"Tennis elbow? Just buy a new racket!"

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TimeToPlaySets, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Rookie

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    Is this statement slightly off-base? After reading this forum for a few weeks, I am under the impression that a blanket statement of “Just get a new stick” is incomplete. On the contrary, many modern sticks are horrible for your elbow. For example, the popular Babolat is stiff as hell, and some of the worst rackets made for elbows. AeroPro flex rating = 70. Pure Drive = 71. Terrible, right?

    Supposedly, Pro Kennex makes the most arm friendly rackets out there.

    My 2005 Head liquid metal 107sqin is also one of the most flex rackets made (Flex = 58) However, I am also playing with a vintage 1990s Dunlop Revelation that is max’ed out on the flex/control rating (low power, max control) I don't know the flex rating, but the Dunlop is even more comfortable than my Head, which is at 58 flex (and 52lbs tension)

    So, I feel that my racket is not remotely the issue. It's my swing.

    However, I am going to restring with a multi-filament string at a low tension. My current string is at 48, So I will need to adjust to ball flying off the racket (which will allow me to hit less hard)
     
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  2. Vlad_C

    Vlad_C Semi-Pro

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    The flex is only part of the equation. For me, I feel the weight of the racquet is more important, as well as the string.
    When I started playing with a light racquet (300g) and a stiff string, I immediately started to develop a case of tennis elbow.
    Now I play with a 350g racquet with a relatively high flex rating of 68, and everything is just fine.

    But you are absolutely right that your technique has a lot to do with it.
    Hitting with a heavy racquet, long swing and a relaxed grip, allows the racquet to absorb all the shock of the impact, instead of transmitting it to your arm.
     
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  3. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Rookie

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    My brother swears by using a tennis elbow strap.
    Does anyone else feel these things help?
    Or just more placebo marketing snake oil?

    http://tinyurl.com/8nodd3h
     
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  4. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Rookie

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    If I were to hit a tennis ball with a steel bar, I would never feel it. So, I agree that racket weight is a big factor. I might try wrapping a ton of lead tape around the head. Might be a cheap $10 band-aid to see if it works. I don’t need to worry about tourament violations/rules, etc. Anyone use excessive lead tape to help their elbow?
     
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  5. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I've used a few of those things. I have 3 of those sitting in my closet now, including a $70 magnetic one. They weren't that much help.

    The strings should help. I found type of string to be more important than tension. Multifilament at 65 pounds is still much more arm-friendly than poly at 30 pounds. If the ball starts to fly, go ahead and increase the tension.
     
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  6. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    It really isn't necessary to buy a Pro Kennex when TE occurs, but I personally just switched from the very arm friendly Pure Storm Ltd. GT and have to say that the Pro Kennex 315 does a better job of dissipating the impact than the more flexible PSLGT. Evidently flexibility is only part of the equation. I may just use the PK315 until my elbow is 100%, but on the other hand the more I play with the PK315 the more I think it is a great racquet even if one doesn't have TE.

    I am playing with the elbow strap/brace and it does a decent job of taking some of the stress off the tendons. I only use it while playing and take it off immediately after and put on ice. My mild TE seems to be slowly going away.

    I think the biggest help is to put natty gut at low tension in any frame. It made my PSLGT play really soft. Natty gut also has a way of dissipating the impact that multis and polys don't have.
     
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  7. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Rookie

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    What's the difference between the PK 315 and Ki5 ?
     
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  8. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    #8
  9. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    Racquets are stiffer AND lighter today, and both transmit more shock to the arm that occurs even with fairly good technique. Same for poly strings. You're not always going to hit the sweet spot at recreational levels, and even at higher levels of recreational play (lot of ex-college people can get elbow issues).
     
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  10. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Hey TimeToPlay - Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you just start playing tennis again recently? And your elbow is now hurting already? If so, your technique is probably messing you up. An "arm-friendly" racquet may help, but...
     
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  11. gilly2571

    gilly2571 Guest

    I have Pro-Kennex 7g rackets and I can't say enough about them. After having tennis elbow surgery, I played with a Prince Exo3. After surgery was still having lateral epicondolitis (tennis elbow) problems. Please believe me when I tell you that the combination of the PK 7g AND natural gut has healed me completely.
     
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  12. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Which EXO3 did you use? I agree PK makes arm-friendly racquets, but the EXO3 Tour 100 is the most comfortable racquet I ever tried.
     
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  13. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

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    I am a recent example of how "just change racquets" can heal TE. I've been struggling with Babolat Pure Drives for over 10 years and I always thought that arm pain was just a "normal" part of playing tennis. I had to ice after every match, use tons of Advil, use elbow braces, etc. None of these things ever cured the problem. I always assumed the problem was me... getting old, glitches in my strokes, poor form etc.. I ignorantly never thought it was my racquet!

    I recently switched to a PK Ki5 315 and I swear to you it fixed my problem. Whereas before I could only play 3 days a week max, I can now play every day if I wanted to, and I'm experiencing ZERO arm pain... either during or after. For me, it's like a miracle.

    So yes, for some, switching racquets can make all the difference.
     
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  14. my76

    my76 New User

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    I'd also recommend the Volkl V1 classic, for me it's even more arm friendly than the Prokennex Ionic rackets that I've used.It's stiffer but you feel no vibration because of the handle system.
     
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  15. srvnvly

    srvnvly Professional

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    Does this Pro Kennex racquet make noise? I remember demoing one about 5 years ago, and the 'shaking' noise was a little distracting.
     
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  16. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I guess that shows there's a small segment of the population, with very acute hearing, who can hear the particles in a Kinetic racquet while they are playing. I can't hear it on mine unless I'm in a quiet room or putting the racquet up to my ear. The Q-series doesn't make as much noise because the kinetic particles are confined to 4 small chambers, so maybe they would be better for someone with really good ears.
     
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  17. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    +1

    Some people must have superhero abilities when it comes to hearing, or maybe they don't make any noise when moving on court and such.
     
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  18. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    I've played the 7g, 5g, Ki5, Ki15 and now the Qtour and never been able to hear this sound people talk about. PK's are just great playing tennis racquets that happen to benefit those with TE.

    I don't know, maybe my hearing is bad and I'm just not aware of it !
     
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  19. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    I played some old guy a couple of months back with an over sized PK stick. It sounded as if there was a rattlesnake on court everytime he swung at the ball. Kinda of distracting because the only sound you expect to hear is on contract.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
    #19
  20. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I never had any complaints from my opponents about the noise. However, if the noise doesn't bother me, but it bothers him, that's a plus! LOL
     
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  21. gilly2571

    gilly2571 Guest

    I used the EXO3 White 100. A great racket just not as arm friendly for me as the PK. Your mileage may vary.
     
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  22. gilly2571

    gilly2571 Guest

    It does, but it's better playing painless with a slightly "noisy" racket than playing in pain with a quiet one. You really can't hear it when you are playing. Only when you shake it near your ears can I hear it.
     
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  23. T-Vex

    T-Vex Rookie

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    Very simple, and surely an efficient way of almost totally excluding all sorts of wrist-hand-arm issues due to racket stiffness/string stiffness/racket weight/you name it...

    ...is a bit of workout!

    It sounds like a pain in the ass, but actually it might be enough to make few excersises 2 times a week to keep all the muscles involved up to their tasks!

    Whenever I was weight lifting, I had'nt had any problems with wrist-elbow-arm.
    Guess what?

    Few months after I concluded weights were just to demanding and to exhausting to be combined with more serious tennis dedication (3-5 times a week), all of those issues started to arise!


    Now I am a lot smarter - it's not neccessary to create an intense workout programme - 2-3 sessions a week consisted of 20-30 mins of doing these excercises with 50-60% max load., 10-20 reps....

    ...can really make all the difference!


    It's not a demanding workout that will drain all energy out of your body causing your tennis to suffer, and it really doesn't take a lot of time from other daily activities!

    Just give it a try and stop changing rackets!


    If only I was this smart few months ago :oops: :)
     
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  24. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Just grunt when you hit.

    Seriously though, I play indoors a lot and still can't hear anything.
     
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  25. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Rookie

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    As per comments regarding lack of blood flow to the injured tendon, I have refused to let my GE impact my otherwise highly active fitness regiment.

    After a week or two of laying back from activity, I am now back in full force. I've done yoga, weightlifting, Pilates, and bootcamp classes all week long. I'm indirectly working that elbow and it's feeling better and stronger.
     
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  26. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    Let's be clear, this is just my opinion based on my own experience.... these braces will only help but not solve TE or GE.

    Technique + Frame + Strings + many other isues contribute to TE, GE, so ... in order to improve many things have to be do it properly.
     
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  27. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    +1 ................
     
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  28. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Rookie

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    This racket makes almost no sound. Anyone who said it sounds like a rattlesnake has clearly never used it. It is hardly anything that can distract you, let alone be heard from across the court. I have one for sale here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442641
     
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  29. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    isn't that a pretty stiff racquet @ 69? I hear a lot about it being arm friendly but it's stiffer than the one I play now, and I have problems.
     
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  30. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The Pro Kennex kinetic system is very effective at producing a stiff but arm friendly racket.
     
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  31. lucky44

    lucky44 New User

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    I agree with others,I have never heard anything from my Pro Kennex 7G,nor my hitting partners.I played outdoors in the summer and now have been playing indoors,at my home when I swing after bringing it close to my ear I hear a very feeble sound,I doubt you are ever going to hear any kind of sound while playing.
     
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  32. dyldore

    dyldore Rookie

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    +1 for the elbow strap. I started getting pretty bad elbow/upper arm pain after hitting for 3-4 times a week for 3+ hours at a time, even with icing. I have been wearing the strap while I hit now for about 2 months and after the first couple of days I no longer had pain while hitting, or after. I use the Band-It, and I still ice often, especially if it was a long/intense hit. My strings/racket remained the same throughout this.
     
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  33. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Wow. A sensible approach to the problem!
     
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  34. fundrazer

    fundrazer Hall of Fame

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    I am a bit guilty of this. I played with a PDR for a while during maybe my 2nd year of starting up tennis. At one point I started getting some wrist pain. For a while it was just while I was playing, but then I noticed the pain again when I would pull textbooks out of my top locker in high school. Was pretty sure the racquet was the culprit. I think I've always been told I have decent technique, think it came from some very solid teaching from a tennis friend of mine.

    Anyway, decided to demo some new racquets instead of a string switch. Settled on my MG prestige MP with x-one. Haven't had any issues with wrist pain since. Sometimes I think maybe a switch to something x-one in the PDR might have been okay. Not sure why I didn't at least give it a go.
     
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  35. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    A string change is always simpler than a racket change but glad to hear you changed both to a more comfy setup.
     
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  36. superdave3

    superdave3 Rookie

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    I was also going to switch to a PK racquet for TE problems, and I was going to demo some, but since you have played with so many, perhaps you could tell us which one(s) you preferred most, to help save me some time.
     
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  37. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

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    I can speak from experience regarding Tennis Elbow (TE). For about 20 years I played amateur tennis without ever experiencing any tennis elbow. I always wondered how other people got it and what all the fuss was. I was using a flat stroke, probably not very refined, thus probably incorrect. Yet I never had any trouble. My rackets were a pair of Wilsons 6.0 Pete Sampras Autograph bought in 1996. Long story short, two years ago I developed the dreaded TE after only three sessions hitting with a highly recommended stick, very popular with pros on the tour. I loved the accuracy but within three sessions of hard hitting, I couldn't lift my dry cleaning anymore. Several things had changed: I was now almost 46, I was hitting with a lot more topspin, I was playing against much stronger players: the ball was coming hard and fast, I was using a very different, clearly stiffer racket. Once the pain set in, no change in (modern) racket would make it go away. Not even going back to rackets which previously had given me no trouble. Some were clearly more easy on the arm and allowed me to play, but the pain was still there and, on occasion, shot through the arm.
    The most gentle racket on the arm, and the only one I enjoyed playing with afterwards was the Dunlop Max 200g Pro. I have played with PK Ki5, PK Redondo (great racket by the way), many Prince, Volkl, and Head. Once the tendons (and probably the nerves too) are hurt, even gentle activity will make the pain persist. Only prolonged rest (it's been over six months now) has made the pain go away. I have hit a few times since, always with the Dunlop Max 200g Pro and more recently with a Prince Vortex. The Max 200g is definitely my favorite, so much so that I have become associated with a startup that aims to bring back injection molding racquets. To conclude, age may be playing a role in TE. Take a long break until the pain completely goes away. warm up before playing, use stretch bands, and use a real racket (from the 90s probably), not the latest fad and you should be fine.
     
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  38. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    If your technique is perfect and you don't have any underlying problems with your arm, you can probably play with anything and not get tennis elbow. However, for those of us who aren't perfect, the racket will make a difference. Some rackets, especially stiff ones, will only let you get away with a minimal level of imperfection, others will let you get away with much more. Of course everyone's flaws are different, so different rackets will have different effects.
    Technique is the major factor, but the racket can make the difference between pain and happiness.
     
    #38
  39. tmc5005

    tmc5005 Rookie

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    The most important factors to consider when buying a racquet that will help prevent and or mitigate elbow problems or wrist and shoulder problems for that matter
    1. Balance with Head Lite balance being best
    2. Flexibilty with more flexibilty being best
    3. Weight with heavier being better
    4. Beam Profile with thinner being better
    5. Length with the standard 27" length being better than the oversize racquets
    I found a listing of the top arm-friendly racquets at http://tenniselbowracquet/tennis-racquets
     
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  40. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    http://tenniselbowracquet.com/tennis-racquets/
     
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  41. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Rookie

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    After a winter off, I have been playing again, and I have zero issues with my elbow.
    (I technically has golfer's elbow, the INNER elbow would hurt)

    First, I am using the Dunlop Pro Revelation 90 racket from the 1990s.
    Always loved this racket, and never had TE issues in my younger years using this racket.

    I think my tennis elbow from last summer just was a case of too much tennis, too soon.
    I played 3 days in a row, flared up the TE, and the TE never went away.
    Now, I am pretty smart about limiting my play to once a week.
    I think this has a lot to do with it.

    I did some weight training over the winter, so maybe that has something to do with it.
    I barely used the Blue Therabar. Maybe a handful of times at my desk.

    I plam to keep doing heavy weight training all summer.
    I plan to keep using the Blue Therabar all summer, as well.
    I will try to do 50 every day, and get a burn in my forearm, if I can remember.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
    #41
  42. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    ^What string and tension do you use?
     
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