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View Full Version : Ouch, my arm is killing me!!!! Racquet change?


canadad
05-30-2011, 10:47 PM
I am a 4.5 player on a good day and as I creep into my mid thirties I am noticing a few aches and pains that had never been there before. Most notibly my arm sucks! I can hit groudstrokes just fine, but when I get to my serve, my triceps and elbow start to throw in the towel.

I have been using Speed MP 18x20's. I really like them, but the pain is no fun. Are there any suggestions for a racquet change? Serving is important to me, I have a booming first serve and a kicking second serve. I don't want to lose any weapons.

Agent Orynge
05-30-2011, 11:33 PM
Volkl Organix 8, maybe.

Timbo's hopeless slice
05-30-2011, 11:40 PM
I made the switch from Speed 18 x 20s to Dunlop bio 200s.

Do it!!!

(I am a 44 year old 5.0)

Agent Orynge
05-30-2011, 11:43 PM
I made the switch from Speed 18 x 20s to Dunlop bio 200s.

Do it!!!

(I am a 44 year old 5.0)

Hmm, don't you think that head shape/size is going to be an awkward transition?

ptr
05-31-2011, 12:23 AM
Hmm, don't you think that head shape/size is going to be an awkward transition?

Not to Head but to Dunlop :P

roundiesee
05-31-2011, 01:14 AM
OP- you don't have to change rackets; just string it with a multi at low tensions and you should be fine; that was what happened to me as I think the Speed MP is quite stiff, so you need to use a softer string. After I changed the string set-up to a softer string the arm pain went away. Good luck!

dr325i
05-31-2011, 04:26 AM
OP- you don't have to change rackets; just string it with a multi at low tensions and you should be fine; that was what happened to me as I think the Speed MP is quite stiff, so you need to use a softer string. After I changed the string set-up to a softer string the arm pain went away. Good luck!

I would go with this option first, too.
However, changing from a (assume) mid tension poly to a low tension multi is all but "just' a switch. IMO, it could be actually a bigger change than switching the rackets that could be customized to the similar weight and balance.

Timbo's hopeless slice
05-31-2011, 04:56 AM
Hmm, don't you think that head shape/size is going to be an awkward transition?

did it months ago, hence my enthusiasm...

95 isn't an issue for me, had fxp prestige mids before the Speeds...

(i know what you're thinking, but the Dunlops are perfect for me.)

Hominator
05-31-2011, 05:12 AM
OP- you don't have to change rackets; just string it with a multi at low tensions and you should be fine; that was what happened to me as I think the Speed MP is quite stiff, so you need to use a softer string. After I changed the string set-up to a softer string the arm pain went away. Good luck!

+1. Wilson NXT 17 plays very soft in that frame. Also remember to keep your arm very relaxed and loose. On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the tensest you can keep your arm, your arm should be no higher than 2 or 3. Try this next time you're out and I'd be surprised if you didn't get more comfort/pace/action on your serve.

Spin-A-Lot
05-31-2011, 08:49 AM
Also remember to keep your arm very relaxed and loose. On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the tensest you can keep your arm, your arm should be no higher than 2 or 3. Try this next time you're out and I'd be surprised if you didn't get more comfort/pace/action on your serve.

+1 on this...my dad has been trying to get me to do this for the longest time and it's only now that I fully understood it...being relaxed and loose also helps in the psychological aspects of the game...believe me, you won't feel as stressed about the score or going for your shots ;)

LeeD
05-31-2011, 09:00 AM
I know this might sound odd, but try serving for a week with a conti grip slightly twisted towards eFOREhand, kinda like Becker.
I had the same problem with my serving arm, switched for just 2 months, then came back to conti with a twist towards eBACKhand, and everything seemed to be healed.
And soft strings around the lower 50's, whatever you can hit with that doesn't shift too much.

caesar66
05-31-2011, 09:58 AM
String change will probably do more than a racquet change-def agree with the poster who recommended nxt.

goran_ace
05-31-2011, 10:07 AM
Actually the first thing you should do is stop playing. Give it a rest for at least a week or two to let your muscles/tendons heal up. Don't play through the pain unless it counts for something. With these chronic/wear and tear type injuries when it starts to hurt that means there's some damage so playing through can only make it worse and being out two weeks is nothing compared to how long you'll be forced to be out if it gets to be more serious.

While you're out, the first thing you should buy is an ice pack and have your racekt restung with a multi like NXT at midrange or lower. When you come back ice down after you play if you feel even just a little bit of pain. If that doesn't work out, I think the Speed does play stiff esp with the 18x20 stringbed, so you might want to start test driving some Volkls or Pro Kennex frames

mctennis
05-31-2011, 08:10 PM
Try the Volkl V1 Classic to help your arm.

Tommy Haas
05-31-2011, 08:20 PM
Is the Dunlop Bio 200 Lite arm friendly? TW lists it as having a 65 flex rating. I know the rating doesn't always determine if it's arm friendly because the PK5G is also stiff, but has technology to dampen shock in other ways.

Does the Dunlop Bio 200 Lite require any lead on the hoop or is the racket stable in stock form? I know it's low powered, but I'm looking for stability, I can generate the power from racket head speed.

wiibssz
06-01-2011, 12:28 AM
I use a Head Youtek Speed 18x20 by myself and I had elbowproblems in the past. I used the Pure Drive GT.

the Speed 18x20 doesn't give me pain. I'm using a hybrid with a multifilament in the crosses. Feels great!.

An other thing you maybe can do is rest a week or something;)

Tennisguy3000
06-01-2011, 12:48 AM
Start wearing one of these when you can (on & off court) http://banditelbowbrace.com/

Once you get used to adjusting it properly you should be able to play with it on. If not it helps a lot in the day to day stress (including being on the computer w mouse ;-) Helped the pain in my arm a lot.

Hope it gets better for you. Cheers, TG

neverstopplaying
06-01-2011, 03:52 AM
CanadaD:

Tell us what strings and tension you're now using. This can make a big difference. There are several things to try before switching racquets:

Get away from full poly
Get away from harsher polys
Use a poly hybrid with a softer poly and lower tensions
Get away from poly completely - use multi or nat gut

At this point, you might get issues with spin, power, control. If elbow pain is still present, switch to a lower stiffness racquet. I don't know if I'd go to a Dunlop 200 and this is a fairly demanding low power racquet but with great control.
Maybe a Dunlop 300T, Becker Melbourne or London - there are many choices.
Lastly if none of this works - take a tennis break as you have a chronic problem that has to heal.

Personally I have been able to instantly deal with elbow and wrist pain by changing something with my gear. Good luck.

Up&comer
06-01-2011, 04:32 AM
As far as strings, babolat xcel and maxim touch are the softest multis on the market (also mantis comfort synthetic)

Limpinhitter
06-01-2011, 05:55 AM
I am a 4.5 player on a good day and as I creep into my mid thirties I am noticing a few aches and pains that had never been there before. Most notibly my arm sucks! I can hit groudstrokes just fine, but when I get to my serve, my triceps and elbow start to throw in the towel.

I have been using Speed MP 18x20's. I really like them, but the pain is no fun. Are there any suggestions for a racquet change? Serving is important to me, I have a booming first serve and a kicking second serve. I don't want to lose any weapons.

IMO, strings can be a bigger factor in arm friendliness than frames. Poly is much stiffer and harsher than a multi nylon. Kevlar will tear your arm off. If you are a heavy spinner who can't live without poly, you can string poly much lower than nylon because it's so stiff, it still feels pretty hard at lower tensions. And lower tension is even more spin friendly. I'm currently using RPM in an 18x20 98" frame strung at 46lbs. Otherwise, try a soft multi. I love Technifibre XOne Biphase. It's the closest thing to VS gut I've used (even closer than some other brands of nat gut), and about 1/3 the price.

hoodjem
06-01-2011, 05:59 AM
I am a 4.5 player on a good day and as I creep into my mid thirties I am noticing a few aches and pains that had never been there before. Most notibly my arm sucks! I can hit groudstrokes just fine, but when I get to my serve, my triceps and elbow start to throw in the towel.

I have been using Speed MP 18x20's. I really like them, but the pain is no fun. Are there any suggestions for a racquet change? Serving is important to me, I have a booming first serve and a kicking second serve. I don't want to lose any weapons.What strings? Poly?

mikeler
06-01-2011, 06:33 AM
As far as strings, babolat xcel and maxim touch are the softest multis on the market (also mantis comfort synthetic)


These are the 3 softest multis I've tried as well. Mantis is the softest but least durable and the lowest powered. Maxim has the most pop and I get good life out of it but others here do not. Xcel is the most expensive but as with many things in life, you get what you pay for. Fantastic string.

Miami Tiburon
06-01-2011, 06:37 AM
I am a 4.5 player on a good day and as I creep into my mid thirties I am noticing a few aches and pains that had never been there before. Most notibly my arm sucks! I can hit groudstrokes just fine, but when I get to my serve, my triceps and elbow start to throw in the towel.

I have been using Speed MP 18x20's. I really like them, but the pain is no fun. Are there any suggestions for a racquet change? Serving is important to me, I have a booming first serve and a kicking second serve. I don't want to lose any weapons.

Definately go for softer strings , if that does not work try the Donnay frames.
These racquets were built for comfort.

Ronaldo
06-01-2011, 06:39 AM
IMO, strings can be a bigger factor in arm friendliness than frames. Poly is much stiffer and harsher than a multi nylon. Kevlar will tear your arm off. If you are a heavy spinner who can't live without poly, you can string poly much lower than nylon because it's so stiff, it still feels pretty hard at lower tensions. And lower tension is even more spin friendly. I'm currently using RPM in an 18x20 98" frame strung at 46lbs. Otherwise, try a soft multi. I love Technifibre XOne Biphase. It's the closest thing to VS gut I've used (even closer than some other brands of nat gut), and about 1/3 the price.

Dropping the tension to the mid 40s helped the most with my TE.

nickarnold2000
06-01-2011, 06:57 AM
Actually the first thing you should do is stop playing. Give it a rest for at least a week or two to let your muscles/tendons heal up. Don't play through the pain unless it counts for something. With these chronic/wear and tear type injuries when it starts to hurt that means there's some damage so playing through can only make it worse and being out two weeks is nothing compared to how long you'll be forced to be out if it gets to be more serious.

While you're out, the first thing you should buy is an ice pack and have your racekt restung with a multi like NXT at midrange or lower. When you come back ice down after you play if you feel even just a little bit of pain. If that doesn't work out, I think the Speed does play stiff esp with the 18x20 stringbed, so you might want to start test driving some Volkls or Pro Kennex frames
I wouldn't even wait until getting home to start using ice - use it immediately after you stop playing.

canadad
06-01-2011, 08:39 AM
Thanks so much for all the advice everyone! I really appreciate all the insights. Here is what I plan to do immediately:
1. Take a break.
2. Take out my full poly strings, strung at 55 and 56 and put some multi in.
3. Change my service grip from a backhand eastern grip where I have to pronate severely, to a continental at least.
4. If all of those do not help, look at some more arm friendly frames.
5. I will also consider some bands.

Tennisguy3000
06-01-2011, 10:15 AM
Thanks so much for all the advice everyone! I really appreciate all the insights. Here is what I plan to do immediately:
1. Take a break.
2. Take out my full poly strings, strung at 55 and 56 and put some multi in.
3. Change my service grip from a backhand eastern grip where I have to pronate severely, to a continental at least.
4. If all of those do not help, look at some more arm friendly frames.
5. I will also consider some bands.

Good luck & let us know how it goes, playing tennis with pain in your arm/elbow is not fun. Take Care, TG

tennisjon
06-01-2011, 11:46 AM
I am a 4.5 in my late 30s. I played with the Youtek Speed MP but had to stop after a couple of months due to arm stiffness. Except for those few months, I have played with the Pro Kennex Ki-5x. (A standard length Ki-5 is also available). I used to get tendonitis in both wrists and my shoulder, since I switched about 4 years ago, I have had about 10 bad days instead of months of problems. Having the right low/medium flex really helped. I would try a change in strings and tension before switching, but Pro Kennex, Yonex, Volkl, Pacific racquets tend to be easier on the arm.

Limpinhitter
06-01-2011, 02:25 PM
Thanks so much for all the advice everyone! I really appreciate all the insights. Here is what I plan to do immediately:
1. Take a break.
2. Take out my full poly strings, strung at 55 and 56 and put some multi in.
3. Change my service grip from a backhand eastern grip where I have to pronate severely, to a continental at least.
4. If all of those do not help, look at some more arm friendly frames.
5. I will also consider some bands.

If your arm pain is TE specifically, then I highly recommend a qualified massage therapist who has experience with TE and tennis players in general. Believe it or not, the pain of TE originates as trigger points (muscle spasms), in the muscle on the top of your forearm. A proper massage can eliminate the trigger points and resolve your TE. Be warned, however, that if done properly (the therapists full weight and elbow in to your forearm), the massage itself is going to HURT LIKE HELL. But, it's worth it. Be prepared to drive home with your non-dominant hand. If you drive a stick shift, forget about it, bring a designated driver. I'm not kidding.

hrstrat57
06-01-2011, 05:09 PM
Natural gut 50-54 #

That should fix those sticks right up.....

(after u rest a week or 2 of course)

I have good luck staying pain free using intellitour in my 18x20 Head frames but natural gut is better albeit more expensive.

It is a lot cheaper than new frames tho....

Enjoy!

mikeler
06-02-2011, 06:03 AM
Natural gut 50-54 #

That should fix those sticks right up.....

(after u rest a week or 2 of course)

I have good luck staying pain free using intellitour in my 18x20 Head frames but natural gut is better albeit more expensive.

It is a lot cheaper than new frames tho....

Enjoy!


Intellitour is a medium/high stiffness multi IMHO. It is still a soft string though.

grass_hopper
06-02-2011, 07:54 AM
try the new head instinct or a volkel racquect.

tennis-kid
08-08-2011, 01:58 AM
I'd like to suggest you to demo Volkl PB10, ProKennex 7g (or 5g), Prince EXO3 tour. I demoed them all and other arm friendly racquets but those are the best so far. I purchased EXO3 tour after demo and comparison with my X10 (295g).

gamerx52986
08-08-2011, 06:44 AM
OP...except for skill level ( I'm 3.5) I was/still am in a similar situation. Previously used Youtek Radical MP and tried the Speed MP 18x20 as I thought the specs looked good. Played about a month with the Speeds and I'm back to my Radicals now looking for my next frame. Every time I got done playing with the Speeds I would have wrist pains for a few days afterwards. And that was using a full multi ( multifeel 17g & nrg2) at various tensions. I can play for hours with the radical and have zero pain afterwards. I'm personally trying to find something with the control of my radical with the extra pop better depth the speeds gave. So far I've tried the Becker London and Exo Tour 18x20 and Volkl pb9 frames. I've liked all for various reasons now just need to decide which one.

ATP100
08-08-2011, 10:27 AM
Start with a little lower tension, keep in mind, if you are already sore, nothing will work until you heal.

CzechM8
08-08-2011, 11:15 AM
If your arm pain is TE specifically, then I highly recommend a qualified massage therapist who has experience with TE and tennis players in general. Believe it or not, the pain of TE originates as trigger points (muscle spasms), in the muscle on the top of your forearm. A proper massage can eliminate the trigger points and resolve your TE. Be warned, however, that if done properly (the therapists full weight and elbow in to your forearm), the massage itself is going to HURT LIKE HELL. But, it's worth it. Be prepared to drive home with your non-dominant hand. If you drive a stick shift, forget about it, bring a designated driver. I'm not kidding.

+1 on therapy. However, trigger point therapy and massage should not be that painful. Most of the books I've read on the subject agree that the pain level should be around 6 on a scale of 10.

As for the racquet switch, as others have said, you may want to tinker with the strings first. When I switched from a flexible racquet to stiffer frames, I've had good experience with dropping the poly tension and hybriding it with a soft synthetic string to protect my shoulder and elbow.

coloskier
08-08-2011, 12:42 PM
99 times out of 100 it is a string problem, not a racket problem. First thing to do is if you are playing with poly, dump it. You arm is telling you "No More". 2nd, try a soft multi, like Head RIP Control or Mantis. Drop the tension below 60#.

niktub
08-08-2011, 12:48 PM
Would the Prince 03 White be a similar choice to the Volkl V1 Classic?
I am looking for an arm friendly racquet with pop?

big bang
08-08-2011, 12:51 PM
Try the Vantage bastcore line, lowest RA available!

scotus
08-08-2011, 01:06 PM
Try the Vantage bastcore line, lowest RA available!

Not the best in comfort in spite of the lowest RA numbers.

Prince EXO3 Tour, Volkl PB10 Mid, ProKennex 5G & 7G, and even Babolat Pure Storm are more comfortable than the Vantage Bastcore.

Zagor Tenay
08-08-2011, 01:20 PM
I am a 4.5 player on a good day and as I creep into my mid thirties I am noticing a few aches and pains that had never been there before. Most notibly my arm sucks! I can hit groudstrokes just fine, but when I get to my serve, my triceps and elbow start to throw in the towel.

I have been using Speed MP 18x20's. I really like them, but the pain is no fun. Are there any suggestions for a racquet change? Serving is important to me, I have a booming first serve and a kicking second serve. I don't want to lose any weapons.

I think you have the same problem with me. Also this subject in this topic
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=391490

Virtua Tennis
08-08-2011, 01:21 PM
Thanks so much for all the advice everyone! I really appreciate all the insights. Here is what I plan to do immediately:
1. Take a break.
2. Take out my full poly strings, strung at 55 and 56 and put some multi in.
3. Change my service grip from a backhand eastern grip where I have to pronate severely, to a continental at least.
4. If all of those do not help, look at some more arm friendly frames.
5. I will also consider some bands.

definately take out the full poly try a hybrid first if their is still pain try a full multi then. If that doesn't work then try making adjustments to your game.

big bang
08-08-2011, 01:24 PM
Not the best in comfort in spite of the lowest RA numbers.

Prince EXO3 Tour, Volkl PB10 Mid, ProKennex 5G & 7G, and even Babolat Pure Storm are more comfortable than the Vantage Bastcore.

I agree on EXO3 tour, but I find it as comfortable as PB10 and more comfortable than pure storm. Never tried 5G & 7G but hear very positive things about both. The BC´s does play stiffer than the rating of 49 RA, but still its very comfortable IMO. On top of that the bastcore´s pack a lot of power for such flexy frames.

Magnetite
08-08-2011, 01:32 PM
There are a few things that can help you ..

1. Use a soft multifilament, or if you have the $$, use natural gut.

2. Get a flexible racket with a low stiffness rating (below 60). The prince EXO3 tour 100 has a stiffness rating of 52.

3. Get a racket with an open string pattern (e.g a 16x18 string pattern over a 18x20).

The speed rackets are stiff. I would personally get a new racket.

niktub
08-08-2011, 01:32 PM
Have you tried the 03 White?:confused:
Then for you the best option for comfort/pop is the Vantage Bastcore?
Exo3 100 tour was also on the short list...

niktub
08-08-2011, 01:37 PM
There are a few things that can help you ..

1. Use a soft multifilament, or if you have the $$, use natural gut.

2. Get a flexible racket with a low stiffness rating (below 60). The prince EXO3 tour 100 has a stiffness rating of 52.

3. Get a racket with an open string pattern (e.g a 16x18 string pattern over a 18x20).

The speed rackets are stiff. I would personally get a new racket.

The Exo3 tour is RA62 not 52...This is a mistake from TW...:)

mikeler
08-08-2011, 03:36 PM
The PK 7G does not have the super low stiffness but it is very comfy with the kinetic system.

tennis-kid
08-08-2011, 04:09 PM
The Exo3 tour is RA62 not 52...This is a mistake from TW...:)


I disagree. It is not mistake :evil:. I checked with other website to see EXO3 tour RA rate and it was 54. So it is around there. Definitely not 62.

Smasher08
08-08-2011, 04:25 PM
Yep, need to know what strings you're using. If they're poly, it's probably not your frame.......

niktub
08-08-2011, 04:43 PM
I disagree. It is not mistake :evil:. I checked with other website to see EXO3 tour RA rate and it was 54. So it is around there. Definitely not 62.

Yes everybody keeps repeating the mistake apparently.I hope somebody will take the time to recheck that.

Arthuro
08-08-2011, 04:51 PM
Racquet
Len.
Wt.
Bal. cm
Swgwt
Headsize
Flex
Prince EXO3 Tour 100 (16x18)
27.00
326
32.50
327
100
59
Prince EXO3 Tour 100 (18x20)
27.00
327
32.10
321
100
55
Prince EXO3 Tour Lite 100
27.00
270
36.40
312
100
61
Prince EXO3 Tour Team 100 (16x18)
27.00
303
34.00
324
100
66

scotus
08-08-2011, 08:51 PM
I agree on EXO3 tour, but I find it as comfortable as PB10 and more comfortable than pure storm. Never tried 5G & 7G but hear very positive things about both. The BC´s does play stiffer than the rating of 49 RA, but still its very comfortable IMO. On top of that the bastcore´s pack a lot of power for such flexy frames.

Bastcore's high power actually works against its comfort, since power hitters need to string at a higher tension to gain more control and as a result experience diminished comfort. For example, I need to string my BC20's about 15 lbs higher than my Prince EXO3 Tours to keep the same level of control.

Fuji
08-08-2011, 09:02 PM
Hey there!

I actually use the Pure Storm Limited because of arm problems, and it's the only frame that keeps my arm totally happy! I string with Prince Synthetic Duraflex 17 Gold @ 57/55 and it's a great set up. Next round I'll be using NXT or X1 however.

-Fuji

niktub
08-09-2011, 05:42 AM
Racquet
Len.
Wt.
Bal. cm
Swgwt
Headsize
Flex
Prince EXO3 Tour 100 (16x18)
27.00
326
32.50
327
100
59
Prince EXO3 Tour 100 (18x20)
27.00
327
32.10
321
100
55
Prince EXO3 Tour Lite 100
27.00
270
36.40
312
100
61
Prince EXO3 Tour Team 100 (16x18)
27.00
303
34.00
324
100
66

STRUNG
Then the flex of the 16x18 tour should be about 61-62
EDIT: The flex is around 52-54

tennis-kid
08-24-2011, 12:48 AM
IMO, strings can be a bigger factor in arm friendliness than frames. Poly is much stiffer and harsher than a multi nylon. Kevlar will tear your arm off. If you are a heavy spinner who can't live without poly, you can string poly much lower than nylon because it's so stiff, it still feels pretty hard at lower tensions. And lower tension is even more spin friendly. I'm currently using RPM in an 18x20 98" frame strung at 46lbs. Otherwise, try a soft multi. I love Technifibre XOne Biphase. It's the closest thing to VS gut I've used (even closer than some other brands of nat gut), and about 1/3 the price.

Is Technifibre XONe Biphase softer than Mantis Comfort Synthetic?

jwbarrientos
08-24-2011, 03:29 AM
To OP, since you are 4.5, I assume your technique is good, anyhow it is a combination of frame + technique.

To help you... icing and braces for a while, and review your racquet's setup, if you wanna change, ProKennex Ki 5x, nice choice; since you are 4.5 there are many PSE edition.

canadad
09-10-2011, 09:50 AM
This is the OP:
Okay, after starting the summer in severe, severe pain, I followed all this great advice and am now basically pain free. Here's what worked for me:

1. Multi-strings, in particular TF Biphase and Multi-feel. Durability is crap though.
2. Grip adjustment on serve. I have gone to continental from the backhand eastern I was previously using. This has meant less pronation.
3. Compression sleeve. It may be a placebo, but it seems to have done the trick.
4. Switched to the BB London. It took some adjustments, because it plays very differently in comparison to the Speed 18x20. I really miss the Speeds, but not the pain.
5. Ice, always.

Thanks EVERYONE!

tennis-kid
09-10-2011, 09:20 PM
Racquet
Len.
Wt.
Bal. cm
Swgwt
Headsize
Flex
Prince EXO3 Tour 100 (16x18)
27.00
326
32.50
327
100
59
Prince EXO3 Tour 100 (18x20)
27.00
327
32.10
321
100
55
Prince EXO3 Tour Lite 100
27.00
270
36.40
312
100
61
Prince EXO3 Tour Team 100 (16x18)
27.00
303
34.00
324
100
66

where did you get this info?