Tennis Elbow---actually Golfer's Elbow?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by TennisTaxi, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. TennisTaxi

    TennisTaxi Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    213
    My son is a college player--plays a lot--last weekend two D1 college matches singles and doubles.

    His elbow is constantly in pain while playing, he was told it is Golfer's elbow..mostly caused from the motion of his serve. Ok, don't say "Change the motion"...he has tried and cannot get the same power on his serve, no matter what he tries.

    Has seen team doctor, had PT, had MRI (no damage) and nothing seems to help. Did some research and saw Bauerfeind EpiPoint Elbow Strap...he said it hurt, literally, more than helped.

    Can anyone suggest another brace...someone suggested a sleeve...

    ...and also some elbow friendly string? He currently uses Babolat Pro Hurricane/Xcel hybrid...

    Thanks
     
    #1
  2. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Messages:
    235
    What racquet does he play with and at what string tension? Stiff racquets such as the Babolat Pure Drive can cause tennis elbow.

    Perhaps trying an arm-friendly racquet and lower string tension is something to explore.
     
    #2
  3. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Ukraine
    Why not using natural gut mains?
    Aside from being arm friendly, this will have positive impact on his technique.
     
    #3
  4. TennisTaxi

    TennisTaxi Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    213
    GrandSlam45-how did you know? He has been using the Pure Drive for years--do you think this is what is causing the pain? I will tell him to try gut mains but what racquet would you suggest?
     
    #4
  5. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Ukraine
    Considering he is in constant pain and using Pure Drive, maybe IG Radical Pro is worth a try. Most arm friendly solution, Prince EXO3 Tour, would be too much of a change, technique wise
     
    #5
  6. Juan2thePaab

    Juan2thePaab New User

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    I am no expert, but I previously used the Babolat AeroPro Drive strung at 53lbs then switched to the heavier Babolat Pure Drive Roddick model strung at 60lbs (was my first racquet purchase , made the mistake of listening to the salesperson) and had some pretty consistent soreness for a few months in the area of my elbow that would be Golfer's Elbow.
     
    #6
  7. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,215
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Tendinitis & Tendinosis

    Here's some information on tendinitis(with inflammation) and tendinosis (with defective healing).

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442912

    "Animal studies show that within two to three weeks of tendon insult tendinosis is present and inflammatory cells are absent."

    I believe that MRIs cannot distinguish between tendinitis and tendinosis.

    The problem is that with stress the part of the tendon characterized by tendinosis can enlarge.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
    #7
  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,548
    Location:
    Central Florida
    After years of tinkering with my setup to help my arm, one of the most comfortable I've found that still offers good performance is the Prince Exo Tour 16x18 with a full job of Discho Microfibre. If you really want to save his arm, you'll need to buy a stringing machine and use softer string.
     
    #8
  9. TennisTaxi

    TennisTaxi Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    213
    Mikeler-will that set up give him the power and liveliness he needs to compete?
     
    #9
  10. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,639
    Like everyone else said, he needs a more flexible frame and softer strings - he definitely needs to get rid of the Hurricane - or any poly - for now.

    Mikeler above is the resident TT expert on multifilaments, so taking his advice is a good bet.

    (The other alternative is a full bed of gut - more expensive for each string job, but gut generally lasts longer.)

    Here's another way to look at going with Mikeler's suggestion of combining a flexible frame with a multifilament or gut:
    A pure multifilament or gut set up is going to decrecase his spin potential, and he likely will need a more flexible frame to compensate for the increased length of his groundstrokes.
    [Warning: if he swichhes to the Prince Exo Tour, it is unlikely he will ever get to better than #4 in the world, as David Ferrer has proven.]


    If he is a D1 player, I suppose it is likely he already knows all of the above, but just can't bring himself to take a step backwards in performance to play with a different set up in the middle of a season.



    He probably also is aware the longer he plays, the more he is setting himself up for a VERY long recovery period.

    And as has been pointed out above, the longer he plays in pain, the more he is subjecting himself to permanent degeneration of the tendons around his elbow - "tendonosis".

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    You and he should be aware that many doctors and therapists are also caught up in the "get the player back out on the court" syndrome.
    Too often there is a push to keep the athlete active, when the proper course of action is rest, even if the season is ongoing.
    I have no doubt if you asked his doctor or therapist if rest was the best course of action they would reply "Of course. But he wants to keep playing."
    Thus they get trapped into being enablers for continued injury.
    While his season is important, if he plays it smart, he should still have another 50 years of tennis pleasure.


    There is no one arm band that likely will be an "instant cure". Direct pressure from any of the arm bands may improve the symptoms, but is not treating the underlying condition.


    Even though he has had "PT", has he used a Theraband Flexbar?
    While some therapists use it, not all do.
    But many here at TT have posted good results - probably because of the unique twisting exercise that mimics the way the muscles/tendons of the forearm curve around the forearm when they contract.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #10
  11. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,548
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I had to drop my tension down to about 50 pounds because the frame is so flexible. I'm a 4.5 and I get several singles matches out of this setup. A D1 player is probably going to tear through it in a match or two I'd think. That is why I suggested the stringing machine.
     
    #11
  12. superdave3

    superdave3 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Messages:
    105
    All of the above suggestions are right on the money, i.e. the change to a more arm friendly racquet (Pro Kennex is supposedly the best), softer strings and less tension. The good thing is that your son is young so should heal fast, but the drawback as mentioned by the posts above is that as long as he continues to play with pain, the longer the recovery process will be, so hard as it may be, he should stop playing until he can play pain free. Golfer's elbow normally comes from serving and large looping forehand shots. I doubt that if your son is a college player he has any stroke flaws, but it might be worth one session with a teaching pro just to make sure. For instance, if the service toss is too far to the right (for a right handed player), it can cause GE, as well as an incorrect grip on the serve or forehand, or a grip that is too small or too large.
     
    #12
  13. TennisTaxi

    TennisTaxi Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    213
    WOW-thanks so much for all the valuable information.

    CharlieFedererer-Great post-Thanks for the tendonitis info-very helpful.

    I spoke to him this morning and he is going to talk to the college racquet reps and get some demos--he is going to ask them about "elboe" friendly racquets.

    They string all their own racquets so yes, he does have a stringing machine but only get poly strings--I will send him some gut but doubt they will last a week!

    Is for strokes--I have no doubt he has some bad habits--and he recently told me he wanted to get a few lessons and a stroke review is a great idea.

    Thanks again everyone--really appreciate tall the advice!
     
    #13
  14. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,215
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    This is a long thread. At the end the server gives an update and identifies his injury.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=397131&highlight=warning+practicing+serve

    When I looked at his serve at impact I could see a bend in his elbow that was different than the pros straight arm. I speculated that the unusual angle between the upper arm and forearm might stress the elbow and produce golfer's elbow. It did not as his injury was something else. (I had injured myself, GE injury, by using a bent elbow and forceful ISR for a more forceful volley, ping!)

    Compare the ball impact still picture in reply #55 to the frame in this video where the pro server impacts the ball. The pro has a straight arm. If the arm has an angle when the rapid and forceful internal shoulder rotation occurs (note this by how rapidly the upper arm rotates by the elbow bones) the added inertia of moving the forearm & racket, I believe, will stress the tendon at the golfer's elbow injury location. My opinion, and I'm not qualified in medicine or tennis.

    https://vimeo.com/2752870

    [​IMG]

    I hope that your son will stop playing tennis while he has a tendon injury. It would be worse to work on changing his serve.

    After he can play again take some high speed videos from behind along the ball's trajectory and look to see his elbow orientation at impact. I believe that forehand technique might also causes GE.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
    #14
  15. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,548
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I got triceps tendinitis from 1 serve that I tried to hit as hard as I possibly could. After taking a little time off, I just dealt with it but was using poly hybrids. Then I started getting some GE. I took the cortisone pills for it and they worked until the cortisone wore off. At that point, the pain was so bad I had to sit out several weeks and do PT.

    What works well for me for both GE and TE is ultrasound. I bought a new home unit just a few weeks ago because my old one broke. It is amazing how well it works for me.
     
    #15
  16. the hack

    the hack New User

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Houston Texas
    mikeler, what do you think about using wilson stamina as a cross with gut mains. stamina is a good value . it is not as easy on my arm as a full gut setup but pretty close. I have never heard of dicho microfiber but I am always willing to try something new.
     
    #16
  17. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,548
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I have not used Stamina. Mantis Comfort Synthetic, Babolat Xcel, Pro Supex Maxim Touch (I've only tried 17g) and Discho Microfibre are all very soft. They would probably help tame the gut mains some. From a budget perspective, I think they are worth a shot. The Mantis is the most comfortable but least durable. The Xcel is most expensive and the Pro Supex is the most powerful. The Discho is best all around.
     
    #17
  18. the hack

    the hack New User

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Houston Texas
    thanks for info. I will try the Dicho if I can find it. I am easy on strings with flat groundstrokes so I will try the Mantis as well.
     
    #18
  19. MrFlynntastic

    MrFlynntastic New User

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Canada
    :confused: What works well for me for both GE and TE is ultrasound. I bought a new home unit just a few weeks ago because my old one broke. It is amazing how well it works for me.[/QUOTE]

    Mikeler, can you pls elaborate on what sort of machine you are using? ie. Hz, brand, etc....
    Thnx
     
    #19

Share This Page