Preventing tennis elbow

Prevention of a tennis elbow injury will always be so much better than a cure. So what can you do to prevent a tennis elbow injury?

There are several things you can do which will dramatically lessen your chances of having a tennis elbow injury which incidentally affect thousands of players every year.

The first and most important thing is to select proper equipment. There are guidelines that need to be followed when selecting a tennis racquet, and this especially applies to the vast majority of players, who never play in a tournament, but equally suffer the greatest number of tennis elbow injuries.

You must test as many racquets as possible before choosing the one for you, and take advice from your coach or a qualified salesman before parting with any money! It is best to choose a graphite racquet because it will lessen vibration and give you better torque control.

Don’t buy an oversized racquet because although the sweet spot might be bigger, the area outside the sweet spot creates excessive torque which leads to tennis elbow injury. A racquet with a more flexible frame will reduce your chances of a tennis elbow injury.

A heavier racquet vibrates less, but don’t buy a racquet with a heavier head because they increase the risks. A heavier handle is OK. Really what you are looking for is a racquet with a high sweet spot, light head and good balance.

Make sure that the string tension is at the lower end of the specifications., and use synthetic nylon, making sure you get a restring every few months

When you are playing especially on clay do not allow the balls to get heavy. This has the potential to cause tennis elbow, so change them often, also when it is damp. It is a good idea to get some lessons from a qualified tennis instructor, and ask them to pay particular attention to your technique.

This applies particularly to weight transfer and chest neck and shoulder being kept stable, so your shot making is better and there isn’t too much muscle tension.

Warm up properly before you begin, doing gradual stretching exercises for the wrist. Seek advice about the best exercises. When you are playing tennis start your backhand from the shoulder not the forearm. Bend your forearm on your forehand shots, so your biceps and shoulder take the force of your swing rather than your elbow.

Whatever you do, bend the arm when you serve. A straight arm and rigid wrist means the elbow takes all the shock of contact. Finally, don’t put too much topspin on the ball when you play a ground stroke. If you can do all this then you will dramatically reduce your chances of a tennis elbow injury.

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