Author Topic: Tennis Elbow  (Read 1671 times)

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Offline username452

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Tennis Elbow
« on: February 24, 2008, 11:51:40 PM »
I am a high school senior and have played tennis for five years or so. About two years ago, i began to develop some dull pain in my fore arm during and after play. It got progressively worse as I improved my play, to the point where I saw a doctor. It was tennis elbow.

I went through physical therapy for a few months. I got an elbow brace. I also began taking private lessons (as opposed to group ones) to try and fix the problem. From what i learned, my forehand was late, I wasn't getting a good enough backswing, and my finish wasn't complete. The pain lessened as I slowly started to fix those problems. Eventually, I went back to group lessons.

The pain was mostly over, though I certainly had days when i could feel it. Eventually though, I more or less quit. For 8 months, I played maybe twice, but a few weeks ago, i started up again. My high school team tryouts are in a week, so i wanted to get back into it and play my final year.

The first 3 hour group lesson was fine. I was definitely out of shape, and i felt it the next day. The second time, tonight, was not. Right from the first few groundstrokes i hit, i could feel a similar yet different pain. Rather than my fore arm getting that dull ache, it was right on the lateral epicondyl, right on that point. I would feel it if i hit a shot off center of my racket, and when i completely bend my inwards (touch my hand to my chest). I do not have pain in my forearm like before, but it is definitely the lateral epicondyl thats hurt.

Again, it only hurts if i touch my hand to my chest, or if i press on that spot on the elbow. In the few hours since i played, its gotte way better, and now its hardly noiticible. I do not (for now) have the classic signs of tennis elbow (lift wrist against resistance, etc..). I'm sure it's tennis elbow again, and its just starting, but i really want to stop it. I want to play my final year in my school.

What is there I can do at this point? What sort of technique could cause it? I have a full forehand now, with correct finish over my left shoulder. I have a two handed backhand that doesnt cause me any trouble. I can give more details, though i dunno how much you all can glean from just text.

Also, is it ok to play through? It's just a dull ache, and maybe it will go away on its own. Maybe i should just take some anti inflammatories? Is there any other treatment I can do besides just icing?

Thanks for reading all that. Advice would be greatly appreciated.

Offline pawan89

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Re: Tennis Elbow
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 12:26:38 AM »
first of all, welcome to the boards. there's a lot more experienced players here who'd be able to give more information and advice than me. However you'll have to wait till tommorrow at least since most are probably asleep.

I really can't tell much, honestly. I can tell you though that the most likley reason for most pains is improper technique and you have already seen this when your pain alleviated after developing a full flowing forehand. A dull ache seems to be quite the opposite of what I would have expected. I would have thought a sharp stabbing pain at instances, so I really don't know. Dull aches almost sound like consistent and unnecessary strain on your muscles. And the muscle you are talking about.. hmm.
I hope you are not forcing that forehand or any stroke for that matter. Its one thing to develop a motion but make sure you are not like gripping your racquet extra tight, or forcing an uncomfortable position to make your shots.
Also make sure you are completely, and I mean completely, stretching and warming up all the muscles around your arm and elbow before every hitting session. Even massaging that area frequently isn't a bad thing I'd guess.

You might not want to play through for too long if the pain consists. But if you do, say, consciously relax your arm during your strokes, try one of those muscle relaxant ointments and such and if the pain subsides and goes down, then you should be fine. but if not, you should really be careful. don't want to aggravate it.
also consider making your arm a little stronger. doesn't take much. but just try to strengthen those muscles. you'd be surprised how easy that is - I don't know if you do this, or thought about it.

again, welcome to the forums. if you're going to play tennis keep a journal on here, its a great way to keep track of your game and for people on here who do know a lot to give you advice and such on things liek this and your game if you like.
I played tennis through highschool too and there are a few people here who are also highschool tennis players right now. What school/where do you play?


Offline Clay Death

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Re: Tennis Elbow
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2008, 12:37:29 AM »
first of all, welcome to the boards. there's a lot more experienced players here who'd be able to give more information and advice than me. However you'll have to wait till tommorrow at least since most are probably asleep.

I really can't tell much, honestly. I can tell you though that the most likley reason for most pains is improper technique and you have already seen this when your pain alleviated after developing a full flowing forehand. A dull ache seems to be quite the opposite of what I would have expected. I would have thought a sharp stabbing pain at instances, so I really don't know. Dull aches almost sound like consistent and unnecessary strain on your muscles. And the muscle you are talking about.. hmm.
I hope you are not forcing that forehand or any stroke for that matter. Its one thing to develop a motion but make sure you are not like gripping your racquet extra tight, or forcing an uncomfortable position to make your shots.
Also make sure you are completely, and I mean completely, stretching and warming up all the muscles around your arm and elbow before every hitting session. Even massaging that area frequently isn't a bad thing I'd guess.

You might not want to play through for too long if the pain consists. But if you do, say, consciously relax your arm during your strokes, try one of those muscle relaxant ointments and such and if the pain subsides and goes down, then you should be fine. but if not, you should really be careful. don't want to aggravate it.
also consider making your arm a little stronger. doesn't take much. but just try to strengthen those muscles. you'd be surprised how easy that is - I don't know if you do this, or thought about it.

again, welcome to the forums. if you're going to play tennis keep a journal on here, its a great way to keep track of your game and for people on here who do know a lot to give you advice and such on things liek this and your game if you like.
I played tennis through highschool too and there are a few people here who are also highschool tennis players right now. What school/where do you play?

long live the pong. welcome to the forums.

i would just lay off for a few days. also keep some used tennis balls in the car. you can do various exercises with a tennis ball as you are driving around. make sure you do sets and increase the number of sets over time. squeezing the tennis ball in different ways not only strenthens the wrist but also the forearm which, in turn, reduces the burden on the elbow. and it is safe. use only balls that are used or have lost some pressure.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 12:41:00 AM by hercules »

Offline pawan89

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Re: Tennis Elbow
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2008, 07:59:58 AM »
herc's idea is golden. also rubber bands.


Offline euroka1

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Re: Tennis Elbow
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2008, 08:15:59 AM »
I used to be bothered by this but not in recent years. Someone told me, and it seems to work for me, that a bit of weight training, arm curls in particular, is good for this.  Any comment??

An odd sideline. Years ago I was involved in a job that involved in much crawling about the floor and developed severe knee pain. When I looked it up in the book, I found it was called "housemaid's knee" and was the knee equivalent of tennis elbow.  Occupational hazards? But I'd rather play tennis. :)

Offline username452

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Re: Tennis Elbow
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2008, 01:39:00 PM »
ugh, now the outside of my right wrist is sore (right above the body part), especially when i twist it. Is this related? Do i have any chance of continuing tennis when all this happens after one three hour class? =/

Offline OSU Buckeye

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Re: Tennis Elbow
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2008, 04:31:20 PM »
Tennis elbow is a chronic thing.......it is going to get worse with overuse and it will get better with days off.   As far as I know it is just a nagging thing really.............it will let you know if you should not continue and then it would likely be severe tennis elbow and that would cause you to rehab and strengthen it.  I have had tennis elbow at many various times..........at its worst, I strapped on a tennis elbow brace (it wraps tightly around your forearm close to your elbow) and played through it.   Days off is really the only thing you can do.  You have to get your body used to tennis so you can't overdo it early on............gradually build into playing often. 

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: Tennis Elbow
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2008, 06:11:56 PM »
Welcome to the forums, sorry you had to find your way here through an injury, but such is life.  Hopefully something someone will throw down here will help you find a solution to your problem.

My first advise would have been to seek lessons to find out if your strokes were off and the reason for the tennis elbow but it seems that you have wisely covered that one on your own, good call on your part.  Back when I was in high school I went through a period (about a week) where my elbow was hurting very bad when I hit the serve.  In the end, it was my forehand that was causing the issue.  I was hitting the groundstroke and coming around the top of the ball so aggressively that my follow through was forcing my racquet head lower than my elbow.  When my instructor saw it he said it hurt him just looking at it.  I fixed it (back to normal really) and all was fine.  Not sure how I got to that point with my stroke for that week but amazing how bad that can hurt just from being off on one stroke.  One reason it blows me away that Nadal's forehand doesn't hurt him yet and even Roddick's serve.

I like the brace idea OSU mentioned.  You have nothing to lose on this one but a few bucks for the brace.  I need a knee brace to play, without it I would be limping, with it I am perfectly fine.  If anything it would relieve your elbow of some extra stress.  Might feel weird at first but you would quickly get use to it.

The bad news is that you took 8 months off from the game with no strength training for the elbow.  It is no surprise to me that your elbow issue flared right back up with the quickness.  Tennis elbow is something that may need time off with strength training and then ease back into it.

Icing when you are done would be a good idea.  It would help keep the inflammation down, assuming you plan on trying to play through it.

Tendinitis sucks.  I have it in my left elbow from jiu jitsu in college 10 years ago.  It is one of the reasons I am not able to lift weight much anymore.  Light weight is OK, but going with heavier weights kicks it in immediately.  Hopefully that is not the case for you and it is something you can shake much quicker. 

Whatever you do, you will need to ease into it to not overwork the inflamed area.  Seeing a doctor is always best, they will just recommend time off.  Always frustrating...

Welcome to the forums, I hope you stick around to chat tennis with the rest of us tennis junkies!
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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