Is this tennis elbow?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by hihihi8402, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. hihihi8402

    hihihi8402 New User

    Jul 14, 2004
    I use a Head i.s12 which is super stiff strung at about 58, which is pretty high for that racquet. I recently added about 2 ounces of lead tape to it, so it is about 10-11 ounces and even balanced instead of way head heavy. And, I also recently switched to a full western forhand that I probably am hitting incorrectly (lots and lots of topspin). And, I started to hit my serve much harder. So, the last couple of times Ive played my arm just hurts especially after a hard forhand. And,by arm I mean around my elbow, but my elbow joint doesn't hurt its more my lower bicep. Like right above the widest part of my elbow. Is this tennis elbow? Should I get a new racquet, since the string just broke anyway? Or am I just screwed forever?

  2. Bryan Aldridge

    Bryan Aldridge Rookie

    Mar 29, 2004
    I've got this exact same problem. It is much worse when I play on consecutive days. Anyone who may have some incite or ideas as to what we have, let us know! thanks
  3. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2004
    Definitely similar symptoms to TE. TE is typically a cumulative trauma injury and most experts feel it is primarily a technique issue. Your racket can aggravate and/or magnify it, but techique is usually the primary culprit. For example, if you are a putting a lot of wrist roll into your shot, this could be causing it.

    Give it some time off, then once there is no pain, give it a try. Study your form to see if you are wrist rolling and if you are, stop. Hopefully this will help. You can use wrist curls and reverse wrist curls to strengthen the muscles and take some load off the connective tissue.
    There are racquets like the Pro Kennex Kinetic series that are very arm friendly and can help reduce shock and vibration to the arm.

    Unfortunately, once you get a bad case of TE, it takes a long, long time to heal, so don't try to play through it.
  4. BSousa

    BSousa Rookie

    Jul 5, 2004
    To find if it is TE, do the following experiment. Have a friend or relative bend your arm with one hand on your wrist, and the other grabbing your elbow with the thumb touching the top of the elbow. (his left hand should grab your right elbow, thumb up) Now ask him to find the bone highlight on the bend (the part of the bone most sticked up when elbow is fully bent) tell him to squeeze the thumb down in the bend, and in about 1.5 inch radius around it.

    Depending on the condition of TE, more or less pressure should be applied. You will feel some disconfort even if you don't have TE, but if you do, you will know it. It will seem like a sort of hard sting at a point. If you are not sure, ask him to do the same in your left elbow and see if you feel a different kind of pain.

    This is how orthopedists diagnostic mild-grave TE easily. BUT in any case, if you think you have TE, check with a doctor.

    Hope it helps.
  5. devwizard

    devwizard New User

    Feb 25, 2004
    I had the same issue earlier this year. For me, the problem seemed to also come from my heavy topspin forehand, and my serves also seemed to multiply this. Now, I don't seem to experience it so much. I think there were a few key things that I changed which seemed to help:

    1. I changed my service motion to incorporate more power from weight transfer and upper body strength, relying less on my arm for power.

    2. I use a semi Western and sometimes extreme Western grip on forehands. Once again, what seemed to help was an attempt to use more of my body for generating both power and spin, wherease I used to do a sort of elbow twist to generate a great deal of spin. Now, I focus on generating more body rotation and taking a shorter backswing.

    3. Finally, the racquet does make a considerable difference. I have a really heavy flexible Yonex MP Tour-5, and a light stiff Babolat Pure Control Zylon. Whenver my arm started hurting I would switch to the Yonex because its flexibility and the fact that it forced me to use my body more because it was so low powered both served to help my condition.
  6. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

    Oct 3, 2004
    Bangkok, Thailand
    New racquet and/or string tension

    This does not sound like TE to me, but your body is
    telling you something is not right.
    That is a wide body stiff racquet and 58 lbs is tight
    even if Sampras strung at 75 lbs (no corrections please)

    Even if it is not TE, either you need to hit the weights
    to strenghten that arm or it will eventually become
    TE as the weakest link gives out first.

    Hit the gym or buy a heavy, flexible (non wide body)
    racquet that can absorb the energy of the hit and string
    it at or below 50 lbs. Yes, the looser the better.
    (PS The best senior player in San Diego 1975 strung
    his racquets at 45. McEnroe strung at 48)

    I have 15 yrs of struggle with TE and this is my advice.
    Hope it helps you.
  7. Xevoius

    Xevoius Semi-Pro

    Jun 27, 2004
    devwizard, I think you figured it out about the same way I did!!

    This took me months to try and figure out and I was thinking about quiting the sport.

    Here is what I posted in another thread about this condition:

    I had this pain as well and really really bad I might add. I switched to a POG 107 and the pain was gone instantly. I could play all day and not have any soreness in my bicep and I think the added heft of the frame really helped.

    I think I figured out that my pain was coming from my serve and not my forehand which I originally thought. I was tossing the ball straight out and arming the serve instead of throwing the ball off to the right and using more of the coiling strength of my body. My serve was huge when I armed it and it took me some time to figure out how to time the new motion correctly to get the same pace.

    I also think I might not have been hitting the ball out in front enough on my forehand and this aggrovated the problem. I have made a conscious effort to fix these motions and switched to the POG and everything is fine... except for my damn shin splints!!!

    Check out the elbow crunch section.

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