tennis elbow and racquets

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by hacobian, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. hacobian

    hacobian New User

    Aug 22, 2009
    San Francisco
    Hi everyone,

    I was told to post in this specific forum: I am a 3.5 player who was has been using a Prince Speedport blue strung in the high range for all of last year with no tennis elbow problems. The Babolat flex index is 67 for the Prince.

    I switched to a Wilson K tour f/x strung mid range with Xtrme nylon strings this year with a flex index of 63. My elbow is killing me after 3 games and I can tell the racquet is definitely worsening the pain so I got rid of it and went back to my Prince strung mid range with Xtreme.

    1. It seems to me based on that experience that the stiffer racquet is better for my elbow, can this be true?
    2. I'll work on my technique but does switching to a particular string type really help?
    3.Do particular balls help?
    4.Is there any benefit in wearing bands or is it a waste of money?
    5. Finally, what else can i do to accelerate the healing and play again next week?

    Thanks for all your help
  2. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

    Oct 22, 2006
    Generally the lower stiffness is easier on the elbow. The 67 on your Prince and 63 on your Wilson are not that far apart to show an obvious difference in stiffness. Other factors like the string type and weight (heavier is better) and balance points (head light is better) are important as well. Also some racket brand and model have been shown to be better for TE as well, like the ProKennex 5G Kinetic model.

    Yes, try out natural gut.

    Some brands develop softer ball model for more comfort (example: Dunlop Tour Comfort).

    The bands are just a reactive band-aid approach AFTER you've gotten tennis elbow to help relieve some pain. To this effect they're not a waste of money. But if you hope that wearing them will cure your TE, then you're wasting your money.

    Rest up. Avoid overuse. If you're a 1hbh player, maybe consider switching to 2hbh. Make sure you have proper techniques. Try the Theraband Flex Bar. There's been lots of positive feedbacks about them, and I have personally experienced positive results with them myself. Using the Tyler Twist on the Flex Bar helps develop arm strength on the right muscles/tendons as a preventive measure from future injuries. If you're already injured, start out slow and light with a smaller bar (red or green) as a physical rehabilitation and keep doing the exercise even after the TE goes away as a preventive measure (maybe graduate to a heavier bar like the blue bar if you're a bigger guy).
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  3. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

    Jan 27, 2010
    Newtown, PA
    In addition to all this, you might want to see a chiropractor as well. My chiropractor adjusted my elbow and I felt a lot of tension and pressure release from it. He was basically pushing on the outside of my elbow while holding my thumb with his other hand. It took a couple adjustments, and the first couple times, it just stung a little and didn't really move, but on the 3rd or 4th adjustment, he got the bones to adjust back into alignment and release a ton of pressure that was built up in the joint.

    I would NOT recommend replacing traditional medical advice and physical therapy with chiropractic care alone, but as a supplemental treatment, it is definitely worth considering.
  4. BigHitterSE

    BigHitterSE Rookie

    Jun 4, 2009
    You need to look at ProKennex. Their technology is known to prevent and cure tennis elbow. I recommend looking at the Ki20PSE as it has similar specs to your Speedport Blue. In addition, a very soft multifiber string should help as well. Kirschbaum Touch Multifiber is one of the softest strings on the market.
  5. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Apr 4, 2008
    volusiano very nice of you to take the time to answer all the questions:)
    there are some who would have just said "do a search":(
    kudos to you
  6. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

    Sep 21, 2009
    1. no stiffer rackets are very BAD for TE
    2. yes, natural gut or a good multifilament
    3. yes, stay away from the wilson tourament balls
    4. yes, bands help when you have TE, they may help prevent it also, although that is betable.
    5. once you are hurt, rest and ice applied to the area, if you continue to play when you have TE, you will pay the price.
    heal first, play later.

    also, from my experience, chiropractic care did help me allot.
    i have had TE for over 7 months now and just beginning to heal.
    take some time off and heal, that is very imporant.
  7. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Sep 26, 2008
    Central Florida
    Just make sure they are not wet and heavy.

    Next week may be way too soon. I went for about 12 ultrasound/electrostimulation treatments at my chiropractor over the course of a month and a half before the pain was at a level where I could play again.
  8. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

    Jul 29, 2006
    You may be hitting the sweetspot better with the Prince, and less so with the Wilson. That can also be a contributing factor.
  9. hacobian

    hacobian New User

    Aug 22, 2009
    San Francisco
    Thank you everyone!

    Armand Der-Hacobian
  10. ferb55

    ferb55 Rookie

    Feb 4, 2009
    ICE ICE and more ICE
  11. Playtimefun

    Playtimefun New User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Ice and compression are the two best things to help tennis elbow.

    Ice the arm a lot. This reduces the swelling in the muscles. There is no such thing as too much icing either.

    Buy a tennis elbow sleeve - not a band that is wrapped around the muscle below your elbow joint but one that excompasses the elbow itself.

    Stretching exercises to help loosen up the muscles. I dont know how to describe them well but will try.

    1 - you take your left arm and grab your right arm just above the elbow. Take your right arm and reach up and touch your left elbow. Keep your palm at 90 degrees to your arm and then move it downwards and rotate it so that when you have your right arm extended downwards that your fingers are pointing out perpendicularly away from your body.

    This stretches the muscles that go through the joint.

    2 - lay your hand on the bed, couch etc., your elbow bent but not quite at a 90 degree angle and your palm up. Now using your left hand, push the palm of your hand down on the muscle just below the elbow. On the outside. You will feel the muscle almost push out to the outside of the arm a bit.

    A physiotherapist will massage the joint and work it as well similar to what a chiropractor would. Basically the muscles get inflammed and the first stretch helps to work the joint.

    Technique is the biggest factor. I used to have bad tennis elbow 20 years ago and when I switched to the Pro Stff 85 and because it was a heavy, head light racquet it forced me to improve my technique and the tennis elbow went away.

    Unfortunately, I am just getting back into playing after tearing 3 muscles in my rotator cuff and as a result of my weakened muscle state I have now developed tennis elbow playing with the Wilson Kfactor Pro Staff 88.

    Good luck with it!!!

    Tim aka Playtimefun

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