Serve problem possibly causing shoulder problem??

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by copycat, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. copycat

    copycat New User

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    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
     
    #1
  2. KoolAidMan

    KoolAidMan New User

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    The first thing to pop into my head would be, simply, you'll just have to try a different motion. My shoulder hurts too when I serve sometimes, but just go out there and experiment with different shoulder rotations until you find one that flows smoothly and without pain. Also, put some variation into where you toss the ball, as far as being right above you, in front of you, etc. The location of the ball could cause you to swing differently.
     
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  3. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    All I basically serve is a kick serve and I've had something like this as well. Unfortunately I never went to the doctor and I wish I did b/c I had to stop playing tennis for seven months b/c I couldn't serve or hit overheads at all. Don't do what I did and ignore the pain and hope it'll go away; it's good that you're proactive and doing exercises. One thing that both of us do is toss the ball and quickly get up after it. I know that if I toss the ball too low and try to chase the bad toss, I can tweak my shoulder.
     
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  4. vin

    vin Professional

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    The worst thing that can happen is completely tearing your rotator cuff. Then you'll either need to get surgery or switch to playing with your other arm. Not much fun either way, so be careful to not injure it any further.

    You should certainly go to a doctor to find out what's going on in there and once you are past this, make sure to do rotator cuff strengthening exercises and streches regularly.

    Also look into Trigger Point Therapy (you can do it yourself). It's very simple and can basically provide miracles for nagging aches and pains. It has done so on more than one occasion for me. Here's a good book to read on it.
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...962-9747005?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

    Oh yeah, I can't get to your serving clip. If you email it to me at vin_miller@yahoo.com (there's a _ between vin and miller), I'll put it on my web server for you so everyone can see it. I probably am not the best person to diagnose your motion, but I can tell you with confidence that you should make sure you're not muscling the ball. I can't tell you how many times I have caused myself joint and muscle pain from doing so.

    Good luck!
    Vin
     
    #4
  5. jun

    jun Semi-Pro

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    You seem to have pretty good motion...But toss location also matters.

    I am guessing you just did something that day, or it's an overuse problem. I had shoulder problem once (not rotator cuff), and it took me out of game for 4 weeks. Even after that, I had problem on and off for another 3 weeks (not as severe though).

    I suggest you go see a doctor immediately. It could be a tear on rotator cuff, or it could just be a strain. Taking one week off is sometimes not enough rest. So do some strengthening training with light weight. And take sometime off tennis
     
    #5
  6. Tim Tiger Henman

    Tim Tiger Henman Rookie

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    I had a long-standing shoulder problem (5 years?) from tennis serving. The only time it was aggrevated was when serving.

    Weights and strengthening the shoulder didn't help much.

    Then I read John Yandell's article about how to serve and corrected my serving motion. Instead of serving with the arm/shouler, I used the entire body to power the serve. This way there is *minimal* stress upon the shoulder. Surprise, surprise my long-standing "injury" vanished over night.
     
    #6
  7. copycat

    copycat New User

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    ...

    ...
     
    #7
  8. I have this same problem, I'm trying to figure out what's going on. My forehand kinda hurts too?
     
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  9. DV7821P

    DV7821P Guest

    ...

    all you have to do is let it heal, i bet you just tore or damaged a tendon, that would explain for you have been feeling alot of pain. just a few weeks off, and take it easy after that and you'll be fine.
     
    #9
  10. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Ice down the injury and when it heals, start doing strengthening exercises and stretching it. Do not use heat or stretch while you still feel pain, but after it has healed, you can start on rehab.
     
    #10
  11. copycat

    copycat New User

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    Well its been a week and it feels a bit better. Ive just started to do the exersizes listing at the website ^ and there is no pain while I do them which is promising. Im planning to have another 3 weeks off competitive tennis before I start serving again.

    Thanks guys for the help
     
    #11
  12. Tigerarp1

    Tigerarp1 Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2004
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    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
     
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