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safin_protege
03-26-2006, 06:20 AM
About six months ago I switched to a Tecnifibre TFight 315- and I really like the racquet. Unfortunately, due to me playing every day during my high-school's tennis season, I am beginning to experience shoulder pain. My old racquet was the i.prestige mid, which I never had any arm trouble with.

I have searched and read many of your posts, and the i.prestige seems to meet the specifications you outlined for an "arm-friendly racquet," whereas the TFight 315 definitely did not. To preserve my arm I am thinking of switching back to the i.prestige, but one of your posts concerns me. In a thread comparing the Prestige Classic 600 and the i.prestige, you stated that none of them are arm-friendly. I looked up information on the "Racquet Research" site that you had linked to, and found that the i.prestige mid should be an arm-friendly (due to it's stats). Can you please clarify if these racquets (i.prestige and Prestige Classic 600) are arm-friendly? And if they are not, what around 90-97 sq. inch heavy control racquet would you recommend to me?

Thanks for all your help.

Marius_Hancu
03-26-2006, 07:02 AM
Prestiges ARE arm friendly.

However, as far as I know (I've only used PC600), the older ones are more arm friendly than the more recent ones (LMs).

However, they have a particular problem: they're not as head light as some of us might like or need. I.e. my PC600 is less HL (about 5-6 points) than the 6.0 85 or 6.1 90 (which are 8-9points HL. And this can cause some shoulder problems if you don't have a very good technique.

Marius_Hancu
03-26-2006, 07:04 AM
The strings and tension are very important.

Yes, the Head Prestiges are somewhat SW heavier than other racquets, and less HL, they are also dense. One can have problems during the adaptation phase.

My story:

I bought a PC600, strung it at 64lbs with NXT Tour 17, because I am using 68lbs on my 6.0 85s. This is what my stringer suggested (and he's very good), thinking that 4lbs down should be enough.

Problem was, PC600 is 18x20, the stringbed is much firmer than the less dense ones and this killed my elbow for 3 weeks, after only 20 serves. OK, I have a sensitive elbow.

I switched then to natural gut, Babolat Tonic at 54lbs, and the racket plays beautifully, and the strings don't move too much, and my elbow loves it.

I am glad I had the patience to continue testing on.

Marius_Hancu
03-26-2006, 07:07 AM
For heavy and less HL racquets:

On the serve, toss more into the court, in order to able to use more the inertia of
a heavy racket, use the other parts of your body, don't arm and
shoulder the ball.

Marius_Hancu
03-26-2006, 07:10 AM
If you want to stay with 18x20 racquets, you might have to reduce the tension and/or use soft strings.

Also, you need to work out your shoulder, check the "shoulder" threads in the Health for suggestions. That is a must in your situation.

Bottom line: if I.Prestige worked for you, you should go back to it and see how do you feel. But you might need a rest. Then conditioning. You might have rotator cuff probs.

safin_protege
03-26-2006, 07:19 AM
Thanks a lot, the advice is great- I think that I'll switch back to my i.prestiges and string them with a soft string at a lower tension- I'm going to look into the Prestige Classic as well, because they are still available, and the i.prestige is not.

Marius_Hancu
03-26-2006, 07:24 AM
you might still try to go on Technifibers at say 50lbs, but with softer strings. and toss well into the court.

safin_protege
03-26-2006, 07:29 AM
Stringing that low with the Tecnifibre with a softer string will be a bit too much power for me I'm afraid- again, thanks for all of your help.

bluegrasser
03-26-2006, 07:31 AM
The FXp Prestige is 7 points head light and feels great on the arm, and as far as tight pattern goes, just use a 17 g. I use the fxp 17 g string on my Prestige and have no problem hitting spin.

Marius_Hancu
03-26-2006, 07:41 AM
The FXp Prestige is 7 points head light and feels great on the arm, and as far as tight pattern goes, just use a 17 g. I use the fxp 17 g string on my Prestige and have no problem hitting spin.

Guess the OP should read this thread:

Flexpoint causes injuries???
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=90608

which raises interesting technique issues wrt FXP.

bluegrasser
03-26-2006, 07:55 AM
Bogus IMO - just like others saying the 03 Red is an arm killer ( which I used for over a year with a stiff string) and never had any problems with my elbow. I think some guy hits the ball wrong and *bing* the elbow goes and he blames the racquet. Somebody with too much time on his hands becomes the racquet Dr.,when basically he's a shoe salesman. Whew! glad I got that off my chest.

Marius_Hancu
03-26-2006, 08:20 AM
Whew! glad I got that off my chest.

that's what Nick Saviano recommends: exhale on your shots:-)

bluegrasser
03-26-2006, 08:35 AM
The fxp Prestige hits very close to the LM version, the feel off the head feels almost identical, it's just a tad lighter in the swingweight and a little stiffer in the throat, which gives it a little more pop.

jaykay
03-26-2006, 09:32 AM
Excellent thread, great suggestions.

Thanks Marius...

J D
03-26-2006, 11:55 AM
Safin Protege, arm friendly is such an all-encompassing term that it is useless to anyone that knows anything about biomechanics. A frame may be easy on the elbow but hard on the shoulder and/or wrist. To complicate matters more, a frame may be good for a particular joint for one person and yet bad for another person, depending on, among other things, the physical problem, technique, and strength of the player. Racquet Research combines fairly solid physics with a total lack of understanding of biomechanics and technological innovation. The results are data that is somewhere between slightly useful and totally meaningless.

Your shoulder problems could be caused by a number of things. It could be an injury or an overuse injury. In this case, the I.Prestiges can make it even worse. It could be caused by a change in technique because of the new frames (as a result of different weight, swingweight, or even power level). Changing back to the I.Prestiges may change your technique back and fix the problem or your technique may not change back and, once again, the I.Prestiges could be even worse than the 315's. Or, your shoulder problems could simply be growing pains and your shoulder may hurt no matter which frame you are using.

The first thing to do is to figure out exactly what your shoulder problem is. Does it hurt all the time? Does taking NSAID's like ibuprofen eliminate the pain, help it some, or not help much at all? Is the pain acute or more of a dull ache? If acute, does it hurt in the front, back, or top? Does one particular stroke seem to aggravate the pain? Are certain arm movements more painful than others?

If your pain is acute, I would recommend a trip to the doctor. Otherwise, with some work, you can probably figure out the exact cause of your problems and fix them yourself (unless it is growing pains, of course). BTW, frame stiffness and string type are not a direct cause of shoulder problems because they are not a result of shock.

NoBadMojo
03-26-2006, 12:08 PM
In the short time I spent w. the T315 I found it to be an uncomfortable and harsh hit and am not suprised that people would get TE or shoulder from such a frame. There's lot of better choiuces out there, and no need to limit your scope to the Prestige since you are changing anyway. I suggest you stick the desired specs in the racquet finder and search for current models and see what you come up with by way of starters

Marius_Hancu
03-26-2006, 01:01 PM
BTW, frame stiffness and string type are not a direct cause of shoulder problems because they are not a result of shock.

Generally, useful comments. But I can't agree with the above.

safin_protege
03-26-2006, 02:24 PM
A frame may be easy on the elbow but hard on the shoulder and/or wrist. To complicate matters more, a frame may be good for a particular joint for one person and yet bad for another person, depending on, among other things, the physical problem, technique, and strength of the player.

The "joint-in-question" would be my shoulder. There are no major flaws in my technique; I have a very long flowing stroke, and my coach (who is very good) has said nothing about my technique having problems. As for strength, I wouldn't say that in general I am very muscular or "strong," but I can generate a lot of racquet head speed when needed. I'm around 6' 2" and 175 lbs.

It could be an injury or an overuse injury.

I am fairly sure it is not solely an overuse injury; last year during my high-school season (with the i.prestiges) my arm was fine. This year, I am feeling pain; however, this pain occurred after about six months of using the Tecnifibres, and only started around two weeks into the season.

Or, your shoulder problems could simply be growing pains and your shoulder may hurt no matter which frame you are using.

I think growing pains are out of the question, due to the time and circumstances of the injury, and also the fact that at 16 years I am already 6' 2" and haven't grown substantially in awhile.

The first thing to do is to figure out exactly what your shoulder problem is. Does it hurt all the time? Does taking NSAID's like ibuprofen eliminate the pain, help it some, or not help much at all? Is the pain acute or more of a dull ache? If acute, does it hurt in the front, back, or top? Does one particular stroke seem to aggravate the pain? Are certain arm movements more painful than others?

My shoulder only seems to hurt when I am using it- like playing tennis. The pain isn't very acute, but more like an "extremely tired and weak" ache. The serve (especially the kick serve) is the stroke that aggravates it the most.

I suggest you stick the desired specs in the racquet finder and search for current models and see what you come up with by way of starters

When I was demoing racquets to upgrade from the i.prestige, I tried out almost all models, none of which I liked as much as the i.prestige (except the one I ended up buying, the TFight 315). I'm thinking of trying out the Prestige Classic 600, as they are available in new condition and I have always had a desire to try them.

Thanks for the advice from all.

J D
03-26-2006, 03:28 PM
Safin Protege, it does sound like you have bursitis or tendonitis. It would be impossible to diagnose the exact cause over the internet because even the most subtle changes in form could be at the root of your problem. The easiest thing to do is to go back to your Heads and see if the problem disappears. If it does, then the slight form and/or shoulder stress change going from one frame to the other is likely the culprit. If going back to the Heads doesn't fix the problem, then overuse or a basic form problem on the serve are the likely causes (it only takes one thing to be off a little bit in your serving form or timing to really stress the shoulder unnecessarily).

In the meantime, use NSAID's before and after playing (do not take on an empty stomach) and ice your shoulder after playing. Be very careful, because rotator cuff tendonitis is often a precursor to a rotator cuff tear. Be sure to warm up and stretch well before playing, especially before serving. If the pain ever gets acute, stop playing immediately and see a doctor.

Generally, useful comments. But I can't agree with the above.I would like to try and keep from getting too technical because then many people will just pass this discussion by. I do not believe that a stiff frame can directly cause a shoulder injury. Now, no one I know is going to suggest that a stiff frame causes pulled or torn shoulder muscles. Stretched or torn ligaments will result in a shoulder separation, not a normal tennis injury.

Unlike a common cause of TE/GE (inflammation from microtears in the tendon from shock), shoulder tendonitis is usually an overuse injury most often caused by impingement. The most common forms of this are bursitis and rotator cuff tendonitis. There is no medical authority or study that I am aware of that even hints that shock from a tennis racquet, stiff or otherwise, contributes to bursitis or shoulder tendonitis. If you have any evidence to the contrary, I would be very interested in seeing it.

safin_protege
03-26-2006, 03:46 PM
Thanks, that's what I plan to do; switch back to the i.prestige mids; if they "cure" my problem, then I'll look into the PC 600.

Marius_Hancu
03-28-2006, 05:58 AM
I would like to try and keep from getting too technical because then many people will just pass this discussion by. I do not believe that a stiff frame can directly cause a shoulder injury. Now, no one I know is going to suggest that a stiff frame causes pulled or torn shoulder muscles. Stretched or torn ligaments will result in a shoulder separation, not a normal tennis injury.

Unlike a common cause of TE/GE (inflammation from microtears in the tendon from shock), shoulder tendonitis is usually an overuse injury most often caused by impingement. The most common forms of this are bursitis and rotator cuff tendonitis. There is no medical authority or study that I am aware of that even hints that shock from a tennis racquet, stiff or otherwise, contributes to bursitis or shoulder tendonitis. If you have any evidence to the contrary, I would be very interested in seeing it.

I am quite sure that a stiffer racquet, which is seen by the users as being "more powerful," contributes "more effectively" to straining all the elements in the shoulder that you mention in the above. Its conveying the shock to a larger extent to the joint is very important in this, of course, IMO.

As probably know, there isn't that much research in this area of the effects of the racquet stiffness on the human body, as the racquet manufacturers won't support it, and others don't either.

Same about strings.

J D
03-28-2006, 09:31 AM
Marius, it is easy to see why TE/GE would result from frame shock. The muscles from the elbow run through the forearm, wrist, hand, and into the fingers. Essentailly, a large part of the force gripping the racquet is generated in the muscles that connect to the tendons in the TE/GE areas. There is very little to provide cushioning or dampening between these muscles and the frame. In addition, these muscles are contracted (to varying degress) at ball impact.

With the shoulder, however, there are two flexing joints (the wrist and elbow) and the whole mass of the arm to serve as a buffer for shock. Unlike the forearm muscles, the shoulder muscles are not tightly contracted at the time of ball impact. Shoulder injuries result from overuse, overstress (even to the point of trauma), improper conditioning, improper technique, physical malformities, and/or disease in the shoulder joint. Shock just is not a contributing factor to these problems.

Marius_Hancu
03-28-2006, 09:55 AM
Marius, it is easy to see why TE/GE would result from frame shock. The muscles from the elbow run through the forearm, wrist, hand, and into the fingers. Essentailly, a large part of the force gripping the racquet is generated in the muscles that connect to the tendons in the TE/GE areas. There is very little to provide cushioning or dampening between these muscles and the frame. In addition, these muscles are contracted (to varying degress) at ball impact.

With the shoulder, however, there are two flexing joints (the wrist and elbow) and the whole mass of the arm to serve as a buffer for shock. Unlike the forearm muscles, the shoulder muscles are not tightly contracted at the time of ball impact. Shoulder injuries result from overuse, overstress (even to the point of trauma), improper conditioning, improper technique, physical malformities, and/or disease in the shoulder joint. Shock just is not a contributing factor to these problems.

I understand your theory of decoupling being more into effect at the shoulder and so on and you have a point there.

But I am convinced that the stiffness of the tool (be it mouse, keyboard, racquet, etc) is a very important contributing factor to any overuse/RSI injury, and you recognize it yourself this injury being one of them.

Also, to say that the shoulder muscles aren't contracted on the impact it's a little bit far fetched. They might not be at their maximum contraction and they might not be the major muscles involved in the action, but they certainly are worked out a lot.

Overstress and overuse are exacerbated by improper tools, be they stiff racquets or harsh strings. And the differential wrt a more tolerant tool can take you easily over the edge or bring it in earlier.

racquetresearch.com demonstrates that the stiffer racquets generate more force on the joints. This is enough for me, even if that force is buffered to a larger extent in the case of the shoulder.

And you mention yourself that the rotator cuff overuse is a major source of problems for the shoulder in the case of the serve. This means it's seriously utilized during that motion, not passive.