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Is Your Tennis Racquet Causing Lateral Epicondylitis? 6 Racquet Traits Linked to Tennis Elbow

If you are a tennis player suffering from lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as tennis elbow, you might want to take a very good look at your tennis racquet to see if it is at the root of why you have this painful, chronic inflammation.

There are multiple factors related to a tennis racquet that can lead to lateral epicondylitis. Here are 6 tennis racquet factors that may lead to or aggravate tennis elbow:

 

  1. Stiffness of racquet frame
  2. Racquet head size
  3. Issues related to the strings including: string tension, string type, size of string, string pattern and number of cross rows
  4. Racquet handle grip size
  5. Swing weight
  6. Balance point

 

When it comes to tennis racquets and tennis elbowracquet stiffness is a major problem. Larger and stiffer racquets produce more power, pop and pace – and this can be appealing to tennis players at every level. Larger, stiffer tennis racquets also require players to use less energy.

When the tennis ball hits a stiff racquet, the force is not absorbed by the racquet. Instead, the force and vibration are transmitted up the elbow. Not surprisingly, this force is in the region of the ERCB and the ECRL, which helps us understand why it is linked to tennis elbow.

It can be hard to compare racquet types if you are trying to determine the power level of stiffness for a tennis racquet. Tennis Magazine does sometimes publish a comparison of new racquets once or twice a year with this type of helpful information including racquet length, string pattern, string tension, power level, swing weight and balance.

Along with racquet head, stiffness and size, racquet strings may also play an important role in contributing to lateral epicondylitis. For example, while certain types of strings may produce a lot of pace and force, they can also be very stiff, leading to poor shock absorption which generates a lot of force on the elbow.

If you are shopping for racquet strings and trying to heal from or prevent tennis elbow from ever happening, natural gut is often recommended. This type of string tends to be very forgiving. It is also more expensive – typically between $40 and $60 a set.

It is advisable to opt for a blended string rather than a monofilament. Higher gauge strings are better (16 or 17) but they do tend to break more quickly.

If you are recovering from tennis elbow, you might want to consider a grip overwrap since a small grip may sometimes aggravate tennis elbow. In order to do this, it is advisable to wrap your tennis racquet grip by one or two layers.

While factors related to tennis racquets certainly contribute to lateral epicondylitis, as is sometimes noted, pro tennis players are not typically seen wearing tennis elbow bands. Often times, technique is at the heart of tennis elbow. With some simple technique corrections, for example, you may be able to alleviate tennis elbow symptoms.

In order to pick the best tennis racquet for yourself to help avoid tennis elbow, you should consider getting advice from a Certified Racquet Technician or CRT. Most tennis clubs have a tennis pro who is also a CRT. You can ask them for advice on what tennis racquets to purchase since they do not have financial motives guiding the racquets they recommend. Advice should include guidance on the racquet, string type, gauge and tension and grip size.

If you are experiencing elbow pain and think you may be suffering from tennis elbow, it is advisable that you seek out qualified medical attention. A board certified orthopedic physician can help diagnose this condition and also provide you with a range of treatment options.

Dr. Stacie L. Grossfeld is a board certified Orthopaedic Surgeon practicing in Louisville, Kentucky. She graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Fowler-Kennedy Sports Medicine Center. Dr. Grossfeld currently works as a louisville orthopedic surgeon in private practice at Orthopaedic Specialists. Dr. Grossfeld also serves as a clinical instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Louisville. Her special interests are in knee and shoulder reconstruction and sports medicine. For more information or an appointment, call 502-212-2663 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stacie_L._Grossfeld,_MD

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7643249

 

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