OK, you may think it’s weird for me to write an article about tennis gear for a condition known as “golfer’s elbow” but it’s more common in tennis players that you think. Tennis elbow is on the outside of the elbow, but many tennis players complain of “golfer’s elbow” where the pain is centered on the inside of the elbow.
And, how do so many tennis players get golfer’s elbow? The answer is simple. It’s all about the backhand. A tennis match can last for hours, and the repeated backhand motion, especially if you’ve had to overextend to reach a shot, causes irritation and pain in the muscles and tendons on the inside of the elbow.
This injury heals with time but is sometimes slow, sometimes taking months. Ice helps, but the key to recover is rest. And…severe tennis elbow calls for immobilization with a brace and some doctors even use a cast to treat pro athletes to help them recover as quickly as possible. Take your time with some stretching and light exercise and you’re healed!
But…how can you keep from re-injuring once you start playing tennis. The key is correct form (take a lesson or two from a club pro) and not overextending. One final thing is VERY IMPORTANT though; it is to secure and utilize the proper tennis racket. If you suffer from golfer’s elbow (or tennis elbow for that matter), buy a racket with a bit more weight than your last racket and make sure to use a dampener to protect your elbow from future injury.
And, if golfer’s elbow (or tennis elbow) is a repeated problem, string your racket at a slightly lower tension (in the low to mid fifties). Oh, one more thing. Consider using gut strings. They may be a bit less durable and more expensive than polyester, but some say that artificial strings contribute to elbow injury. Finally, get the right size of grip (consult a pro or tennis shop specialist). To small puts undue stress on the wrist that radiates to the elbow.
OK…now here is my top ten list of rackets for senior players (over age 50). These rackets are also the best to protect from tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow when used with a dampener and strung a bit looser that normal. Pictures and links to the rackets follow the descriptions, and these are great gift ideas, too!
Volkl V Sense V1 OS. Precise engineering.
Yonex Ezone DR 100. Great for mitigating vibrations in the hand and arm.
Head Graphene XT Prestige. Large head and sweet spot.
Wilson Clash 108. – Great for senior players, men or women. Big sweet spot. Miss-hits still go in a lot!
Babolat Pure Drive 107 – A great all-around tennis racket.
Donnay Formula 100 Hexacore – For Donnay fans, this racket is built for comfort and has a flexible frame.