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Tennis elbow can be difficult to treat, which is why prevention is usually the best strategy. One of the best ways to prevent tennis elbow is to ensure that the forearm, hand, and wrist muscles are strong enough to help reduce straining the elbow. Using proper equipment is another method for preventing elbow tendinitis, as using a racket that is the wrong size or weight can cause injury. Of course, form plays a large role in preventing any sports injury, which is why lessons in the correct hitting technique may be necessary.
There are various exercises that help reduce strain on the elbow since they strengthen the forearm, hands, and wrist muscles. Light weights can be used in this endeavor, as wrist extensions and curls are often good ways to start strengthening the wrist. Putting a rubber band around the fingers and then stretching them out can also help prevent tennis elbow, as can putting a tennis ball in the palm of the hand and squeezing it repeatedly. General stretching before playing tennis can also help prevent tennis elbow since it will ensure that the muscles are properly warmed up.
Using a racket that is too heavy, light, large, or small can make a big impact on whether one gets tennis elbow. Players should consult with their coach to make sure that the racket they have chosen is the proper size and weight for them. The grip should also be checked, since one that is too small or large can strain the forearms. Even checking the string tension in the racket can make a big difference, as strings that are too tight can contribute to tennis elbow. On the other hand, while looser strings can help prevent tennis elbow, they can also lessen the amount of control over the ball, which makes it important to consult a professional regarding equipment.
Some people exhibit poor form during tennis, which makes tennis elbow likely to occur. Even someone with the best equipment can develop this medical issue if their strokes are not proper form, as poor strokes can strain the elbow. For example, the whole arm should be swung during each stroke, not just the wrist. Also, the upper arm muscles should be used during twisting or lifting the racket instead of the muscles in the forearm. Not only can lessons regarding the correct hitting technique help prevent tennis elbow, but it can also improve the tennis player's overall game play.
One big factor to preventing tennis elbow symptoms is making sure you consistently hit the ball with the correct form. With a tennis stroke, the majority of the power should come from the lower body.
Many beginner players, and advanced players, too, mistakenly think they have to use their arms to generate all the power, so they swing harder and twist their arms into awkward positions. This can lead to elbow pain.
This article makes a good point about the tightness of the strings in a racket and how that makes your arm feel in general and how it contributes to tennis elbow specifically.
When I started playing tennis I was using second-hand rackets I borrowed from my cousins. My first new racket was a Christmas gift. What all of these rackets had in common is they were inexpensive and they were strung at low tensions. The loose strings act like a trampoline and the ball bounces off them at a higher rate of speed with less effort.
At some point, I learned that most professional tennis players string their rackets very tight, the extra tension allows them to swing
harder and control the ball better. I decided to string by rackets tighter. If it works for the pros then it should work for me, right?
The first time I hit the ball with my newly strung racket it felt like I was hitting the ball with a board. I had to use more force and the tension placed on my arm was noticeable. Since I had already paid to have the rackets strung at the higher tension I was determined to use them. I used them for a couple months before I gave in and had them strung at a lower tension.
With the tight strings, my arm ached almost every time I played and I had to take longer breaks between outings. If you want to reduce the chances of elbow pain definitely go with looser strings.
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