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-   -   Shoulder pain while serving (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=452631)

doublea06 01-26-2013 05:06 PM

Shoulder pain while serving
 
The last few times I've played tennis my shoulder has had sharp pain when I serve. It's a sharp pain about where the shoulder and arm reach each other. This does not occur on any other of my shots, besides over head/serves. It also doesn't hurt if I serve with out a tennis ball. It hurts when I make contact with the ball. I use a standard continental serves grip and I just hit flat and top spin serves. Now I don't think it's an over use injury because I've only played 5 times in the last two months. I've just started up again because the season is about to start. I'm 18 with a single handed backhand and an eastern forehand. If you need any other info just ask. What could this be? I've never really had this problem before.

slowfox 01-26-2013 05:09 PM

Relax. You're probably arming the ball too much. I used to get some arm pain when serving too. But I refined my technique, and now no prob serving (the motion, that is; getting the ball in the box is still a problem.. lol)

mikeler 01-26-2013 05:10 PM

Video yourself or have a pro check your form.

doublea06 01-26-2013 05:14 PM

So I should try relaxing my motion. I don't think my technique is the problem, but I've been wanting to see what form looks like anyway. I don't think it's anything to serious, but I need to fix it.

Chas Tennis 01-27-2013 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by doublea06 (Post 7168611)
...........................It's a sharp pain about where the shoulder and arm reach each other. ..............................

Shoulder anatomy illustrations -
https://www.google.com/search?q=shou...ih=669#imgrc=_

Shoulder labrum illustrations -
https://www.google.com/search?q=shou...w=1320&bih=669

Pick an illustration that shows where your pain is. Click on it to enlarge and view it. Right click and select "Copy Image Location".

Reply to this. On your reply screen, in the bar above, pick the yellow icon with a mountain shape. Click it. A box appears. Right click and Paste the image location into the box that appeared.

Check "Preview Post" on the bottom of your reply screen to see it. The picture should be in your post.


Chas Tennis 01-27-2013 12:59 PM

In TW Search box (above) Search for -- Ellenbecker Shoulder impingement

Many TW Health & Fitness threads on shoulder injuries.

doublea06 01-28-2013 04:37 PM

All right here are some videos of me serving and now I know I foot fault a lot.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=m...&v=loIzdJnV66E

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPTbc16o0Z8

mikeler 01-29-2013 04:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by doublea06 (Post 7175950)
All right here are some videos of me serving and now I know I foot fault a lot.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=m...&v=loIzdJnV66E

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPTbc16o0Z8


I'm not a coach but I don't see anything in your motion that looks off. It appears fluid and relaxed. You probably just tweaked something and need to take a few days off.

Chas Tennis 01-29-2013 05:31 AM

Jim McLennan short video on the rotator cuff, impingement and serving
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRvxaBMh8s

Todd Ellenbecker video on shoulder anatomy, impingement, and serving. At minute 8 he describes the same insure as McLennan but in more detail.
http://www.tennisresources.com/index...2&ATT=&reso=lo

I looked at your videos but from the side view but I had a hard time especially seeing the shoulder orientation described above. Also, I don't know how to do YT stop action on my smartphone. With the camera placed behind the server and viewing along the ball's trajectory the shoulder orientation is easier to see.

Here is the view with the camera behind showing the shoulder orientation -
https://vimeo.com/21512296

My shoulders are OK here but my wrist has an angle that was not correct, stressful.

doublea06 01-29-2013 06:33 PM

Ah I didn't think about those angles I'll have to take a few more vids.

charliefedererer 01-29-2013 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by doublea06 (Post 7168611)
The last few times I've played tennis my shoulder has had sharp pain when I serve. It's a sharp pain about where the shoulder and arm reach each other. This does not occur on any other of my shots, besides over head/serves. It also doesn't hurt if I serve with out a tennis ball. It hurts when I make contact with the ball. I use a standard continental serves grip and I just hit flat and top spin serves. Now I don't think it's an over use injury because I've only played 5 times in the last two months. I've just started up again because the season is about to start. I'm 18 with a single handed backhand and an eastern forehand. If you need any other info just ask. What could this be? I've never really had this problem before.

I can't get your videos to run.

But no one has said the following, and yet and it needs to be said.

If you have sharp pain serving - then you should not be serving.

Soreness from inactivity is one thing.

Sharp pain is not so good.

No one here at Talk Tennis can diagnose what is going on in you.

The shoulder is just too complicated for us to guess at.

If it does not get better real fast, you need a proper exam by a shoulder expert who takes care a lot of throwing athletes.

You are only 18, and certainly do not want to risk screwing up your shoulder by pushing to start a new season with a minor injury you can make major.

[I don't want to alarm you, but here is part of a post from another currently running thread:
"Tore the labrum. And was pretty sure I tore the labrum. Weird thing was, I could still play tennis without pain except for serving, had to serve side handed but other than that could play full out ... Basically, try to use a bit more common sense than I did. But I'll tell you what. The last match I played, the one where I felt the shoulder pop? After it popped I KNEW I was done. But it was the second set against a guy I had never beaten. And I REALLY wanted to beat him. So I kept playing, lol. And actually played pretty well. Looking back on it, I'm not sure how the shoulder kept functioning. Must've been adrenaline."
- http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=446105]


I really hope this all blows over and you are fine. But don't risk it.

fuzz nation 01-30-2013 06:13 AM

Something that I have to address on a semi-regular basis with the folks I coach or teach is the timing of the toss when serving. You got my attention when you said that you can take a practice motion (without hitting a ball) with no pain, so I'm suspicious that you're getting into trouble when you try to get the racquet to your toss on time.

You might be tossing the ball too soon - before your service windup has progressed enough for you to be good and ready to swing up to contact. I spot this problem constantly, even among some of the pros, but it's a tricky gremlin that might not even show up all the time. When we're not good and ready to take a full, smooth swing over the top, but the toss is up there in the hitting zone, it's usually the shoulder that rushes the racquet up to the ball.

Yes, this is a big deal. You may need to rebuild your serve's windup and synchronization so that you can get more loaded up before tossing the ball. It may feel seriously awkward at first, but it may also help you build a much more reliable motion. Essentially you want to focus on getting further along to maybe the "trophy position" - delay your toss until your smooth windup is further along.

Get more familiar with the tempo of that pain-free practice motion and seek that same tempo when you swing at a ball. If that pain-free timing isn't there, you should work on it, even if it's not the root of your problems. If your problem remains chronic, remember that pain means "stop". Get it looked at before something tragic happens.

doublea06 01-30-2013 10:46 AM

Do you see that in my stroke in the videos I put up?

charliefedererer 01-30-2013 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fuzz nation (Post 7179610)
Something that I have to address on a semi-regular basis with the folks I coach or teach is the timing of the toss when serving. You got my attention when you said that you can take a practice motion (without hitting a ball) with no pain, so I'm suspicious that you're getting into trouble when you try to get the racquet to your toss on time.

You might be tossing the ball too soon - before your service windup has progressed enough for you to be good and ready to swing up to contact. I spot this problem constantly, even among some of the pros, but it's a tricky gremlin that might not even show up all the time. When we're not good and ready to take a full, smooth swing over the top, but the toss is up there in the hitting zone, it's usually the shoulder that rushes the racquet up to the ball.

Yes, this is a big deal. You may need to rebuild your serve's windup and synchronization so that you can get more loaded up before tossing the ball. It may feel seriously awkward at first, but it may also help you build a much more reliable motion. Essentially you want to focus on getting further along to maybe the "trophy position" - delay your toss until your smooth windup is further along.

Get more familiar with the tempo of that pain-free practice motion and seek that same tempo when you swing at a ball. If that pain-free timing isn't there, you should work on it, even if it's not the root of your problems. If your problem remains chronic, remember that pain means "stop". Get it looked at before something tragic happens.

Great point on technique.

The two most common problems that strain the shoulder seems to be not getting the chest pointed up at the ball, and not using a vertical shoulder-over shoulder motion.
Your serve technique doing more harm than good? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgdXawklcZk

Preventing Rotator Cuff Injury
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRvxaBMh8s

At the local courts, and viewing videos submitted in the Tennis Tips/Instruction pages of TT, it seems both of the above problems are prevalent.

Do you find this as well?

It certainly makes sense that as servers rush to catch up with a tossed ball because they tossed ... then started to go into a trophy position - that they are more rushed than the pros/those with a great serve who incorporate the tossing motion into part of going into the trophy position.
In their rush, it is harder to get that chest up at the ball and get that left shoulder up in the trophy position with a loaded bow shape, so they then can direct that left shoulder going down (cartwheel) instead of just swinging the shoulders side to side.

mikeler 01-30-2013 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by charliefedererer (Post 7180205)
Great point on technique.

The two most common problems that strain the shoulder seems to be not getting the chest pointed up at the ball, and not using a vertical shoulder-over shoulder motion.
Your serve technique doing more harm than good? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgdXawklcZk

Preventing Rotator Cuff Injury
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRvxaBMh8s

At the local courts, and viewing videos submitted in the Tennis Tips/Instruction pages of TT, it seems both of the above problems are prevalent.

Do you find this as well?

It certainly makes sense that as servers rush to catch up with a tossed ball because they tossed ... then started to go into a trophy position - that they are more rushed than the pros/those with a great serve who incorporate the tossing motion into part of going into the trophy position.
In their rush, it is harder to get that chest up at the ball and get that left shoulder up in the trophy position with a loaded bow shape, so they then can direct that left shoulder going down (cartwheel) instead of just swinging the shoulders side to side.


I have a high ball toss to allow myself time to get into the correct position. It's too bad I just did not learn how to delay my toss and not have to toss it so far up especially on windy days.

dhnels 01-30-2013 01:02 PM

One time I went to practice serves and on the first warmup serve (not even half speed) it felt like a large knife went into my shoulder. Excruciating stabbing/burning pain.

The pain went away quickly, but my shoulder was stiff and sore for several weeks. I tried all the usual self remedies: NSAID, gentle stretching & rotator cuff physical therapy, etc. No change at all. The soreness always got worse at night and started going down my arm with numbness. Seemed like impingement in the shoulder.

I finally went to see the top shoulder surgeon for sports injury in my area. After some shoulder/neck x-rays and a 20 minute exam, he said my shoulder was 100% healthy! No bone spurs or abnormalities of any kind, no sign of inflammation, etc.

The problem was a pinched nerve in my neck, between 2 locked vertebrae. Weird, because all the pain & stiffness was in my shoulder/arm and my neck felt completely normal. After some light physical therapy, and a new pillow :shock:, all pain & numbness was gone!

Moral of the story: see a doctor, it could be good news.

charliefedererer 02-01-2013 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeler (Post 7180301)
I have a high ball toss to allow myself time to get into the correct position. It's too bad I just did not learn how to delay my toss and not have to toss it so far up especially on windy days.

A high ball toss (or [gasp] even a slight hitch) may make a teaching pro cringe like dragging fingernails across a chalkboard.
But getting the chest up, and "forming a bow shape" so you can "cartwheel shoulder over shoulder", is undoubtedly better for your shoulder than rushing it from too low a toss with form that causes impingement.


But I hear you.

I struggle with the same thing, sometimes worse than others, but most often if I am not serving/practicing serve for even a relatively short period of time.

I wish I could do the following, even if I haven't served in a couple of weeks:

Tossing the Ball into the Service Swing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzbon...layer_embedded
Amazing Roger Federer Serve while eyes are closed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpyDxn4sH7E

mikeler 02-01-2013 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by charliefedererer (Post 7184435)
A high ball toss (or [gasp] even a slight hitch) may make a teaching pro cringe like dragging fingernails across a chalkboard.
But getting the chest up, and "forming a bow shape" so you can "cartwheel shoulder over shoulder", is undoubtedly better for your shoulder than rushing it from too low a toss with form that causes impingement.


But I hear you.

I struggle with the same thing, sometimes worse than others, but most often if I am not serving/practicing serve for even a relatively short period of time.

I wish I could do the following, even if I haven't served in a couple of weeks:

Tossing the Ball into the Service Swing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzbon...layer_embedded
Amazing Roger Federer Serve while eyes are closed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpyDxn4sH7E

Funny my teaching pro growing up was so anti-hitch. He did not care about the ball toss though. These windy days where fronts are coming through make me long for a lower toss.

mikeespinmusic 02-02-2013 11:12 PM

Does it feel like you just having trouble accelerating and then the pain occurs once you do? If so, the racquet is either too stiff, too much weight in the handle - or could use use some lead at 12.00. I know it sounds weird saying add weight, but sometimes extra plough through makes it easier on your shoulder.

fuzz nation 02-06-2013 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by doublea06 (Post 7180175)
Do you see that in my stroke in the videos I put up?

Sorry, but my rickety old computer had trouble getting connected with your video.

Thanks for posting - if I'm in front of a different computer soon, I'll try to get a look.


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