Lateral epicondylitis or more commonly known as tennis elbow can be a painful, chronic ailment for tennis enthusiasts around the world. Having the time to take a good look at your tennis racquet to see if it is at the root of why you have this agonizing irritation can save you time, money, effort in enduring all that pain!
Having a tennis elbow does not happen overnight. There are several factors that can predispose a player to suffer from such. They are the following:
1. Stiffness of racquet frame
2. Racquet head size
3. String related issues such as type of string, string size, tension, pattern and the number of cross row
4. Racquet handle grip size
5. Swing weight
6. Balance point
Racquet stiffness can be a major problem when talking about tennis elbow. Tennis racquets that are larger and stiffer require tennis players to use less energy since they produce power, pop and pace. It is because when the tennis ball comes into contact with a racquet that is stiff, the latter could not completely absorb the force. Instead, the vibration and force reaches the elbow through the region of the ERCL and the ECRB, which helps us understand why it is linked to tennis elbow.
Comparing racquet types to determine the power level of stiffness for a tennis racquet can be difficult for some. However, comparing the features of new racquets including the length, the string’s tension and pattern, swing weight, and power level can be helpful according to the Tennis Magazine.
Racquet strings also contribute to lateral epicondylitis. It is due to certain types of strings that produce a lot of pace and force, which are also stiff. This results in poor absorption of shock therefore requiring a lot of force from the elbow.
To prevent a tennis elbow from occurring, a natural gut is recommended. A natural gut is a type of string that can be very forgiving but expensive. It can cost between $40 and $60 a set. Albeit it is much better to go for the blended string type instead of monofilament, since strings with a higher gauge are good but they can break easily.
If you are recovering from tennis elbow, consider a grip overwrap since a small grip may aggravate a tennis elbow. To do this, wrap your tennis racquet grip by one or two layers.
If all fails, consider getting an advice from a Certified Racquet Technician in picking the right tennis racquet for you that won’t hurt. They would provide guidance on the right racquet, string type, gauge, tension and grip size that is suitable for you.
Since technique is at the heart of tennis elbow, simple technique corrections can alleviate symptoms – and this can be the best prevention you can ever give yourself.