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Blask
01-24-2010, 10:38 AM
What contributes more to arm/shoulder disomfort, stiff racquet with little flex or stiff strings? I've switched from a K6.1 with a poly hybrid to a racquet with more flex - MG Prestige Pro - but I'm currently using a full job of PHT in it. I'm still trying to find the right mix, but I love the serves and volleys I get from the PHT.

So

For example, if you had a soft Volkl racquet but played with a full job of PHT. Is that less harmful to your arm than playing with a K6.1 with full gut?

Is it a black and white discussion or does it vary?

mmaster
01-24-2010, 11:04 AM
i would think racquet is more of a factor for sure.

mikeler
01-24-2010, 11:45 AM
Change both. It has definitely helped my GE.

Blask
01-24-2010, 12:07 PM
Thanks for the advice on switching both but I'm trying to come up with a compromise of sorts. You didn't really answer the question.

mikeler
01-24-2010, 02:36 PM
I did answer your question. Switch both if you want to stay on the court! I'd have to say a low flex stick helps slightly more than the soft strings.

beststringer
01-24-2010, 03:50 PM
What contributes more to arm/shoulder disomfort, stiff racquet with little flex or stiff strings? I've switched from a K6.1 with a poly hybrid to a racquet with more flex - MG Prestige Pro - but I'm currently using a full job of PHT in it. I'm still trying to find the right mix, but I love the serves and volleys I get from the PHT.

So

For example, if you had a soft Volkl racquet but played with a full job of PHT. Is that less harmful to your arm than playing with a K6.1 with full gut?

Is it a black and white discussion or does it vary?

the book says both. string bed stiffness is not all just about string's stiffness.

beststringer
01-24-2010, 03:51 PM
Thanks for the advice on switching both but I'm trying to come up with a compromise of sorts. You didn't really answer the question.

i would switch both. you only have 1 elbow per arm and those cartilages are not something you can buy from a shop.

Technatic
01-24-2010, 10:36 PM
Blask TE: Strings vs Stiffness

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What contributes more to arm/shoulder disomfort, stiff racquet with little flex or stiff strings? I've switched from a K6.1 with a poly hybrid to a racquet with more flex - MG Prestige Pro - but I'm currently using a full job of PHT in it. I'm still trying to find the right mix, but I love the serves and volleys I get from the PHT.

So

For example, if you had a soft Volkl racquet but played with a full job of PHT. Is that less harmful to your arm than playing with a K6.1 with full gut?

Is it a black and white discussion or does it vary?

When you hit the ball you feel the total stiffness of the system, so both the frame and the string bed have influence.
But the effect of both stiffnesses is different:
- A stiffer racquet will shorten the contact between the bal and the strings, resulting in a harder impact with a higher load on your arm.
Playing volleys should go better with a frame with less stiffness because the time that you can control the ball is longer. (That is why Mc Enroe probably liked his Dunlop “Carpet sweeper” so much).
- A stiffer stringbed means more control on the depth of your strokes, but also that you need more power for your (baseline-) strokes.

So both items have a negative effect on your arm and shoulders.

My advise is to change the stringbed first, and find out what that effect is:
The question is; At what stiffness are you playing at the moment?
Iow, at what tensions do you string in relation to the size of the stringarea?

If you go to this post http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=298443 you can see the Tension Advisor table for a stiffness of 37 DT so you can see what would be the tensions for your frame for this stiffness.

If the tensions that you use are considerably higher I would recommend to restring at the tensions shown in the table.
If you are stringing at these stiffness go to 34 DT, which is the recommended stdiffness for a man with an arm injury, the table for 34 is in this page
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=298953

When you restring the racquet use a nylon instead of a poly, because the elastic elongation of polys is bad, so they do not generate power and are no good for your arm either.

You may have to adjust your game to a new set up but to save your arm that could be necessary anyway.

If this does not help you have to switch to a softer frame, but the consequence of that is that you will need more power to return strokes.

Just an advise.

schenkelini
01-25-2010, 09:24 AM
You can do like most of us here who have been afflicted, buy a ProKennex racket. Buy a 5g and you will most likely be cured in a short amount of time.

beststringer
01-25-2010, 10:50 AM
You can do like most of us here who have been afflicted, buy a ProKennex racket. Buy a 5g and you will most likely be cured in a short amount of time.

the new ki 30 is pretty sweet too.

charliefedererer
01-25-2010, 11:50 AM
One of the problems with "softer" multifilament or natural gut strings is that because they are more elastic, you often have to string them tighter to tame the power. Having a frame with more flexibility allows you the full benefit of the softer strings by having the frame tame some of that power, so you can string a little less tight. Less tight is also better for your arm.
Thus with both a frame and string change you'll have the best for your arm.

(By the way, are you doing the "thrower's ten" and do you have a Flexbar blue to get your shoulder, elbow and forearm into the best possible shape to resist overuse injury? www.asmi.org/SportsMed/media/thrower10.swf)

Blask
01-25-2010, 04:01 PM
Well, I'm gradually working my way to a softer setup. I switched from the Ksix-one to a Head MG Prestige Pro. My Wilson setup was CyberBlue with Gosen crosses (55/57). However, when I was demo-ing the Head racquet it had a full job of PHT in it. I got hooked on it and now am still playing with that setup in the sticks that I purchased. I did take one and string it up with with Nat Gut/Gosen Micro setup and I lost all power and control. I played with it about 10 times and my game was totally off.

I need to find something between PHT and Gosen... Or would removing my crosses and substituting Goen in there be enough?

Thank you for all of the great feedback. There are definitely a lot more intelligent people on this subject than I am. Any suggestions are welcome. I made a good step going from Wilson to the softer MG Prestige Pro but it's painfully obvious that it's not enough.

mikeler
01-25-2010, 04:18 PM
Like Charlie said, you can go lower tensions with the multis in a lower powered frame. That is what I did with my Pro Supex Maxim Touch 17. I could not keep a ball in the court the 1st set I used it but after that I simply slowed down my swing. Now it feels almost effortless to get power on the ball and boy is my arm thanking me. I'm playing at the level I was at before I got my injury.

KenC
01-25-2010, 11:07 PM
You may just have to give up on the polys. A bad case of TE can last up to a year.

You may want to try Bab Tonic+ gut at an average tension. You can even go lower tension if you want to adapt your swing a little. If not, get a low powered multi like MultiFeel or RipControl and drop the tension to the lowest recommended. As said before, the PK 5i or 5g are arm friendly racquets.

Lastly, technique is a major contributor to TE. Maybe a lesson with a teaching pro could help identify problems in your swings.

Blask
01-26-2010, 03:31 AM
Thanks for the string suggestions. To answer KenC's comment about technique, that is something I have addressed many times. I've asked many different pro's over the years if I'm causing un-needed stress on my elbow due to bad form and nobody has seen any flaws. I even spend 4 days at a top 5 instructional resort last year and had the guy watch me really closely and he said my form was fine. That's not to say I have perfect strokes or anything, but as it relates to TE I've never had anyone offer anything different than what I'm doing.

mikeler
01-26-2010, 05:59 AM
I'd rather go on the court and lose every match with no pain, then play sparingly in pain and win. I'd try the multi I'm using or the ones KenC suggests at the lowest tension or if you can afford it, go to all natural gut for a little while.

KenC
01-26-2010, 07:06 AM
Thanks for the string suggestions. To answer KenC's comment about technique, that is something I have addressed many times. I've asked many different pro's over the years if I'm causing un-needed stress on my elbow due to bad form and nobody has seen any flaws. I even spend 4 days at a top 5 instructional resort last year and had the guy watch me really closely and he said my form was fine. That's not to say I have perfect strokes or anything, but as it relates to TE I've never had anyone offer anything different than what I'm doing.

You deserve Kudos for getting a pro to examine your strokes. Most wouldn't bother and just blame their racquets.

Honestly, I would suggest taking a couple weeks off for letting the elbow heal a bit, and when the pain goes away to string up your racquet with a full set of a quality gut, like BAB Tonic+. If the TE doesn't come back then you know the string is the factor. I personally think strings and tension play more into elbow comfort than the frame, as I play with a PDGT which is about as stiff as it gets.

If you like the poly feel, TF MultiFeel sorta' plays like a quality poly but is arm friendly and plays well at low tensions. You may want to even experiment with a gut/MultiFeel type of hybrid.

Take care of that elbow, TE is no fun and if it gets bad it can take many months to heal up before you can hit the courts again. You may want to have a physician look at it just to be sure.

mikeler
01-26-2010, 07:19 AM
I had to pretty much take 2 months off and payed over $500 in PT during that time. The injury sucks. You can't play through it like other injuries.

Blask
01-26-2010, 02:29 PM
yeah that's the frustrating part. I've dealt with it for so long and have avoided playing more than 3 times a week because of it. I'm planning on going to Newks or Saddlebrook this Spring but really what's the point if my arm cant' tolerate 5 hours a day on the court for 3 or 4 straight days.

I have a doctor's appt on Monday with a really good arm doctor in the area so I'm going to walk him through everything I've tried in the past (PT, switching frames, taking time off, cortisone shots, prescription meds, etc) and see if he has any other suggestions.

I agree with all of the comments on finding a softer string and trying to get rid of the poly. I just hate that process of constantly tweaking and trying strings out to find out what works and what doesn't. It's not only a long, tiresome process but it's also frustrating and expensive. The one good thing is that maybe now I should buy a stringer!!

mikeler
01-26-2010, 02:47 PM
Many of my friends had success with ultrasound and electrostimulation for TE. It worked for my GE. Ask your doctor about it.

I love my stringer! Buy one and try different setups. You'll eventually find something you like.

Superman1272
01-26-2010, 03:07 PM
maybe now I should buy a stringer!!

I read through this whole post thinking this exact thing. If you are going to be doing all this experimenting with strings, you should definitely invest in your own stringing machine. I have not used the high-end machines, but the Klippermate works perfectly for me. I can give it my highest recommendation, for what that is worth. I string about 1-2 racquets a week and it is easy with great tools to work with. I set it up up on a bar stool in front fo the tv and go to work.

But as far as the TE goes... I hope you find the set-up that lets you enjoy playing tennis again. Ever thought about leading up your racquets? A heavier stick provides the power on its own and is less likely to torque on mis-hits... just a thought that hasn't been touched on yet. Good luck with it.

Blask
01-26-2010, 03:35 PM
Thanks Superman - I actually did add some lead to the prestige pro when I bought it. The main reason wasn't TE related though. The one I ordered from TW was .5 oz lighter than my demo so I was trying to get it back to the specs. This was more for playing preference really.

mikeler
01-26-2010, 04:05 PM
I see in another thread you are thinking about going with the Youtek version which appears to be stiffer from initial reports. You may want to reconsider that potential purchase.

Blask
01-26-2010, 04:17 PM
I see in another thread you are thinking about going with the Youtek version which appears to be stiffer from initial reports. You may want to reconsider that potential purchase.

Yep, I definitely need a backup racquet. I think moving from those wilson6.1s (I own them all minus the BLX) was a good start to helping the TE. I do need a 2nd stick as a backup so I was curious how the Youtek compared to the MG in terms of comfort. If it's noticeably stiffer than obviously it wouldn't make sense.

beststringer
01-26-2010, 05:07 PM
folk, buy yourself a prokennex kinetic and stay away from high tension polys.

Blask
01-27-2010, 02:36 PM
folk, buy yourself a prokennex kinetic and stay away from high tension polys.

I wish it were that easy. I truly have to work myself to get to the point where I can play with that frame and use a string that goes along with it. I do string my sticks relatively loose, around 55 lbs for the polys