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View Full Version : Tennis elbow has ended my favorite shot?


jyjyj
12-18-2009, 01:42 PM
I love the feeling of a one-handed backhand winner. It's hands-down my favorite shot to nail. But I recently (two months ago) started getting some pretty nasty elbow pain, which was recently diagnosed as tennis elbow. My physical therapist gave me some stretches to do and recommended I take a few weeks off from hitting.

Then, gasp!, he said I should switch to a two-handed backhand.

Oh, the horrors!

Bums me out. I love watching one-handed backhand players more than two-handers. It's a more fluid type of game, in my opinion. And I know I'm totally biased, but I was sort of proud at being one of the few who hit a one-hander at the courts I frequent.

Alas, once I resume playing next week, I'm going to start trying to incorporate this new shot. And I'm pretty sad about it.

Ripper014
12-18-2009, 02:04 PM
Are you sure it is your backhand causing you the problems... depending on which side of the elbow it is it could be the forehand. I have found that tennis elbow usually comes from a problem with technique... You could always change equipment... and find something that is easier on the arm.

I am currently using a Prostaff Tour 90 hybrid with poly... and found that it is pretty stiff to play with. When I use my 200g with a multi-filament I get absolutely no vibration at all.

I have a friend who has a Babolat that seems to be extremely player friendly as well as being easy on the arm.

volusiano
12-18-2009, 08:05 PM
I used to play 1hbh, too. But recently I got a mild case of TE (due to playing too much, not due to the 1hbh). However, once I get TE, using a 1hbh aggravates it. So I switched to 2hbh to minimize the aggravation and this allows me to at least continue to play some tennis, although not as much as before to avoid over use. It's not the end of the world. The way I see it, it gives me a chance to learn a 2hbh, too.

jyjyj
12-19-2009, 01:20 PM
Hey Ripper. Yeah, I'm pretty sure my TE is the result of technique, not equipment. From what I've ready, my Pro Kennex Black Ace 93 should be pretty arm-friendly (flexible, head-light and fairly heavy...). Granted, the elbow pain started after I switched to it (from a heavier Spalding Taxi II which I'd used since forever), but I think that's just a coincidence. Around the same time I was working on putting more topspin on my backhand, and I think that's the culprit. (And I really don't need another excuse to bulk up my racquet bag!)

volusiano: I like your outlook. Very positive. You're totally right. What's the fun in tennis if you can't experiment and try out different shots? Who knows? Maybe I'll like it, right? Also, does your TE recur frequently?

Dave M
12-19-2009, 01:44 PM
I love the feeling of a one-handed backhand winner. It's hands-down my favorite shot to nail. But I recently (two months ago) started getting some pretty nasty elbow pain, which was recently diagnosed as tennis elbow. My physical therapist gave me some stretches to do and recommended I take a few weeks off from hitting.

Then, gasp!, he said I should switch to a two-handed backhand.

Oh, the horrors!

Bums me out. I love watching one-handed backhand players more than two-handers. It's a more fluid type of game, in my opinion. And I know I'm totally biased, but I was sort of proud at being one of the few who hit a one-hander at the courts I frequent.

Alas, once I resume playing next week, I'm going to start trying to incorporate this new shot. And I'm pretty sad about it.
Its horible, I ended up learning to play a left handed forehand, could b the way to go!

forthegame
12-19-2009, 01:49 PM
Its horible, I ended up learning to play a left handed forehand, could b the way to go!

Left handed forehand?? Do you swap hands during a rally?

Skywalker91
12-19-2009, 09:25 PM
The most common reason of tennis elbow is from bad technique, most commonly on the 1hbh. Not saying you do, but it is commonly when a tennis played pushes the ball on the shot.

monktastic
12-20-2009, 07:57 AM
I was reading some articles about tennis biomechanics last week and they found that amateur players hit one-handed backhands earlier in the stroke (meaning that they start the stroke late) with the wrist in a more flexed position, with more contraction of the extensor muscles at the time of impact, which puts much higher strain on the extensor tendons. Some of the authors argue that the two handed backhand is not intrinsically more elbow-friendly but rather it is simply easier to do with the right technique. If they are right, then improving your 1HBH technique might be as good as switching to 2HBH.

BreakPoint
12-20-2009, 10:27 AM
The most common reason of tennis elbow is from bad technique, most commonly on the 1hbh. Not saying you do, but it is commonly when a tennis played pushes the ball on the shot.

I was reading some articles about tennis biomechanics last week and they found that amateur players hit one-handed backhands earlier in the stroke (meaning that they start the stroke late) with the wrist in a more flexed position, with more contraction of the extensor muscles at the time of impact, which puts much higher strain on the extensor tendons. Some of the authors argue that the two handed backhand is not intrinsically more elbow-friendly but rather it is simply easier to do with the right technique. If they are right, then improving your 1HBH technique might be as good as switching to 2HBH.
Sure, all else being equal, excellent technique is better than poor technique for avoiding tennis elbow, HOWEVER, you can still get tennis elbow if you play A LOT of tennis (overuse) or if you use the wrong racquet or strings (extra stress on the elbow) EVEN WITH excellent technique. That's why even the pros get tennis elbow.

A light, stiff, and extra long racquet will put extra stress on your elbow, as will stiff, less resilient strings like poly or kevlar.

86golf
12-21-2009, 04:04 AM
One of our best 4.5 players at our club has been sidelined with tennis elbow for months. He went undefeated last year at USTA league play. BTW, he plays a two handed backhand and his technique is not a question. He does however play a lot of doubles and this I believe is where his injury came from- volleys.
You might want to consider a more western grip on the 1hbh side and be careful with those volley's. The extreme grip will take stress off that lateral epicondyle. I know of several other players that got TE from net play. Get a pro to check out your grip and your technique. Make sure the pro hits a 1hbh in competitive play (good luck with that one).

jrod
12-21-2009, 05:38 AM
Several years ago I too was given a choice between switching to a 2HBH and relearning my 1HBH since the TE was due to technique on the BH side. I decided that at my age, the 2HBH demanded greater footspeed so I opted to re-learn the 1HBH. Spent 6 months just to get the new motion ingrained and I haven't looked back since. My 1HBH still isn't the weapon my FH is, but it is no longer a liability. I now have greater variety on the BH side than I do on the FH side which enables me to surprise my opponents and throw off their rhythm easier.

As for volley's causing TE, this has to be technique related as well. The BH volley is such a simple stroke it seems to me any glitch should be evident to a trained pro.

86golf
12-21-2009, 08:24 AM
Several years ago I too was given a choice between switching to a 2HBH and relearning my 1HBH since the TE was due to technique on the BH side. I decided that at my age, the 2HBH demanded greater footspeed so I opted to re-learn the 1HBH. Spent 6 months just to get the new motion ingrained and I haven't looked back since. My 1HBH still isn't the weapon my FH is, but it is no longer a liability. I now have greater variety on the BH side than I do on the FH side which enables me to surprise my opponents and throw off their rhythm easier.

As for volley's causing TE, this has to be technique related as well. The BH volley is such a simple stroke it seems to me any glitch should be evident to a trained pro.

The volley issue is more of a grip issue than technique. IMO the continental grip is a weak bh grip and can be an issue for some. It's too hard to change grips so most ppl just stick with continental for all volleys. If you grip'd a hammer with continental grip and hammered with the side of it (ala tennis) you would likely get TE in about 15 mins.

jrod
12-21-2009, 08:41 AM
The volley issue is more of a grip issue than technique. IMO the continental grip is a weak bh grip and can be an issue for some. It's too hard to change grips so most ppl just stick with continental for all volleys. If you grip'd a hammer with continental grip and hammered with the side of it (ala tennis) you would likely get TE in about 15 mins.

The thought of changing grips during some dubs volley exchanges I typically encounter is a non-starter. Honestly, I don't consider the continental grip to be a weak grip at all for a BH volley. Maybe on the FH side, but not on the BH.

BreakPoint
12-21-2009, 10:28 PM
The thought of changing grips during some dubs volley exchanges I typically encounter is a non-starter. Honestly, I don't consider the continental grip to be a weak grip at all for a BH volley. Maybe on the FH side, but not on the BH.
I totally agree. My continental grip feels more natural on BH volleys than on FH volleys.