Rotator Cuff Injury, lower SW or lower Stiffness or lower Weight?

Komtriku

New User
Hello, i am recovering from a Rotator Cuff Injury.
The doctor cannot say if it s because of tennis in generale, or because of the heavy racket.

Im using a ezone 98 2022 with pt rev.
To recover i am doind exercise and PT

Should i start thinking about changing racket?

If yes what should i choose to prevent my Shoulder for the future?

Lower SW
Lower Stiffness
Lower Weight
Or all the three of them?

Which one does affect the rotator cuff more?

Im an heavy hitter and i can handle the stiffness, the sw and the weight of the ezone 98, but my body is saying no to that, and im becoming older (35y).
I ve always been playing with rackets with more than 300gr because i have too much power.i need a stable frame.
 

Mischko

Professional
Stiffness is your problem, but also lack of mass and swingweight. And probably stiff stringbed, although Rev is well dampened, but still a stiffer string that needs hard hitting

If you mod your Ez98 with a good amount of lead in the head, min 335 swingweight, it will become much easier to serve with a relaxed motion, and if you have a single handed backhand that mass will help absorb some impact shock and ringing too

First step is softer string, like Element, and getting the swingweight to 325-328, then see how that feels
 

ChrisJR3264

Hall of Fame
Hello, i am recovering from a Rotator Cuff Injury.
The doctor cannot say if it s because of tennis in generale, or because of the heavy racket.

Im using a ezone 98 2022 with pt rev.
To recover i am doind exercise and PT

Should i start thinking about changing racket?

If yes what should i choose to prevent my Shoulder for the future?

Lower SW
Lower Stiffness
Lower Weight
Or all the three of them?

Which one does affect the rotator cuff more?

Im an heavy hitter and i can handle the stiffness, the sw and the weight of the ezone 98, but my body is saying no to that, and im becoming older (35y).
I ve always been playing with rackets with more than 300gr because i have too much power.i need a stable frame.
Is the the racket though ? Everyone seems to think that.

What was your training regimen before the rotator cuff injury? How’s your diet? Crappy diet increases inflammation in the body and not good for recovery.

What strings exactly are you using? Tension?
And guage?

When it comes to a racket - I found I can have a comfortable set up on a 350 gram strung (1.20 mm gauge poly) at 50 lbs as long as the balance is 31.5-32. Cm. If you hand me a 300-305 with a 33 cm balance that’s 320-330 gram strung - I get elbow discomfort.

I know when I was playing too much tennis with little weight training, my shoulder was sore. Got back into weight training and do not have the issue anymore.
 

Komtriku

New User
Stiffness is your problem, but also lack of mass and swingweight. And probably stiff stringbed, although Rev is well dampened, but still a stiffer string that needs hard hitting

If you mod your Ez98 with a good amount of lead in the head, min 335 swingweight, it will become much easier to serve with a relaxed motion, and if you have a single handed backhand that mass will help absorb some impact shock and ringing too

First step is softer string, like Element, and getting the swingweight to 325-328, then see how that feels
Thanks, yes i already tried a softer poly, rev mains and lynx cross, but i had already the injury so i rellay cannot say if it s better.
Alternative should be soft poly main and multi cross.

I dont think that i can handle more weight on this racket. 323/326 strung weight should be my limit.
 

ChrisJR3264

Hall of Fame
Thanks, yes i already tried a softer poly, rev mains and lynx cross, but i had already the injury so i rellay cannot say if it s better.
Alternative should be soft poly main and multi cross.

I dont think that i can handle more weight on this racket. 323/326 strung weight should be my limit.
So I have a Tfight 305 and the SW varies by the type/guage of string. I’ve found solinco outlast - both comforting, durable and arm/wallet friendly.
Also get good amount of spin and control in the 1.20 -17 guage
 

Crocodile

G.O.A.T.
I’m thinking you may have to give the polyester a break for a while if you are injured, Your number one priority is to heal your shoulder and this will take time. It’s going to have to be natural gut or something like X One Biphase.
Racquet wise I think you can do better than an Ezone if your goal is to heal.
And I guess you know what I’m going to recommend - something from the Pro Kennex line and there are many choices depending on how big or strong you are however you can’t go wrong with one of the green Q Tours - these racquets have best in class comfort.
There are other options which I think are excellent and I keep mentioning the Angell K7 Red or Lime - these racquets in my opinion are that good with their aramid fibres - very creamy;
There are other racquets that are very good as well and I am going to go with the Diadem Elevate MP - it’s a very comfortable frame,
The other brand is Prince and particularly one of the Phantoms like the 100x and 100P - they are easy to serve with - so your shoulder won’t mind them.
The Wilson Clash 100P is another option - I have hit with the current version and quite impressed with the comfort,
One brand that Jonas at Tennisnerd has reviewed lately is the new Donnay Unibody racquets. I haven’t tried them yet however they are well regarded in the comfort zone of racquets .
 

Komtriku

New User
I’m thinking you may have to give the polyester a break for a while if you are injured, Your number one priority is to heal your shoulder and this will take time. It’s going to have to be natural gut or something like X One Biphase.
Racquet wise I think you can do better than an Ezone if your goal is to heal.
And I guess you know what I’m going to recommend - something from the Pro Kennex line and there are many choices depending on how big or strong you are however you can’t go wrong with one of the green Q Tours - these racquets have best in class comfort.
There are other options which I think are excellent and I keep mentioning the Angell K7 Red or Lime - these racquets in my opinion are that good with their aramid fibres - very creamy;
There are other racquets that are very good as well and I am going to go with the Diadem Elevate MP - it’s a very comfortable frame,
The other brand is Prince and particularly one of the Phantoms like the 100x and 100P - they are easy to serve with - so your shoulder won’t mind them.
The Wilson Clash 100P is another option - I have hit with the current version and quite impressed with the comfort,
One brand that Jonas at Tennisnerd has reviewed lately is the new Donnay Unibody racquets. I haven’t tried them yet however they are well regarded in the comfort zone of racquets .
Yes i will definetely do that as first step. Dont know the kennex rackted a all.

I thought about the yonex ezone 98L or the Yonex Percept 97 or the Gravity Tour 2023
They have lower stiffness and lower sw.
Percept is slightly heavier than the ezone but lower stiffness and sw.

I am not used to super light Rackets, does it can cause elbow problems if i am an heavy hitter with a light racket?
 
Just a question: why do you assume the weight of the racket is the issue? I've seen just as many claims that heavier rackets are bad as I've seen claims that lighter rackets are bad.

I'm afraid you'll have to experiment if no one can give you a definitive answer. Try heavier rackets , try lighter ones. But above all try softer rackets and strings.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Just a question: why do you assume the weight of the racket is the issue? I've seen just as many claims that heavier rackets are bad as I've seen claims that lighter rackets are bad.

I'm afraid you'll have to experiment if no one can give you a definitive answer. Try heavier rackets , try lighter ones. But above all try softer rackets and strings.
Rotator cuff injuries develop over time from repetitive motions. The higher the balance and the greater the weight make the racket harder to move. Keep doing that over and over trying to hit the ball hard will make your shoulder hurt. Add to that the jarring of contact because of stiffness causes more problems. Best to practice serves at 40% pace if you shoulder is bothering.
 

TennisHound

Legend
Hello, i am recovering from a Rotator Cuff Injury.
The doctor cannot say if it s because of tennis in generale, or because of the heavy racket.

Im using a ezone 98 2022 with pt rev.
To recover i am doind exercise and PT

Should i start thinking about changing racket?

If yes what should i choose to prevent my Shoulder for the future?

Lower SW
Lower Stiffness
Lower Weight
Or all the three of them?

Which one does affect the rotator cuff more?

Im an heavy hitter and i can handle the stiffness, the sw and the weight of the ezone 98, but my body is saying no to that, and im becoming older (35y).
I ve always been playing with rackets with more than 300gr because i have too much power.i need a stable frame.
Lower weight.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Depends on what is causing the rotator cuff injury. I’m more familiar with these injuries in the context of baseball and corresponding injuries from serving. In baseball, it’s actually low weight that causes issues. Most strains develop from the release of the ball with the corresponding sudden acceleration due to lack of resistance followed by rapid stopping at the end of the follow through. This injures the external rotators, which get suddenly stretched then have to resist the stretch to stop the arm. Training with a heavy ball and and using bands or mimicking throwing without releasing the weight are often used as rehab and conditioning. Because of the high acceleration and deceleration involved, performing a full power throw with little or no resistance is a fast way to destroy your arm and shoulder. If you are feeling it mostly from the serve and in the external rotators then actually going heavier may help.

Moving more to tennis the other place I see a lot of shoulder issues is when chasing bad tosses on the serve so that you swing hard with the shoulder in a strained position, or muscling the ball and not using the body for power. But these have little to do with racquet weight.

Poly strings and stiff frames IMO usually cause elbow and wrist issues, not so much shoulder.
 

BlueB

Legend
Hello, i am recovering from a Rotator Cuff Injury.
The doctor cannot say if it s because of tennis in generale, or because of the heavy racket.

Im using a ezone 98 2022 with pt rev.
To recover i am doind exercise and PT

Should i start thinking about changing racket?

If yes what should i choose to prevent my Shoulder for the future?

Lower SW
Lower Stiffness
Lower Weight
Or all the three of them?

Which one does affect the rotator cuff more?

Im an heavy hitter and i can handle the stiffness, the sw and the weight of the ezone 98, but my body is saying no to that, and im becoming older (35y).
I ve always been playing with rackets with more than 300gr because i have too much power.i need a stable frame.
I'd typicaly say less W and SW, for shouldet injuries. However, it is not a particularly heavy racquet, that you use. How big are you?
 

Komtriku

New User
I'd typicaly say less W and SW, for shouldet injuries. However, it is not a particularly heavy racquet, that you use. How big are you?
Im 180cm, 80kg female. I thought 305gr/323 strubg weight was perfect for me. I hade the speed mp and it was too instable for me when i hit the ball and the speed pro was a bit too heavy i had problems finding deep shots. But it seems that my body is not ready for that
 
OP, it sounds like a technique issue. I don't think the racquet will help. Once you get back into the swing of things, find a good pro who can help you get into position early and take smoother swings at the ball. It sounds to me like you enjoy forcing the swing later than you should. It'll require some solid coaching and hard work.

Just my 2 cents. By the way, racquets that contribute to injury are usually balanced too head heavy, too light, and too stiff. If you want to save your body, learning to swing in ways that won't hurt as much and finding racquets that are more head-light, heavier, and more flexible will be best in the long term.
 

BlueB

Legend
Im 180cm, 80kg female. I thought 305gr/323 strubg weight was perfect for me. I hade the speed mp and it was too instable for me when i hit the ball and the speed pro was a bit too heavy i had problems finding deep shots. But it seems that my body is not ready for that
Yup, that shouldn't be to much for a strog lady, like you... It is possible to drop the SW a bit by changing the string to thinner or different type, which would also make it feel a bit softer, but it doesn't sound like it's the gear.
Maybe find a serve swing motion that doesn't seem to hurt and take it easy while recovering. When fully fit again, work on that same motion to regain the spoed/power.
 

Mischko

Professional
Oh forget my suggestion about the weight then. Yes, 300/305g unstrung is perfect for you, but Ezone 98 usually has a slightly too light head, so most players put just a bit of lead on the sides, at 3&9 o'clock. For example 4x5cm strips = 2g total. That helps stabilize it at impact, and also helps absorb some of the impact vibrations when you hit. If you feel that your racquet is disbalanced like that, add 2g also at the top of the handle, under the grip, where your other hand goes.

Slightly heavier helps the shoulder in an unexpected way - if you are more twitchy and explosive in movements, like Camila Giorgi for example, a too light racquet head and your fast twitch can injure you, because you're forcing it. Instead of just relaxing on serve you try to twitch hard, and that brings injury. Slightly heavier racquet slows down your motion and that often helps a lot. Also, Rev is a string that kind of requires really fast hitting, so if you change it, you might find that you're not forcing it anymore.

Also softer string is a must too, yellow Yonex Poly Tour Pro 1.25 is what most people like in the Ezone, it's a softer control poly, slightly less demanding than Rev. You could also try the thinner 1.20, it would be softer but less controlled. Softer than PT Pro - hybrid as you mentioned.

Have you tried Wilson Shift 99, also with 2g of lead at the top, or Ezone 100, that would give you more easy power, so that you don't have to work so hard. Ez98 and Ez100 are not the same thing, you should try first. Speed MP 2020 and 2022 are a bit launchy and difficult to control for a good player that likes to hit flat, and Speed Pro is a too demanding control racquet, and 18x20, very different compared to Speed MP or Ezones. Ez100 compared to Speed MP 2020/22 will have slightly more power but much lower trajectory, very different racquet.

Gravity MP is 16x19 so that's a soft controlled racquet to try, or the Tour as you mentioned, but Tour is 18x20 and will have less power than your Ezone, so try it for longer to see if you want to keep it.

A common shoulder issue in tennis is shoulder impingement syndrome, and doctors and physios often miss it. So you might mention it to them too, but the standardised mobility tests they perform to check your shoulder might not show it, because the force used when stationary is much lower compared to the force when you serve with a racquet, so it's also common that it's not diagnosed correctly.

Which movements give you pain? How is it the next two days without tennis? Can you find the painful points behind your shoulder with your thumb?

And lastly, get a Trigger Point Massage Ball, or like me, a harder version X, and softer elastic bands to massage those small tendons behind the shoulder, and to warm them up. Your physio or doctor perhaps mentioned it, but hanging yourself gently from your racquet arm in a gym or similar, regularly, before tennis, for like 2 min or so, helps the shoulder mobility a lot, together with all other stuff. Welcome to the middle age of life..
 
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J D

Semi-Pro
I’ve had a full tear and a partial tear of the RTC. Weight is your main concern. The lighter the frame, the less stress on the shoulder. You also do not want something low powered that you have to swing hard while recovering (also more stress on the shoulder).

Swingweight has very little bearing on shoulder stress. Racquet stiffness and string stiffness do not directly affect your shoulder at all.

My recommendation is a lighter frame with good pop so you can swing it easier and still get good power. Something like the Pure Aero Rafa 2023 fits the bill, but there are lots of similar options.

I just finished demoing the Ezone 98. It was fairly low powered stock with poly and I had to swing pretty hard. I added a gram at 10 and at 2 and it became a whole different frame - so much more power and even stability. A couple of grams is adding less than 2/3rds of 1% to the overall weight, so pretty negligible extra stress on the shoulder. The extra power should definitely reduce stress by you having to swing less hard.
 
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veelium

Hall of Fame
I'd really recommend trying a softer string setup. I'd recommend your favorite poly with isospeed professional classic crosses.
Full natural gut if you want to try the softest possible and eliminate that variable.

Might do very little but worth trying.
 

Sardines

Hall of Fame
The research evidence shows rotator cuff injuries are generally overuse and lack of overall muscular strength, especially in the upward scapula rotation, where most people fail when fatigued. The best advice is take a break and rehab, then turn to prehab strengthening for preventative injuries.
The racquet, if within the average range of 285-310g spec, shouldn't be the largest factor. Strengthening, fitness and maybe a stroke change (serve etc) will benefit you more. I've seen people your age using the softest racquet like the clash, 285-300g sticks with rotator cuff cos they play everyday and try to hit the snuff out of the ball, while doing no off court training.
Hello, i am recovering from a Rotator Cuff Injury.
The doctor cannot say if it s because of tennis in generale, or because of the heavy racket.

Im using a ezone 98 2022 with pt rev.
To recover i am doind exercise and PT

Should i start thinking about changing racket?

If yes what should i choose to prevent my Shoulder for the future?

Lower SW
Lower Stiffness
Lower Weight
Or all the three of them?

Which one does affect the rotator cuff more?

Im an heavy hitter and i can handle the stiffness, the sw and the weight of the ezone 98, but my body is saying no to that, and im becoming older (35y).
I ve always been playing with rackets with more than 300gr because i have too much power.i need a stable frame.
 

Djinn

Rookie
OP, it sounds like a technique issue. I don't think the racquet will help. Once you get back into the swing of things, find a good pro who can help you get into position early and take smoother swings at the ball. It sounds to me like you enjoy forcing the swing later than you should. It'll require some solid coaching and hard work.

Just my 2 cents. By the way, racquets that contribute to injury are usually balanced too head heavy, too light, and too stiff. If you want to save your body, learning to swing in ways that won't hurt as much and finding racquets that are more head-light, heavier, and more flexible will be best in the long term.

This right here. This is the first place you should look at. There are thousands of people using Ezones without getting similar injuries. It very well can be the racquet, but rule out technique first.
 

landcookie

Semi-Pro
3 years of rc rehabber here.

I went from 335 to 325 SW. My advice is to drop the SW and see if it helps, then work your way back up to it.

And get stronger, much stronger. <- priority number 1
YMMV
 

jkpilot

New User
I have had issues with non playing hand shoulder , found that going to Phsyio and doing so cat dog poses daily and stretches greatly help over long run. I couldnt even move my arm behind my back at one stage but now fully recovered and play w RF97 or PS 6.1 classic/hyper w no pain whatsoever. BTW you need to work out the small rotator muscles around the shoulder joint w rubber bands as well!
 

J D

Semi-Pro
To be more clear, your injury, in all likelihood, wasn’t caused by your racquet being too heavy. It could be caused by some combination of improper technique, underdeveloped or imbalanced muscle strength, and over swinging because the frame isn’t very powerful.

Without hearing the history of your injury and watching you play, everyone here is just guessing about the cause. And, this is important because, unless it was a traumatic injury, something needs to change or or you will keep injuring yourself.

Your PT can diagnose and fix underlying physical issues. A pro can help you with your technique. In the meantime, a lighter and/or more powerful frame will reduce stress on the shoulder. As I and others have said, just a couple of grams in the head of your E98 will mean you don’t have to swing nearly as hard and it will not add significantly more stress to your shoulder. A lighter, more powerful frame will definitely reduce stress even more.

Listen to your dr., your physio, your pro, and especially your body. Some will tell you to rest, but rehabbing most RTC injuries means keeping the shoulder moving as much as it can take without pain. Except for certain injuries, many of which require surgery, rest typically just lengthens recovery time.
 

Komtriku

New User
To be more clear, your injury, in all likelihood, wasn’t caused by your racquet being too heavy. It could be caused by some combination of improper technique, underdeveloped or imbalanced muscle strength, and over swinging because the frame isn’t very powerful.

Without hearing the history of your injury and watching you play, everyone here is just guessing about the cause. And, this is important because, unless it was a traumatic injury, something needs to change or or you will keep injuring yourself.

Your PT can diagnose and fix underlying physical issues. A pro can help you with your technique. In the meantime, a lighter and/or more powerful frame will reduce stress on the shoulder. As I and others have said, just a couple of grams in the head of your E98 will mean you don’t have to swing nearly as hard and it will not add significantly more stress to your shoulder. A lighter, more powerful frame will definitely reduce stress even more.

Listen to your dr., your physio, your pro, and especially your body. Some will tell you to rest, but rehabbing most RTC injuries means keeping the shoulder moving as much as it can take without pain. Except for certain injuries, many of which require surgery, rest typically just lengthens recovery time.
Yes, i guess that my injury came from underdeveloped muscles strenght or a bad movement by over swinging. Dont think it s the technique itself. I used to play tennis semi-professionaly till i was 20y old. Now im 35yo.

My first step after completely recovering would be to try a hybrid multi mains and soft poly cross and maybe lower the tension (at the moment 23/22kg).
I dont know if it works with lead at 12“. it would in also increase the swingweight right? I hit with a lot of pace…
 

TennisCJC

Legend
It is most likely a technique issue. Search YouTube for tennis shoulder impingement and watch a few videos. You want to have a tilt in your shoulders at contact with the hitting shoulder higher than the non-hitting shoulder. This allows you to serve without the hitting arm going too high above the shoulder socket. I would suggest any racket between 58-66 flex, 320 or higher SW (prefer SW in 325-335 range), 4 HL balance or higher and static weight 11 to 12.5 oz. Be sure to develop serve and ground strokes using smooth acceleration with the body rotation providing the power. I also suggest either using all poly between 40 and 50 lbs or better yet, use multi mains with a poly cross at 50-46 give to take 2 lbs. Learn to serve with a loose natural throwing motion and a loose grip. Tensing muscles or muscling the ball is your enemy. I've had my shoulder go dead twice in 46+ years of tennis. The pain was on the upper front of the shoulder joint. Rest, PT exercises and working on technique fixed it both times but I also did have prednisone pills one of the times. It got so bad I could not lift my arm from dangling at my side.
 

Sardines

Hall of Fame
Yes, i guess that my injury came from underdeveloped muscles strenght or a bad movement by over swinging. Dont think it s the technique itself. I used to play tennis semi-professionaly till i was 20y old. Now im 35yo.

My first step after completely recovering would be to try a hybrid multi mains and soft poly cross and maybe lower the tension (at the moment 23/22kg).
I dont know if it works with lead at 12“. it would in also increase the swingweight right? I hit with a lot of pace…
Since you played high level tennis in the past, you must know the chances of injuries from repetitive use, the higher the level of play. I think equipment change isn't going to affect your rehab much, not as much as PT and strengthening. Unfortunately, some studies have shown elite women have higher upper extremity injuries than men, one being the Wimbledon study done in the 2010s.
 

J-Wildcard

Semi-Pro
Interesting to read the posts so far. I also had rotator cuff issue last autumn that caused me to take a 3 month break. Definitely overuse for me, as discussed so far. Swing weight is possibly more critical than static weight as that is the weight you are moving through the air. Regarding the static weigh it will give you more stability when defending a heavy ball. Main thing is to focus on the health and rehabilitation and probably short term rest depending on what the physio says. I need help with rehabilitation myself still as while the rotator cuff is in better shape I have an issue with my shoulder feeling unstable somehow. The racket is the final piece of fine tuning really and whilst it would be easy to resolve just the racket it's important to get the shoulder healed and healthy again.
If you are feeling like you are stressing the shoulder too much maybe you will have to look at a higher powered frame. I use a prestige control frame and it is does require good technique and the user just also add the power with the racket head speed due to the low powered nature of the frame.
 

flanker2000fr

Hall of Fame
Yes, i guess that my injury came from underdeveloped muscles strenght or a bad movement by over swinging. Dont think it s the technique itself. I used to play tennis semi-professionaly till i was 20y old. Now im 35yo.

My first step after completely recovering would be to try a hybrid multi mains and soft poly cross and maybe lower the tension (at the moment 23/22kg).
I dont know if it works with lead at 12“. it would in also increase the swingweight right? I hit with a lot of pace…
Well, your tendons are 15 years older, and what you might have been able to get away with at 20 might cause an issue at 35.

Like others have said, the first thing to look at is rehab and a proper conditioning program for your shoulder, to regain both strength and flexibility.

Then, it would still be good to have a professional coach look at your technique, specifically the serve as this is where most shoulder injuries are bound to happen. He might see something there that you're not aware of, and help you correct it.

I really don't think your gear is the issue, given your set-up. If you were using a super heavy racquet, I'd have recommended to go with someting lighter, but the EZ98 is not particularly heavy to start with.
 
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