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Fedster
02-13-2009, 01:11 PM
In a nutshell:

Got tennis elbow after I already ordered a new racket (Volkl Power Bridge 10) ... mainly from playing too much too fast: over-use.

The new racket is pretty arm-friendly, and I strung it with Lux ALU Roughs in the mains at 54, and NXT Tour 16 in the crosses at 52 ... so I kept to the mid/low range.

It's been about 14 days since the injury: I haven't played since (felt the pain two days after I last played ... and don't forget I haven't yet played with my new racket, other than demoing it), and have rested and started a treatment plan that's working wonders so far. I don't plan on getting on the court until I not only heal and strengthen my elbow/forearms/arms but also when I strengthen my shoulders, core, back and legs ... the whole shebang (which I'm foreseeing as about 4 - 8 weeks). The more I research, the more I learn that most joint injuries occur because of muscle imbalances ... be it strength vs weakness, or flexibility vs tightness. Thus, I gotta get in better shape!

Now here's my question:

For safety-sake, should I play on this new racket with my current new string job, or should I just cut them out, eat the small expense, and get softer strings, like WeissCANNON Explosiv or even natural gut?

I'm thinking it might be the more prudent thing to do, especially as I ease myself back on the court after a two month absence.

I could just go slow with my new strings and just see what happens (don't forget, I will be stronger and in better shape by then), but would mind shelling out the extra cash and give my arm the chance to build up on softer strings...

Anyone have any advice or comments or suggestions??

Thanks!

ChipNCharge
02-13-2009, 01:59 PM
Now here's my question:

For safety-sake, should I play on this new racket with my current new string job, or should I just cut them out, eat the small expense, and get softer strings, like WeissCANNON Explosiv or even natural gut?

I'm thinking it might be the more prudent thing to do, especially as I ease myself back on the court after a two month absence.

I could just go slow with my new strings and just see what happens (don't forget, I will be stronger and in better shape by then), but would mind shelling out the extra cash and give my arm the chance to build up on softer strings...

Anyone have any advice or comments or suggestions??

Thanks!

I wouldn't use poly strings at all if you're having elbow issues. Suggest natural gut or a soft multi at low-mid tension.

PROTENNIS63
02-13-2009, 03:24 PM
I would go with natural gut as well. If you really don't want natural gut, then try a soft multi.

Fedster
02-13-2009, 05:58 PM
How about something like WeissCANNON Silverstring 1.20 in the mains, and gut or a synthetic gut, like Forten Sweet 17, in the crosses?

Or should I stick with a full gut or synthetic gut job for awhile?

Or should I just heal my TE, train hard, full-body strengthening, and just get back on the court and try what I have set up already?

Thanks!

DizBoiDanny
02-13-2009, 06:06 PM
No poly whats so ever. Even if you string it up with the softest poly and softest syn.
Do a full syn. try PSGD

jefferson
02-13-2009, 06:18 PM
I would go full syn gut too.

But I would definitely analyze my strokes also. Tennis elbow in my experience starts with a flaw in your strokes. Too much stress on the arm, from not using you legs and hip rotation to help generate the power.

What I'm saying is that tennis elbow came from somewhere, you can rest it and heal, then come back and if nothing besides the strings has changed, I think it will come back. (Now thats a run on sentence!) Maybe your grip is the wrong size, that is another cause of tennis elbow.

A quick check to see if you have tennis elbow is too extend your hand and force down your middle finger. If you have tennis elbow, your elbow will hurt. If not you might have something else.

Fedster
02-13-2009, 07:42 PM
Well, I never officially got my elbow looked at. My insurance actually kicks in March 1st, so I'll be going then.

But if I do the TE test it doesn't hurt at all. Therefore, I must conclude that I don't have TE, but I do have some sort of injury in my elbow.

I thought it might be Golfers Elbow, since the medial area is what first hurt, but that went away within two days.

Ever since, I've been feeling it in my elbow, a little down the back of my forearm and in the triceps tendon. It might just be tendonitis... That's why I feel it was caused mostly from overuse. I played and worked out in the same day without warming up or stretching. Dumb move....

But the reason I said it was TE and am going through the TE treament is because most of the symptoms that I've read I have: discomfort when gripping or picking things up, turning doorknobs hurt, etc.

And since I've started my TE treatment, those symptoms have gone away (I'm stretching and icing every few hours; that's the first part of the treatment, before the strengthening phase).

As of now, day 10 of the Healing Phase, all the discomfort that is left is a weird elbow ache that comes and goes. No more feelings of sharp pains when I open the door or lift something.

Any which way, it seems like the consensus here is to go for a full gut or sythenic gut string job and to stay away from any poly.

Do you think that's permanant or just for the first few months as I get my "sea legs" back on the court?

Thanks again!

Fedster
02-13-2009, 07:46 PM
And I'm definately meeting up with my coach once I get strong again and back on the court, to make sure my technique and form are good...

But I want to make sure I go out there safe and sound with my strings, as well, hence why I'm asking you all out there for your feedback.

Mansewerz
02-13-2009, 08:18 PM
Was this a demo you bought by any chance?

saram
02-13-2009, 09:29 PM
I still cannot believe that people with wrist, shoulder and elbow injuries are continually throwing poly in their sticks.

Fedster
02-13-2009, 09:48 PM
Yes, it was the demo I bought.

I demoed the Volkl twice. I loved it and demoed it again against some other Volkl rackets.

The reason I got hurt (and I think it's not TE; I just think it is tendonitis or just an aggravation) is because the following:

* I'm very out of shape and get hurt quite frequently. I push myself too hard too fast; it's a habit I have that gets me into trouble often. I got hurt a few times this past summer, which is when I first started to play tennis: I pulled my hamstring twice; I pulled a back muscle; I pulled my right pectoral muscle trying too serve to hard; and I'd constantly get cramps in my calves. Again: too fast, too soon. Yet all this was getting better and I wasn't getting hurt because I would always warm up and stretch afterwards (except on the day I got injured).

* I'm not working out consistently at all.

* I'd sometimes play tennis for more than 3 hours, exhausting myself before I was ready.

* And I'd just started working out again a few days before the injury.

* And I went out into the 28 degree weather, without warming up, to demo three new rackets against the Volkl I eventually bought.

* Then I came home and WORKED OUT! I know, I know: stupid. And I did pull-ups and push-ups ... and I haven't done them in months.

That's why I'm so sure it was simply overuse and not taking care of my body.

I've had the same injury in my left elbow a few years ago from lifting weights too hard too fast.

I had taken lessons for a few months, so I don't think my technique was faulty. Actually, I had my last lesson about a week an a half beforehand ... but who knows? Maybe it was still faulty.

Point is I think it was merely overuse, not taking care of my body and warming up, pushing too hard, and trying four different rackets in the freezing cold.

Even though a few reviews said that the Volkl Power Bridge 10 was a little stiff in the hoop, many other reviews were saying it was quite arm-friendly and flexible ... although some were saying to string the tensions lower a little ... which is what I did when I ordered it. But this was BEFORE I got hurt.

I loved the PB10 that day and ordered it ... but two days later I got the pain in my arm. Funny thing is I played with the other rackets much more than the PB10 that day because I already loved it and knew how it played already (played it with it for three days about two weeks earlier; long matches, played hard, and no arm pain whatsoever).

I read, too, on the forum, that many get TE or some joint aggravation when trying out new frames. I think this happened to me, especially since I kept going back and forth with all four rackets in the span of an hour and a half ... unlike what I did the last time I demoed, which was give each racket a good half an hour of play.

Thus, I'm injured...

...but I'm recovering.

All my research really points out the following to keep any elbow injury at bay:

1) Heavier racket, head-light, and lower than 69 in flexibility (the PB10 fall into this category)

2) Soft strings or a soft hybrid (which I'm now considering; hence this lengthy post!)

3) Faulty technique (which I'll check again once I'm back on the court with my coach)

4) Muscle imbalances (and this was a big one I kept reading about and that two pros told me about: not strong enough, weak versus strong muscles, inflexibility, etc)

5) Overuse (which I definitely did)

6) Trying of new rackets or strings (which I definitely did as well)

So, I got a good racket ... but I might have strung with strings that could hurt me more, especially as I ease back on the court.

As of now, I'm healing, and I'm going to work on strengthening and total fitness, going to physical therapy on the first of next month, I'll meet with my coach and make sure all is working properly when I'm back on the courts in April, and at that point I'll start playing more often again...

But the string issue came up when I happened to read another's post, so I wanted to nip that in the bud now, just to be extra careful. :)

Any more help will be appreciated.

Sorry for the wordy post.

Thanks...

Fedster
02-13-2009, 09:54 PM
I still cannot believe that people with wrist, shoulder and elbow injuries are continually throwing poly in their sticks.

Saram, I hope you read my post: I demoed rackets, fell in love with one, demoed it against others again a couple of weeks later, and then ordered the one I loved after that second demo day. But two days later, after I demoed, is when I started to feel pain ... so I didn't purposely put poly strings in my frame with the knowledge that I had elbow problems. Hadn't had problems for over six months playing with a poly, and hadn't had problems with the Volkl two weeks earlier.

Thus I ordered the PB10 with a poly hybrid. Two days later I felt the pain.

Thus, I'm trying to rectify that problem by finding out if I should change my strings and use gut or a synthetic gut.

Oh, by the way: I have been playing with a poly hybrid ever since I started tennis last year. That is why I'm almost certain that my injury happened because of the reasons I stated in my lenghty post.

I just want to prevent it from happening again.

Thanks...

Jim A
02-13-2009, 09:54 PM
if you aren't taking care of your body, strings won't make a difference, too many other variables that are more of a factor even if a poly is stiffer

say you go with Nat Gut and still don't change the other ways, you'll continue to have elbow/arm issues

Fedster
02-13-2009, 10:01 PM
if you aren't taking care of your body, strings won't make a difference, too many other variables that are more of a factor even if a poly is stiffer

say you go with Nat Gut and still don't change the other ways, you'll continue to have elbow/arm issues

I agree with you, Jim. That's why I stated that I'm healing my injury and am going to work foremost on my fitness. Once that's in a good place ... when I'm fitter, stronger and more flexible ... I'll get back on the court with my coach and make sure my technique is good (I'm also going to switch to a two-handed backhand).

Even though the above process will take me a couple of months, once I DO GET BACK ON COURT, since I already strung my racket with a poly hybrid, should I just get it re-strung with a gut or synthetic gut right before I go on the courts instead of playing with the poly?

Again, this string issue is for once I get to playing on the courts again, after I get my fitness in a better place...

:)

mawashi
02-14-2009, 02:16 AM
I'll second what others have said bout taking care of yourself. Playing too hard n fast will cause te strings or not.

TE is a repetative injury. You can read more about te n ge here:

http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=bone_joi/9498

As mentioned there are different levels of pain and how you can deal with it.

I prefer strings with good spin with as little power as possible so natural gut isn't for me but if you don't need the speed then gut is the perfect solution for you.

Natural gut mains / multi cross string at about the upper end of the racquet's range.

or

Natural gut mains / syn gut cross string at about the upper end of the racquet's range.

If you prefer some spin n don't bust multis easy then try this combo.

Multi mains / syn cross string at about the upper end of the racquet's range.

mawashi

Fedster
02-14-2009, 02:37 AM
mawashi, thanks for your comments. :)

The initial pain I had was mild: slight twinging and pinching when I turned doorknobs or washed my hands or pulled on things. My grip, even when gripping hard, didn't hurt whatsoever. And my elbow tendons were tender for a few days. That's why I'm not sure if it cleary was tennis or golfers elbow... I just know my elbow/forearm/triceps hurt around the elbow joint.

On day 10 of my treatment (which is Brent Abel's Tennis Elbow Treatment), and I'm feeling really good. None of the symptoms I just mentioned above are present anymore. I do have some aching in the elbow that comes and goes, but that's all.

I'm going to continue this first phase of the treatment until Wednesday of next week, making it a full 15 days of stretching and icing ... then I'll move into his strengthening phase.

After a week or so of that, depending on how I feel, I'll add the Dynaflex into the equation. Then after another week of that, I'll incorporate more strengthening exercises: light dumbells with alternative light exercises, taking it slow and easy (that'll give me a full three weeks of slowly-progressive strengthening ... and all that while I'll be hitting the gym to cycle and stretch, keeping the rest of my body active).

By that point I'll be heading to physical therapy.

I hope by then I'll be pain-free and healed, and I'll use my time at PT to get myself fully strong, asking them to help me get into a strong, flexible condition for the start of the outdoor tennis season, which begins in April.

[Here's a sidenote question: Can one train with weights to get stronger and lose bodyfat and at the same time play tennis regularly? Can it be done at the same time, or does it have to be cycled? I guess it depends on how hard you're training and playing, right?]

Anyhow, I think I'm on the right track...

...and I think I'll re-string, come April, with a soft, non-poly string, just to be safe as I head back on the courts.

Thanks for everyone's help ... and if there's anything else, I'm open to more feedback.

Thanks!!

mawashi
02-14-2009, 03:23 AM
Good to hear that things are looking up but TE is not something that goes away completely. Once you got it you've got it for life.

I posted this in on of the earlier threads on the health sectoin:

"My stringer who was an official ATP stringer told me to try something to find out where the hurt was.

Hold a tennis ball then squeeze on only one of your fingers. You'll hurt when you squeeaze with the right finger."

Arm must be fully extended for best effect, n gently rub the tendon at the outside of the elbow when squeezing with only 1 finger at a time to find which one is hurting worse.

As for "Can one train with weights to get stronger and lose bodyfat and at the same time play tennis regularly?"

Isn't that what pros like Verdesco, Safina etc, etc doing?

They go in the off season n come back stronger n fitter?

Unless you have nothing else better to than play tennis for a living, I would say focus on one thing at a time or if you could afford it, get a professional fittness trainer to work you into shape.

mawashi

Fedster
02-14-2009, 03:58 AM
mawashi, once again, thanks for your helpful points.

I tried the "squeeze the tennis ball" method as you pointed out, and none of the fingers hurt any part of my forearms or elbow. I did it a few times, really squeezing with one finger at a time and, again, nothing hurt in my forearm.

Then, when I put the ball down, my inner forearm, the muscles leading to the medial side of my elbow, ached slightly, but like a weak muscle aches when you try to use it but it has no strength. Does that make sense?

The above, once again, proves to me that I don't have tennis elbow. I might have some slight case of golfers elbow, but I'm still not sold on this.

It seems like my muscles are just weak, and becasue of that, overusing my arm via tennis and working out (as described in my previous post of the day I got injured) merely over-strained my weak muscles, whereby hurting the tendons of my elbow: overuse, over-strain, over-done.

Again, even when it first happened, the TE tests I did didn't hurt me much ... though, the inside of my elbow was tender and sore for a few days.

I'll know more, if I'm not healed by then, when I go to my physical therapist on 3/1.

What's good is that I was a personal trainer for seven years, so I know what I'm doing in regards to getting in shape. What I'm learning is how to get in shape for tennis, which is a little different.

You may ask why I'm out of shape if I was a trainer? Well, it's a long story, but to make it short: My mother passed away, and a year and a half depression brought my body down into an atrophied, soft mess. Now that I have found tennis, I want to get back in shape and stay out of my depression ... which my mom would want anyhow. :)

Thus, I'm going to have my PT help me train for a month or so, just to get on track and be observed so I don't hurt myself, and then I'll head out with my tennis coach come April and slowly get back on track tennis-wise.

Feeling optimistic about the whole process. :)

Thanks again for your suggestions, information, and concern!!

mawashi
02-14-2009, 04:13 AM
mawashi, once again, thanks for your helpful points.

I tried the "squeeze the tennis ball" method as you pointed out, and none of the fingers hurt any part of my forearms or elbow. I did it a few times, really squeezing with one finger at a time and, again, nothing hurt in my forearm.

Then, when I put the ball down, my inner forearm, the muscles leading to the medial side of my elbow, ached slightly, but like a weak muscle aches when you try to use it but it has no strength. Does that make sense?

The above, once again, proves to me that I don't have tennis elbow. I might have some slight case of golfers elbow, but I'm still not sold on this.

It seems like my muscles are just weak, and becasue of that, overusing my arm via tennis and working out (as described in my previous post of the day I got injured) merely over-strained my weak muscles, whereby hurting the tendons of my elbow: overuse, over-strain, over-done.

Again, even when it first happened, the TE tests I did didn't hurt me much ... though, the inside of my elbow was tender and sore for a few days.

I'll know more, if I'm not healed by then, when I go to my physical therapist on 3/1.

What's good is that I was a personal trainer for seven years, so I know what I'm doing in regards to getting in shape. What I'm learning is how to get in shape for tennis, which is a little different.

You may ask why I'm out of shape if I was a trainer? Well, it's a long story, but to make it short: My mother passed away, and a year and a half depression brought my body down into an atrophied, soft mess. Now that I have found tennis, I want to get back in shape and stay out of my depression ... which my mom would want anyhow. :)

Thus, I'm going to have my PT help me train for a month or so, just to get on track and be observed so I don't hurt myself, and then I'll head out with my tennis coach come April and slowly get back on track tennis-wise.

Feeling optimistic about the whole process. :)

Thanks again for your suggestions, information, and concern!!

I have a friend who has something similar in that his hurt is located inside where the funny bone is located. Not exactly TE but something more similar to GE. It happens.

You physical therapist is the best person to ask for advice n thanks for your info bout what happend to your fittness even I wasn't going there LOL!

Sorry to hear bout mom n what happen to you. Good to hear you're getting back on your feet in more ways than one.

Cheers n take it easy.

mawashi

Fedster
02-14-2009, 04:18 AM
Sorry to hear bout mom n what happen to you. Good to hear you're getting back on your feet in more ways than one.

Cheers n take it easy.

mawashi

Thanks, man. I really appreciate the time you put in to give me your two cents.

It might be that I'm extra sensitive in life nowadays, but it's a nice feeling knowing that there are still really good people out there who just want to help others out ... and who make the effort.

Even the small things matter. Maybe they matter even more than we think... :)

Warm regards,

mawashi
02-14-2009, 04:26 AM
We might meet someday cus I'm popping over to VA to see my gf in May. Never know if our paths might cross : )

Good luck mate.

mawashi

Fedster
02-14-2009, 04:46 AM
We might meet someday cus I'm popping over to VA to see my gf in May. Never know if our paths might cross : )

Good luck mate.

mawashi

Well, I'll be here in NYC playing away, getting fitter, stronger and injury-free by the minute.

All the best to you!!!!

jefferson
02-14-2009, 06:21 AM
Good luck with the healing and solution searching. If you are not a frequent string breaker, you might like the full syn gut string job. If I didnt break them every 4 hours I would keep them in my sticks. I did in college, but thats when the strings were paid for and I didnt mind stringing a racket a night. I have always liked the feel and touch of syn gut, just not the durability.

Again good luck and please continue the healing process (in more ways the one!) Not very often people open up like you did on here and I think that might help you heal also.

hoodjem
02-14-2009, 07:54 AM
Go full soft multi, something like Iso-Speed Pro 17. String slightly higher.

mctennis
02-15-2009, 09:57 PM
Switch to gut strings. Save your elbow!!!

samster
02-17-2009, 02:57 PM
I am sorry to hear that you are hurting. 1 year ago, I got the worst case of TE from using the PB10's predecessor, DNX 10 MP. My elbow has never been the same. For me, I think the grip shape had something to do with it.

I would avoid poly at all cost after any tennis elbow injury.