View Full Version : Rotator Cuff Tendonitis/ Tennis Shoulder

02-21-2004, 06:08 AM
At practice yesterday ( Friday, Feb. 20), I was warming up for a practice doubles match, and I went for a big cut at the ball, and felt something happen to my shoulder. After resting for a bit, I decided to get back into action because I needed the practice. My first match of the season is on Monday (Friday, Feb. 23rd.). My high school team need me because I play doubles 1 position. :oops:

Has this happen to anyone before? This is my first time. Ater practice, I went home, didn't use my right arm at all, and put some iceyhot on it. It is feeling a but sore , and if I try to move it over my head, its hurt a bit.

Does anyone know when I can be back ont he court? HELP!!! thx.

02-21-2004, 01:55 PM
most likely your rotator cuff, rest up till the match and ask a school trainer for some rotator cuff exercises

02-25-2004, 07:22 PM
Hey there, I'm 21 and play first singles and doubles for my college team. Last year I had a very painful year. Same thing happened to me, during practice I went for an overhead and felt something click/pop in my shoulder. It was quite painful but I kept on playing. Didnt want to see the doctor cause I thought it would go away. Well, for the rest of the season i had to take drugs to kill the pain. Hardly could pick up a milk carton or open fridge door. During the summer I played off and on. The pain only got to me during the service motion, ground strokes were fine. 4 months later.......I finally went to doctor. I had tendonitis and bursitis in my shoulder. I stopped playing tennis over the winter break and im gonna play for the first time since the end of my college season on march 1st. I did my rehab with dumbellls and elastic bands. Really helped. So please go see a doctor. I still feel some of the pain till this day. Dont play on it till it heals! Trust me! Good luck and I hope you wont have to go through what I did.


02-26-2004, 12:26 PM
thanx you guys for your advise. I decided to pull out of my match on monday to heal. Its almost a week now and the pain is almost completely gone. It only hurt a bit if i move my arm in a werid way. I have been moving my arm in motion as if I was playing tennis, and nothing hurts. My serve motion is fine, no pain, but I cant seem to have a full swing on my foreahand, I guess because Im affraid it will happen again. I have been icing it and putting on iceyhot, and taking some painkillers. I have also done some exercises with dumbbell that has help alot. I was suppose to have another match on wed. but it got rained out and it snow today in Georgia. So the match is moved to friday night at 6:30 in the freezing temperature. All I want for this match is to get through painfree and nothing happen ot my arm again.

02-26-2004, 02:52 PM
If you do play in the match on friday, make sure you warm up. And not some cheap *** warm up. Warm up like you usually do and do some more arm exercises to get it warm and flexible. Decide if you should take an anti inflammatory. If you feel some pain, skip that gam too. Remember its just one game and not a season. Hopefully you'll make the right decision.

Eric Matuszewski
02-28-2004, 03:36 AM
Xuan, listen to Eug carefully, he has been there before. Eug was actually lucky just to have caused some tendinitis and bursitis.

By playing on this and not giving adequete time to heal you are setting yourself up for SURGERY!!!!

Your description leads me to believe that you already have at least a minor tear. Sprains & strains are actually various degrees of tearing. This means whatever connective tissue you damaged is weak right now.

By putting the extreme tension of a service motion or a forehand on it you take the risk of RUPTURE with every swing. Rupture means the tissue breaks totally or mostly (once it happens you will not be able to move your arm and you will HAVE TO get operated on. Even the best surgen at this point will never be able to get you back to where you were. (It's like trying to sew to fine bristle hairbrushes togetter hair from one to hair from another).

So, I assume your under your parents insurance. Take advantage of this and go to an Orthopeadic doctor NOW! Hopefully nothing is wrong and you'll at least get peace of mind. If something is wrong the Dr will be able to recommend treatment and advice so you can stay off of the operating table and get back to playing tennis sooner. GET AN APPOINTMENT TODAY!

Once you get fixed up, Get with an instructor who has a smooth motion on the serve and who doesn't have shoulder problems and learn the new motion.

Serves put alot of stress on the shoulder, but a biomechanically sound motion will limit the stresses on the weaker muscles and place more of it on the stronger ones.

02-29-2004, 07:00 AM
Thanx you guys for your advise. You guys are the best, and I really appriciate your help. I did go to my doctor and he diagnosis me with a slightly moderate strain. He has given me some exercises to get my shoulder stronger, and advise me to give myself another week till I can play tennis again to be safe. I am really happy to know exactly what is wrong with me other then to not know. I will only be missing another two matches this season, but it is better then to miss the whole season.

02-29-2004, 03:37 PM
Hey guys. I went through the same thing. I was planning on trying to walk onto NYU this year, but my arm gave out over the summer(my shoulder has been a chronic problem since the 8th grade), and I'm only now able to go out and hit a little bit with it. Eug, what college did you attend, and where exactly can you play in NY? Coles has 6 courts on the roof, but they're a horrible synthetic rubber surface.


02-29-2004, 04:19 PM
Hey NYU, I go to Brooklyn College. Graduating this spring.

And I'm glad Xuan that you went to a doctor. Those extra days off combined with the exercises will keep you safe and make your shoulder stronger.

03-05-2004, 03:42 PM
Hey everyone. I have been taking my doctor advise and take another week to rest my arm before I play any competive tennis. Though I couldn't resist not playing tennis for a week, I did hit a little bit though. Today I went out to hit and found my forehand to be a bit weak after isolating it for about 2 weeks now, so I mainly worked on my backhand. I did try to serve, but on impack, I felt a pinch somewhere int he upper arm ( where you see people get tattos). The pain in the deltoid muscle area is gone now, but I have the pinch pain. I have full motion of my arm, and doing normal things doesnt hurt.
Does anyone know what is wrong now? If so, about how longer should I rest my arm?

03-05-2004, 04:06 PM
Sup Xuan, everything was fine until you said that you tried to serve. Why!? Doctor told you not to. I kinda understand hitting around just a bit but why serve? Your slowly fading into the path I took with my arm. Anyway, after you do your workouts, ice your shoulder. Stop messing around with your arm until its fully healed!


03-07-2004, 04:43 PM
I couldn't help it. Everything felt fine until that one serve. I have been told that I'm getting the pinching pain from my muscle being a but swellen a bit. I have a 4 day weekend so hopefully I'll be fine by tuesday for my match. I cant stand missing anymore matches.

Eric Matuszewski
03-08-2004, 04:23 AM
Keep doing the excersises he gave you. I'm guessing he showed you external rotations with Theraband and a stretch for the infraspinatus. and for gods sake DON'T SERVE.
When you are all healed up you may change your motion to something simpler. There's got to be a reason you keep having problems.

An abbreviated motion (without the pendulum part) may help you avoid injury by insuring your arm is in a good position when you start applying all the torque to it.

Eric Matuszewski
03-08-2004, 05:01 AM
I know your dying to play so if you hit a two hander, you can work on that, but don't serve or hit forehands.

I follow a 10 day rule (listen to your doctor first, this is just what I do). The 10 day rule is this...

When you feel a pinch in any muscle don't do whatever caused the pinch for at least 10 days.

1) Wait for the pain to go away first using R.I.C.E. therapy (Usually takes 3 days).

2) Over the next 7 days, Do resistance excersises to strengthen whatever you felt the pinch in. Then (after the 10 day period) work your way back to playing gradually (15 min 1st day, 30 min 3nd day, 45min 5th day, etc.) taking off days between.

3) Larger muscles generally take longer than smaller ones. This streaches out to more of a 30 day rule for things like hip flexors (big muscles).

The whole abbreviated motion thing really helps too. I used to try an look like Sampras on the serve and had shoulder problems frequently. One day (after thinking about the shoulder joint and studying the muscles/ tendons really carefully) I gave up on that and started trying an abbreviated motion.
Since then I've never had a shoulder problem. I don't even get sore and I serve higher% and just as fast as I did before with easier spin.
I know everbody's different and not everybody likes the "look" of not having a pendulum motion. It's just something to think about.

And I'm sorry but don't play matches yet, (It's just not worth it).

Japanese Maple
03-08-2004, 08:28 AM

I am not a doctor, but based on my experiences with injuries I
would make the following recommendations in no particular order:

1) Get started in rehab from a certified rehab center that is
recommended by your doctor, usually 3/wk. Let the experts handle
this problem and take the guess work out of fixing the problem.
They have access to treatments like ultrasound that you do not,
and they will get you back to playing much sooner without
complications then doing the rehab yourself. Be patient and go to
the experts!

2) Why did the injury happen in the first place? It maybe a flawed
service motion but I doubt it. You probably started to stress the
shoulder area with all your practice without properly warming the
area up through light cardio(5-8 minutes), and a thorough stretching before each time you play. Over time, the muscles,tendons, and ligaments receiving the most stress from
playing without a proper warmup/stretch as they become tight
will eventually become injured. Injuries usually happen because
the area is getting tight and you are giving it a work load that
it is not used to, such as the start of tennis season or going to
a tennis camp. Thats why rehab after r.i.c.e involves proper
warmup,stretching, and strenthening excercises. You will get
a blue print of all the things you should have been doing in the
first place. Always,always , raise your body temp through some
cardio(jogging,lifecycle,jumping rop,jumping jacks,shadow tennis)
until your face is moist with sweat before stretching . Never stretch
a cold muscle. If you can't warmup and stretch before you practice
start with mini tennis from the service line and gradually move back
to the baseline and don't make any sudden explosive motions
for wide balls-let them go. As your body temp is raised after 5-10
minutes, do some windmills, and shoulder stretches in-between
shots and take 2-3 minutes to stretch you legs,especially your
hamstrings and achilles. Xuan, you definitely need to warmup and
stretch before you step on the court.

3) Get involved in a weight training program designed for tennis

4) For minor injuries that probably do not need professional rehab
do a google search for an injury and you can get some great info.
I recently did this for a MCL knee strain that was minor -I found
some great strengthening excercises and a series of tests I needed to past before I could play again-I was back on the court
in 2 weeks.

5) Ice a tender area after playing and if it is not in the acute stage
utilize a whirlpool, but do not skip a thorough warm-up and stretching before you play and stretch after you play too.

6) Most minor injuries to rehab come down to rest,ice,compression,
elevation,and anti-inflamatory medication during the first 48-72hrs.
After the initial 48-72 hours, continue taking anti-inflamatory,gentle
stretch and strengthen the area, and begin hot treatments such
as a whirlpool or heating pad-and always ice the area after rehab
exercises or playing. Heat before you play and ice after you play,
but always warmup and stretch before and after you play. Good
luck but don't be stupid or impatient because your anxious to play.

03-09-2004, 06:52 AM
hello, i had the same injury 14 month ago, and i was almost goin to surgery, how did i cure, easy... ice, ice , ice a lot after playing

03-12-2004, 05:39 PM
I would like to thank you guys for your help. I am completely heal now from my injury. I can't wait till I'm back into action.

03-12-2004, 08:05 PM
Good to hear that your healthy. I'm still exercising my shoulder. I still have pains and impingment. Well see how my season turns out. It starts on the 22nd.


12-13-2007, 03:06 PM
as i sit here typing wih my left hand i am looking for a new service motion. i tore my rotator cuff and my labrum in my right arm. i have a lot of rehab ahead of me. i had the traditional " spread your wings serve." what should i try when i finally get to play again?