Best Racquets for injury-prone Shoulder?

My good friend and hitting partner (4.5 level) is having shoulder issues. He currently hits with a Wilson nCode Pro 95 (nPro? It's the green/white/black frame) and strings it with the cheapest strings he can get (synthetic gut at 54lbs). I am wondering if a heavier racquet with looser/softer strings would be better for his shoulder?

His specific shoulder issues: Torn rotator cuff (twice torn in high school -- this was 10+ years ago). Specifically, he tore his Labrum both times and has done years of rehab without opting for surgery.

You know how throwing a tennis ball hard can injure a baseball player's arm/shoulder? Well that's my theory with his shoulder and racquet -- he hits a very light weight and stiff racquet for his size and strength and uses very harsh strings with no dampener. I have always used Wilson Pro Staff racquets strung loose with dampener and have never had arm trouble (my racquets are very flexible and dampened). I am thinking my buddy could go this route to help his shoulder, but I am no expert.

Any tips on racquets and/or string setups to help my friend's arm? I would love to continue having someone to hit with...

Thanks!
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
Rf97a.....
Were u serious? I hope you were being sarcastic at the expense of guys shoulder as rf97a will shred his shoulder to pieces...rf97a is for absolutely healthy young shoulder (not to confuse with persons actual age, I'm talking about shoulder age)...

If I was him I would go light as possible while soft ra and play with powerful strings at low tension to compensate for "power" loss..

Pacific lite offerings would be first frames I'd try
 

Squidward

Rookie
Been There, Done That!

I'm just now coming back from a detached labrum with two rotator cuff tears and bone spurs. I had surgery in October.

I've been using both the YouTek Radical Pro with Polylon Comfort and the Angell TC100 with the Polylon Comfort in my recovery phase.

No issues so far with these sticks. Both do a good job of absorbing shots and giving a easy feel on my shoulder.

Good Luck!
 

LapsedNoob

Professional
I haven't had my shoulder injuries flare up while using the Prestige S.

I started with the Classic V1 out of concern for this same reason but eventually realized that as long as I don't try to swing for the moon I am personally okay with most racquets over 11 ounces, but my game is 3.5 and his is 4.5 so his swing is probably faster than mine.
 

mikeler

Moderator
Were u serious? I hope you were being sarcastic at the expense of guys shoulder as rf97a will shred his shoulder to pieces...rf97a is for absolutely healthy young shoulder (not to confuse with persons actual age, I'm talking about shoulder age)...

If I was him I would go light as possible while soft ra and play with powerful strings at low tension to compensate for "power" loss..

Pacific lite offerings would be first frames I'd try
Most people on this message board think that wielding a heavy racket is manly. The key is to find one light enough for your shoulder but heavy enough to protect your elbow. Like others have said, the Exo3 Tour is a great frame for the shoulder and elbow. My current frame is also great but it eats strings with the wide open pattern.
 

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
General rule low RA with some mass, but not too much mass that the player struggles, as much mass as possible to swing freely. Or ProKennex Kinetic system which significantly reduce impact.

Then softer strings like gut, but I personally find them more of a hindrance than benefit. They don't generally fit the modern game and I find a softer racquet easier to adjust to than changing string.

Without seeing the player if he was generally strong I'd go with a PK 5g PSI, but it's heavy and powerful. You won't feel the ball impact which is both good and bad, good on the arm bad on the feed back. Also a great racquet for flatter hitters. Otherwise I'd look into other PK or Prince as they tend to make the lower RA racquets. Maybe Pacific BX2 X Feel Tour or similar, I have a soft spot for Pacific and ProKennex, and hope for Prince.
 

Soundbyte

Professional
I agree with the notion of Pacific or ProKennex frames. Both are top notch. The Pacific X Force Pro and ProKennex Redondo are the friendliest racket I ever used. I've got some used ones listed in the classifieds.

Another good option are the Prince frames already mentioned. Softness is your friend.
 

Soundbyte

Professional
Dunlop Muscleweave 200g. Bulky feel, very shock absorbing. Quite playable.
Oh yeah...forgot about this gem. Another fantastic stick and certainly arm friendly. Dirt cheap too. Don't let the specs scare you...its much easier to play with than you would expect
 

jrxl

New User
My good friend and hitting partner (4.5 level) is having shoulder issues. He currently hits with a Wilson nCode Pro 95 (nPro? It's the green/white/black frame) and strings it with the cheapest strings he can get (synthetic gut at 54lbs). I am wondering if a heavier racquet with looser/softer strings would be better for his shoulder?

His specific shoulder issues: Torn rotator cuff (twice torn in high school -- this was 10+ years ago). Specifically, he tore his Labrum both times and has done years of rehab without opting for surgery.
Nothing about this setup suggests a harsh setup to me. I am not super familiar with the racquet but the specs say it has a low swingweight and 11oz static weight. Low weight is typically better for shoulders. Syn gut at 54 lbs is very comfortable compared to what most players here use.

An equipment change could be the magic bullet... but rest and a trip to the physio might be a good idea.
 

bertrevert

Hall of Fame
Nothing about this setup suggests a harsh setup to me. I am not super familiar with the racquet but the specs say it has a low swingweight and 11oz static weight. Low weight is typically better for shoulders. Syn gut at 54 lbs is very comfortable compared to what most players here use.

An equipment change could be the magic bullet... but rest and a trip to the physio might be a good idea.
The old nPro, stiffness 68, and syngut ARE ok soft options.

See, I'm inclined to agree with you Jr XL.

I have shoulder impingement atm and I am playing with a new racquet. Now everything perhaps should point at that. And omg (!) it's a Bab PD. But I'm not about to blame the racq, nor should you/he.

He has a history of shoulder problems that changing racquets is not about to help.

Shouldn't his first options be preventative home exercises (every second day) and pre-match warmups, and coach-led technique analysis, rather than just an equipment change? I know it's less sexy, but we all have to do things like this when dealing with injury.

I don't see a problem with what his equipment.

Is his equipment injuring him in some way?
 
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RalphJ

Banned
Were u serious? I hope you were being sarcastic at the expense of guys shoulder as rf97a will shred his shoulder to pieces...rf97a is for absolutely healthy young shoulder (not to confuse with persons actual age, I'm talking about shoulder age)...

If I was him I would go light as possible while soft ra and play with powerful strings at low tension to compensate for "power" loss..

Pacific lite offerings would be first frames I'd try
I know it sounds weird, but my shoulder never hurt when using this racquet. And I was serving hard. My elbow was another story. Even so, this racquet was theraputic for my shoulder. Weird, I know. It is what it is.
 

Surion

Hall of Fame
No, it's not weird at all.

My PS90 actually seems to destroy my shoulder, while the RF97 doesn't hurt it at all.

Sadly I hate all other aspects of that frame, but despite the stiffness, it is better for my shoulder than my 90.

PS90 strung with gut/poly, RF with full poly!

I actually started a thread about this about six months ago, where people were basically telling me, I'm crazy.
 

Javizzle

New User
Were u serious? I hope you were being sarcastic at the expense of guys shoulder as rf97a will shred his shoulder to pieces...rf97a is for absolutely healthy young shoulder (not to confuse with persons actual age, I'm talking about shoulder age)...

If I was him I would go light as possible while soft ra and play with powerful strings at low tension to compensate for "power" loss..

Pacific lite offerings would be first frames I'd try
While I agree the fed 97 isn't a good combination, I don't think a light frame will help either. The lighter the frame, the faster the player will end up swinging - which is a huge culprit when it comes to the rotating joint. The heavier the frame, the more work the racket will do for creating pace. Heavier (but not so heavy that technique is sacrificed and causing poor shoulder pain too) & more flexible is what someone with shoulder pain should be looking for. I would recommend anything anything under 65 stiffness and something around 11 ounces unstrung if that's tolerable. And obviously a softer string strung @ lower tensions.
 

dgoran

Hall of Fame
While I agree the fed 97 isn't a good combination, I don't think a light frame will help either. The lighter the frame, the faster the player will end up swinging - which is a huge culprit when it comes to the rotating joint. The heavier the frame, the more work the racket will do for creating pace. Heavier (but not so heavy that technique is sacrificed and causing poor shoulder pain too) & more flexible is what someone with shoulder pain should be looking for. I would recommend anything anything under 65 stiffness and something around 11 ounces unstrung if that's tolerable. And obviously a softer string strung @ lower tensions.
Not if you lower your tension
 

n8dawg6

Legend
arm comfort is a funny thing. right now im swinging a speed pro strung with vstar 18 that has settled to about 45 lbs. it isnt bothering me at all. same frame with syn gut at 55 was murder, i didnt even want to look at it. TT95 with syn gut at 55 is plush and comfy.
 
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