 330 gram Vantage. But the 5g holds a special place in my heart.

There's lots of advice out there, I'd give more credence to those who've had actual experience. I continue to be amazed by the number of players who expect a heavier racquet to give them tennis elbow.

aF.
03-14-2008, 04:19 AM
I am not, but I'll tell what worked for me.

Background:
> I was 49 when I developed tennis elbow (couldn't even lift a glass of water...)
> not a "near-pro" player, but intense player with a very heavy serve
> followed all advices (lighter racket, smaller grip, bigger head, etc.) coupled with intense physio, nothing worked
> decide to “educate” myself without so much (and expensive) advice

Methodology:

> two sessions of acupuncture (yes, just two) and immediate pain relief
> came back to my original grip (4 ˝)
> heavier racket (it’s just a matter of mass = it will absorb more vibration and your arm will suffer less)
> smaller head (if you hit off center with a bigger head, the momentum generated is stronger than with a small head and your arm will have to cope with extra effort)
> thinner strings (Luxilon 18 )
> lower string tension

and Result:

> have been playing 3+ times a week, 2/3 hours at the time for the past 18 months with absolutely NO PAIN.
> my sister is 53 (and a stronger player than me) and went through exactly the same process and has been playing for 12 months with no pain

I am not into alternative medicines, but acupuncture really helped where normal medicine (RICE + plenty of physio + pain killers) did nothing at all.

By the way, me and my sister went to totally different acupunturists (in fact, in different continents!!).

Hope this helped (although I know most “experts” will say I am crazy!)

TNT16
03-14-2008, 04:45 AM
Methodology:

> two sessions of acupuncture (yes, just two) and immediate pain relief
> came back to my original grip (4 ˝)
> heavier racket (it’s just a matter of mass = it will absorb more vibration and your arm will suffer less)
> smaller head (if you hit off center with a bigger head, the momentum generated is stronger than with a small head and your arm will have to cope with extra effort)
> thinner strings (Luxilon 18 )
> lower string tension

and Result:

> have been playing 3+ times a week, 2/3 hours at the time for the past 18 months with absolutely NO PAIN.
> my sister is 53 (and a stronger player than me) and went through exactly the same process and has been playing for 12 months with no pain

I am not into alternative medicines, but acupuncture really helped where normal medicine (RICE + plenty of physio + pain killers) did nothing at all.

By the way, me and my sister went to totally different acupunturists (in fact, in different continents!!).

Hope this helped (although I know most “experts” will say I am crazy!)

This is very interesting. Thank you.

Out of interest, did you make any adjustments to technique?

My experience matches up regarding heavier racquet and *smaller* racquet head (I think smaller racquet head helps to rediscover proper full stroke while larger racquet head does the opposite).

aF.
03-14-2008, 04:49 AM
whatsoever.

Tango1967
03-19-2008, 11:05 AM
TNT16 - I read your PRP treatment, sounds interesting. How are you doing now, are you 100% and back playing again? Part of my issue was that I was without insurance for 1.5yrs, so something like yours would have been way out of my budget. As I said, my chiropractor has been great and helped me tremendously. Even though I'm not 100%, I'm back playing and hope to get back to a normal level soon.

Even regarding treatments/therapies for TE - everyone responds to different things. I did my research when I first got it and the range of info from "nothing helped" to "try this miracle cream" and "I had to have surgery" - there's no miracle cure for everyone, just have to try something else if it one doesn't work. It was because of all of this conflicting info that delayed my treatment, so much seemed to point to the RICE as being the option, which I did for awhile. A friend told her chiro about my TE he told her to tell me to get in to see him asap, so I did, and unfortunately by that point he diagnosed my TE as an "old injury" so it took longer to treat.

I will definitely keep all of this info available because it's been very helpful. Thank you again for all the advice and feedback!

Tango1967
03-19-2008, 11:08 AM
TNT16 - Sorry, forgot to ask what kind of doctor performed this treatment on you?

scotus
03-19-2008, 11:11 AM
I am not, but I'll tell what worked for me.

Methodology:

> two sessions of acupuncture (yes, just two) and immediate pain relief
> came back to my original grip (4 ˝)
> heavier racket (it’s just a matter of mass = it will absorb more vibration and your arm will suffer less)
> smaller head (if you hit off center with a bigger head, the momentum generated is stronger than with a small head and your arm will have to cope with extra effort)
> thinner strings (Luxilon 18 )
> lower string tension

and Result:

> have been playing 3+ times a week, 2/3 hours at the time for the past 18 months with absolutely NO PAIN.
> my sister is 53 (and a stronger player than me) and went through exactly the same process and has been playing for 12 months with no pain

I am not into alternative medicines, but acupuncture really helped where normal medicine (RICE + plenty of physio + pain killers) did nothing at all.


Luxilon?

I think you would have had a better, quicker result with softer strings.

anirut
03-19-2008, 11:17 AM
Tango,

Yes, per aF, I'd recommend accupuncture.

I had a bad shoulder problem since I was 17 y-o due to wrong service motion and this pain had lasted till about early last year ... that's 20+ years!!!

Had several sessions of accupuncture, paid and free, and now I can serve without 'much' trouble. The pain will pop up if I over-do my serve so I still have to go slow.

Do it. It's worth the money.

Robbnc
03-19-2008, 11:31 AM
TNT16 - I read your PRP treatment, sounds interesting. How are you doing now, are you 100% and back playing again? Part of my issue was that I was without insurance for 1.5yrs, so something like yours would have been way out of my budget. As I said, my chiropractor has been great and helped me tremendously. Even though I'm not 100%, I'm back playing and hope to get back to a normal level soon.

Even regarding treatments/therapies for TE - everyone responds to different things. I did my research when I first got it and the range of info from "nothing helped" to "try this miracle cream" and "I had to have surgery" - there's no miracle cure for everyone, just have to try something else if it one doesn't work. It was because of all of this conflicting info that delayed my treatment, so much seemed to point to the RICE as being the option, which I did for awhile. A friend told her chiro about my TE he told her to tell me to get in to see him asap, so I did, and unfortunately by that point he diagnosed my TE as an "old injury" so it took longer to treat.

I will definitely keep all of this info available because it's been very helpful. Thank you again for all the advice and feedback!



The PRP thread was mine. It was performed by a sports medicine
doc who's background was in orthopedics.

Today is 6 weeks since I had the procedure and I can play tennis 100%
pain free. I am now hitting and serving hard. The next day after I play there
is some minor stiffness but even that's about 20% of what is was even a
week ago. I would expect that to disappear very soon.

TNT16
03-19-2008, 11:44 AM
TNT16 - Sorry, forgot to ask what kind of doctor performed this treatment on you?

It was Robbnc who posted about PRP; I read it with interest but hopefully will not need to check it out in earnest; I was able to overcome my own TE problems with more conventional methods this time around.

Thanks to Robbnc though for the informative post!

Bud
03-19-2008, 09:24 PM
Here are some thoughts:

1. At 5'6 being a fairly hard hitter, the really light racquets could make things worse. Perhaps you want to try something in the low 10 oz range

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCWILSON-KZENT.html

or

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCWILSON-KSURGE.html

Budget - try to demo these and other racquets until you find the one you like, then look for a used one of them on these boards or on the auction site.

2. Definitely small grip - but not too small - there should be enough room for one finger (not two) between your fingertips and your palm as you hold the racquet.

3. *Low* string tension - try high 40s to low 50s.

4. Soft strings (as mentioned), multifilament . . . something like Technifibre NRG2 or Gamma TNT2 would work (or other similar strings).

5. You mention your forehand arm - where exactly does it hurt? On the inside of your arm or on the outside? As mentioned in other posts here you should have someone look at your technique - there could be a hitch in your stroke(s).

6. What causes pain? Which stroke specifically (or most)? At what stage? Try to narrow down what exactly is causing pain and combine that with #5 above.

7. Rest - if the pain is really noticeable you may want to take a few weeks off; unfortunately that is the best remedy.

8. TE is an INFLAMMATION of the tendon -- so treat it as such; you need to baby it. Ice it and then keep it warm with a neoprene or similar brace. You may also use an Ibuprofen lotion (I forget brand but it helps).

All this based on experience - hope it helps you.

When you ice it... how long should the ice pack stay on the area? I leave it on about 5 minutes...

TNT16
03-19-2008, 10:04 PM
When you ice it... how long should the ice pack stay on the area? I leave it on about 5 minutes...

Opinions vary on this issue. I would leave it on quite a bit longer about 20-30 min.

The important thing is not to put a plain icepack right on your skin; it should be covered with some cloth.

There is a neoprene elbow brace which features a mesh pocket for the icepack; I found that to be best.

http://www.homedics.com/homedics/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=MW-EHC&categoryId=740&fixedCategory=

At the very least cover the icepack with a thin towel.

TE is an *inflammation* - don't forget that; ice right on the skin may make your elbow even more sensitive/tender which is the last thing you want.

After icing it down it is a good idea to gently keep the elbow warm. For that I found the Nikken sleeve the best (but beware their sizes run small.

http://www.mynikken.net/product.cfm?ThemeID=5&GetGroupID=44&GetProductID=92

Hope this helps.

Tango1967
03-28-2008, 06:30 AM
I have mention again the Pro Kennex 5g or 7g. I'm speaking from personal experience. The 5g helped me get through my tennis elbow battle in 2006. I've stayed with heavier, higher flex, head light racquets and my tennis elbow has not returned. I'm currently playing with a 330 gram Vantage. But the 5g holds a special place in my heart.

There's lots of advice out there, I'd give more credence to those who've had actual experience. I continue to be amazed by the number of players who expect a heavier racquet to give them tennis elbow.

TIMSIMS - Thanks for the recommendation. I'm checking with my instructor to see if he can get a hold of a PK 5G for me to demo (hopefully). I've been reading the reviews from other players and it's definitely getting good ones from a lot of TE sufferers (thats a good sign). Last week I played with a Head Radical and it felt better, so I think I'm on the right track with the racquet stuff. I have a few more questions please:

- If it sorts out and I buy a PK 5G, how do I know what type and strength of strings to do it with? Do I contact TW when I'm ordering, tell them my situation and have them recommend? I see so many differing opinions on this too as relates to my original questions on the TE stuff. The racquet's going to cost me (I prefer buying new), so if I can somewhat keep the cost of strings down without giving up quality/performance...

- One reviewer commented that the PK 5G was a really fragile racquet and broke it, and that a pro told this person that's fairly easy to happen with this racquet - do you agree...any problems? If this is the case, are there protective measures you recommend? Does the racquet have a warranty if this happens?

I have another question for anyone reading this - my hands SWEAT like the dickens, sometimes I'm tempted to wear a glove, but I know not to. What grip wraps would you suggest? I was looking on the TW site and there's so many options!

For those who have recommended acupuncture, I'm working on that one, just trying to find a good licensed acupuncturist (in Chicago 60611 area) - I've been wanting to try acupuncture again anyway for other stuff including this in conjunction with my current TE therapy.

Thanks...and SO happy :grin: to be back playing again!!

Tango1967
03-28-2008, 06:56 AM
- Oh one more thing, what about dampeners? Again, there's so many...

jatnut
03-28-2008, 09:39 AM
One more vote for the 5G / Ki 5 plus smaller head theory.
I was a Prince fan all my life but was forced to switch due to TE. Not even the famed POG OS gave any relief. By googling I came across this board and started experimenting with headsize and weight. Irrespective of what I bought Wilson, Yonnex and dumb-ditty-dumb more Princes I kept coming back to the 5's as after hitting my elbow and arm had no dull aches or twinges it just felt "fresh". So now Im down to a 93 (Redondo mid) from an OS and my arm is just fine. Granted it doesnt feel as fresh as it did with the
5's because Im still getting used to the racq but try the 5's you cant go wrong.
BTW If you need a bit more pop or youre a top-spinny type player go for the KI 5.

Best of luck.

jatnut
03-28-2008, 09:43 AM
On the dampner story I prefered one (A rubber band) on the Ki 5 but the mid and the 5G were fine without it. Also if youre a bit picky about rattling . scratchy noises both will take a little getting used to as the beads make noise but trust me youre arm will be loving it.

timsims
03-31-2008, 08:57 AM
TIMSIMS - Thanks for the recommendation. I'm checking with my instructor to see if he can get a hold of a PK 5G for me to demo (hopefully). I've been reading the reviews from other players and it's definitely getting good ones from a lot of TE sufferers (thats a good sign). Last week I played with a Head Radical and it felt better, so I think I'm on the right track with the racquet stuff. I have a few more questions please:

- If it sorts out and I buy a PK 5G, how do I know what type and strength of strings to do it with? Do I contact TW when I'm ordering, tell them my situation and have them recommend? I see so many differing opinions on this too as relates to my original questions on the TE stuff. The racquet's going to cost me (I prefer buying new), so if I can somewhat keep the cost of strings down without giving up quality/performance...

- One reviewer commented that the PK 5G was a really fragile racquet and broke it, and that a pro told this person that's fairly easy to happen with this racquet - do you agree...any problems? If this is the case, are there protective measures you recommend? Does the racquet have a warranty if this happens?

I have another question for anyone reading this - my hands SWEAT like the dickens, sometimes I'm tempted to wear a glove, but I know not to. What grip wraps would you suggest? I was looking on the TW site and there's so many options!

For those who have recommended acupuncture, I'm working on that one, just trying to find a good licensed acupuncturist (in Chicago 60611 area) - I've been wanting to try acupuncture again anyway for other stuff including this in conjunction with my current TE therapy.

Thanks...and SO happy :grin: to be back playing again!!

On stringing cost effectively I'd recommend using a multifilament strung somewhere in the mid 50s. To save even more you may be absolutely satisfied with Gosen OG Sheep Micro. I would choose 17 or 18 guage over 16 guage.

On breaking? I'd say this would be an isolated occurence.

On grip? Original Tournagrip for heavy sweating, WHITE Yonex Supergrap for mild sweating (it has to be white, the other colors don't seem to work as well, IMO.) My son plays with the Head Web Racquetball Glove http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/descpage.html?PCODE=HWGL and he really likes it.

Tango1967
04-24-2008, 06:30 AM
TIMSIMS - thank you for the ProKennex 5G recommendation, just bought and played with it last night (4/23) and so far it's going great!! A little stiffness the next day, but pain free, I can deal with that! I'm adjusting to the racquet as it's a different feel, but I like it and still getting power, I think it's even helping me with spin...now if it could miraculously help my serve!

I had a sales rep at TW who was very helpful in selecting strings and tension:
Wilson NXT 16 String @ 62lbs (mid-range tension) - the description on the strings even says geared towards those with tennis elbow.
Wilson NXT 16 combines Dupont Xycro Micro fibers with polyurethane resin and coating for optimal feel, comfort and playability. Wilson's best-selling premium performance string. Ideal choice for tennis elbow sufferers.
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageACWILSON-NXT16.html

All in all I'm very pleased so far and finally getting my mojo back and up to speed where I was before the TE. Of course I still do all my exercises, etc, but this has been fabulous that I'm back playing again!

THANK YOU!! :)

user92626
04-24-2008, 09:25 AM
Since tennis elbow is a tear in the tendon, I would assume that the tendon would feel better if it can rest & doesnt have to do any work and have time to heal up. The torn tendon is prolly more sensitive to shocks too (hurts, like somebody brushing on a broken limb or finger--the guy would scream).

From that, I am guessing whichever racquet lets you get away with the least amount of work, and yet still feel shock-less, that's the one. I am gonna call head protector OS since it prolly fits the bill.

Of course, I need to humbly say here now that this is just a possibility and also racquet mayhaps is only a partial solution and perhaps not even at all, since i dont know you, your personal life, how you play, etc. "Least amount of work" is so subjective to many other factors it would be impossible to help you determine that.

What does your doctor say about your elbow? I went to the doc too--my wrist began to hurt a bit, and rather than letting it become chronic, I've stayed off courts for 4 wks now and regularly having my doctor check my wrist. I dont think I will go back to the court until it fully heals--which in my case apparently it can (according to doc).

I like Alafter's post the most.

It makes sense that you need to look at how the problem started. And I'm also thinking about this for myself, plus the wrist pain I have. I think you tore your tendon because you mainly overhit (with arm only?) and did not have a full control of the racket. My .02 .

Bubba
04-24-2008, 09:55 AM
THANKS everyone for all the feedback, it does help but also adds to the confusion because again differing opinions, but overall I think I get the idea.

To answer or re-answer some questions posed:

When the TE hit last May, I stopped playing immediately. Did the whole "RICE" for about 2 mos, then started therapy with a chiropractor once a week, he's helped a lot, I would say I'm about 90-95% better now. My chiro has done a variety of treatments on me and doesn't think I have nerve damage. At the beginning it hurt like !@#$%^. I did not played AT ALL for 10 mos until about a month ago when I played once, and just played again on 3/10. During that time I babied my arm and as a result, develop a little TE in my left arm from overcompensating.

I know my technique is off and really working on it, and I'm not purposely trying to hit the ball hard (ok, sometimes I just want to crunch it!). When I played this last time, I used a little heavier racquet and it was better. I was not in pain and played for an hour. My arm has been sore-ish and stiff, but not too bad. Most of the pain/stiffness now is the muscle on top near elbow, the shooting pain in my elbow is basically gone (YAY!).

As I said before, I'm getting back to it SLOWLY, only playing once a week in a beginners drill class to see how I do. And I do wear a brace during class.

I can't remember which N-code my racquet is, maybe 4 or 6, I bought it about 2yrs ago at a sporting goods store (I know), but I'm in Chicago, not a lot of options here and on a budget.

Again, the problem I face is one instructor says one thing and another something different. A pro at a shop will probably saying something else. I will continue to borrow my instructor's racquet for now before investing in something. And he's being conscious of my TE and how I'm doing, as is my chiro who I'm still being treated by.

Thanks!

Tango,

You will hear quite a bit of 'advice' here on the boards. You will need to weed through it and 'assemble' the perspectives that seem to fit your TE circumstance.

That said, the former pro does offer some good advise on technique, and yes, motion mechanics do play a part. However, just, or even more, contributing are:
1. Stiffness of the Frame you have chosen (RA Factor) - would recommend you stay below 63 RA (the TW racquet selector will give you the stiffness rating)
2. Overall Static and Swing Weight - a higher swing weight will cause pull and extension on your elbow and not help the cause. (Again, TW racquet selector will help you with both static and Swing weights)
3. Grip Size (contrary to earlier advice, a larger grip is actually better for dealing with TE as the tendons aren't required to stretch as much... a simple test for you is to get a roll of dimes and a roll of quarters - grip them firm in your hand as you would a racquet... bet you the roll of quarters will 'feel better'. Your what, 5'3" or 5'6", sorry can't remember... a 4 3/8 grip should be a good starting point. I'm guessing a 4 1/4 will be too small and not help the TE.
4. String selection - avoid full Poly string jobs. Try a Multi, two nice feeling strings are NXT or NXT Tour (Wilson) or X-1 BiPhase (Tecnifibre), or best yet, Gut (but if you're on a budget, avoid the gut as it's $$$ compared to the Multi's and with both NXT and X-1 you will get almost the same feel.
5. String tension - a higher tension creates a stiff string bed which transfers directly to your elbow upon impact... this is where you may notice the pain the most. Use the multi string mentioned above and try to string at the lower end of the mfg. recommended tension range... this may be a little trial and error as lower tension strings will increase power, but you will sacrifice control... expect to move back to the mid point in tension per the mfg. recommendation... avoid going higher and concentrate on brushing the ball and using your legs like our resident pro recommended.

All these together should result in a very pleasant outcome for you.

Additionally - besides your chiro... If your condition persists you should get a consult with an Orthopaedist (sports medicine)... I'm in orthopaedics so I have a good basis for my $.02

BTW... I was born in '67 as well. Great year!!!

Good luck.