View Full Version : Serve problem possibly causing shoulder problem??

07-10-2004, 03:07 AM
Hey guys, got a bit of a problem.....

I was playing last Saturday in my local pennant competition. During the warm up, I hit about 3 very soft warm up serves that I always make sure I do before swinging alot harder. After these 3 serves I threw in a basic kick serve an OUCH!!!! Something just gave way in my shoulder. I played out the day in pretty extreme pain just tapping my serve in the court (ended up winning 6-1, 6-3 anyway). I spoke to a fella that was there afterwards and he said straight away I had injured my rotator cuff. I gave tennis a rest for the whole of last week and read up on rotator cuff injuries. I found a few exersises at http://familydoctor.org/265.xml and completed a few. Feeling completely recovered I returned to the tennis court today to play a doubles match. Losing 6-2 and 5-4 on serve the pressure was building and because of my utterly weak serve, I decided to throw in a kick serve with a tiny bit of pace. And once again, OUCH!!! Felt about 10 times worse today and could hardly lift my arm up.

Now the weird thing is about this injury is that it has never hurt off the tennis court or doing anything else. It only hurts when I try to serve more than 5 mph After contemplating for a while, I thought maybe my serve action might be whats causing my injury. It would be good to get peoples opinions on this thought and what people think i should do to get over this injury.

My serve video is located at www.geocities.com/givrc/paulserving.avi

I am worried about this injury only because of the fact that ive almost never been injured before and I would hate to have to give up tennis only because of this shoulder injury.

Thanks guys

07-10-2004, 06:36 AM
You have to see a doctor and get it checked out. No one on this board can help you based on a written description of your injury. Don't be a dumba** and risk further injury to the joint-see a doctor.

07-10-2004, 06:46 AM
First of all, how often to you play? How competitive are you?
Your racquet is as shoulder friendly as they come.
I can relate to your problem. I have a huge serve and good mechanics, but I screwed up my rotator cuff. I used to play singles daily with the Original 85 (heavy). Never had problems before. Felt the discomfort mostly when serving, doing overheads and hight topspin forehands.
After several months, I went to the doctor - my rotator cuff muscles were all inflammed at the time. I had to to physiotherapy for two months (still doing it). I am regaining my shoulder strenght, but it is very annoying to treat. My suggestion is to stop playing tennis for at least two weeks. If you feel any pain, go see a doctor. Even if you don't, better prevent than to fix. Start doing specific strengthening exercises with light weights daily (once you get the hang of it it won't take more than 25 - 30 minutes). I have incorporated these exercises into my routine and it is working well. But I only play on weekends (at least for now).
Don't let the "addiction" make you go to court and play with pain (like I did). Once your competitive spirit and adrenaline kicks in, your body and mind seems to forget the problem. Hope this helps.

07-10-2004, 07:04 AM
Well theres a small problem with going to the doctor and that is that we no longe rhave health insurance and cant really afford to pay big bucks to go to a specialist :( I think ill just have the season off + icing and exercises to get it right.... Does that sound as though it could fix the problem??

07-10-2004, 07:55 AM
Ice down the injury as it'll prevent swelling. Find the source of the pain. If your kick serves cause you pain, you obviously don't want to do those for a while. You don't want to start rehab exercises just yet, you're still in the healing process. Ice down the injury for a couple of more weeks, then when the pain is gone, warm up thoroughly and start stretching those deltoids. Remember, ice for now, warm up and stretch in 2 weeks, and avoid tennis in that time too.

07-10-2004, 07:58 AM
Maybe you know someone who is a sports doctor and may be willing to take a loot at your shoulder. Without having someone with knowledge to examine your shoulder, you may start doing the wrong exercises incorrectly.
Rest and ice is always good, 15 minutes 2 or 3 times daily - that much I can safely suggest. Best of luck.

07-10-2004, 10:37 PM
Well theres a small problem with going to the doctor and that is that we no longe rhave health insurance and cant really afford to pay big bucks to go to a specialist I think ill just have the season off + icing and exercises to get it right.... Does that sound as though it could fix the problem??

No way to tell, but you can try it and see if it works, but the last thing you want to do is to continue to serve. Only other suggestion is to bite the bullet and see a specialist anyway, because if it's something that can get worse if you LET IT GO, then, whether you can afford it or not, you will be forced to pay EVEN BIGGER BUCKS, especially if you need surgery and follow-on treatment and rehab. I wouldn't take that kind of pain lightly. Trust me.

07-20-2004, 08:48 PM
I feel your pain!
I am VERY familiar on the subject of shoulder/ rotator cuff injuries. I am 17 and have been plagued by my rotator cuff injury for nearly 3 years. I tried everything. When I first hurt it, I took off a month and used Ice and Advil every day, then spent a month doing strengthening w/ those exercise bands, then spent a week throwing a football twice a day, then finally tried out my serve. It was good for about a week until a guy blasted a serve into my body and made me cram to return it **OUCH**! I then went to a Sports therapy Dr. she told me to stay on solid advil (2 every 4 hours)all day long for 2 weeks, andthen come back really slow. This actually worked for a while and lasted me for about 5 months. Once I thought I was perfectly fine I tried to begin elevating my serve, bc it was falling behind the rest of my game. After a week of elevated serving, my shoulder was gone again. Obviously I didnt know what to do. I began to talk to people w/ similar experiences. I heard horror stories of going to a medical doctor and being prescribed extreme pain medicine, or being told the only option was surgery. I did not want surgery, so I talked to a tennis coach. **pay attention** (this is what was wrong) My coach told me to turn sideways so he could see my posture. He pointed out that My right shoulder was dropped and rotated forward, which is very common for serious tennis players. He said, the reason that I keep having problems is that since my shoulder is rotated forward, it is constantly leaving those small rotator cuff muscles in a stretched, stressed position. THus, they are unable to rebuild lost muscle when they are worked out. So, they constantly are being worn down every time you play, but never can rebuild the muscle. This keeps happening until they start tearing. He said, the only way to truly get past this injury is to get your shoulder back in alignment w/ the rest of your body. He gave me the name of a chiropractor that is a tennis player and 50% of his patients are tennis players. He also gave me 5 people's names and #'s who had been out of tennis for more than 5 months w/ rotator cuff injuries and after going to this guy, were back on the court withen 1 month. I have to admit, that my family has had horribel experiences w/ chiros.(wrenched necks etc...), but this guy was amazing! His adjustments were not only more gental than a masage , but he gave me stretching exercises to do at home to keep my shoulder in the correct spot. IT was AMAZING! Withen TWO weeks, my shoulder felt stronger than it had in my entire life, I was then able to start my strength training again and then went back to tennis slowly. Slowly meaning : hit 10 serves on the first day, 20 serves on the second day, 30 serves on 3rd day, took a day off, then 40 serves... etc... until i could serve 150 serves. I then went back to full time tennis and have been injury free for the past 6 months! I can serve as hard as I want!!!!!!!

CAUTION*** do not go to a chiro that uses his hands, they will mess u up. You want to find one that uses a small instrament, that just lightly thumps you. For more information E-mail me, Tigerarp11@yahoo.com