For those players who have tennis elbow you should know there are ways to help recover from it by the various ways you can customise your racket. Roughly 1 in 200 players suffer from tennis elbow (outer area of the elbow), golfer’s elbow (inner area of the elbow) is another variant of this.
Obviously the first things to help you is good technique on your strokes with help from a qualified tennis professional, plus rest and recovery in between your playing time.
When you come down to the racket helping you out with curing tennis elbow then look at these options.
The heavier the racket is (within your capability to control it) the more solid and stable the impact is, therefore putting less strain on the arm. The lighter the racket the more twisting and vibration will occur so damaging the arm more. A basic rule of thumb in grams:
Obviously if you have certain preferences then it is your own personal choice. These are simply guidelines to help you choose.
You can get three types of racket balance. Head light, head heavy and even balance.
Although head heavy (in a light-weight racket) may appear to give you more punch, it would mean there is less weight in the handle, therefore this would create bigger vibration issues on your arm. Therefore, a slightly heavier racket that is head light in balance would mean that the handle would be heavier are therefore absorb these vibrations to the arm, resulting in less stress on the muscles.
This is simple, the stiffer the racket is, the harsher the vibrations are in your arm. So, a more flexible racket with a lower stiffness rating would provide a softer feel when striking the ball.
Racket Head Size.
The larger the head-size (100-110 square inch) the more flex is available from the string area, therefore producing a softer touch than a smaller headed racket (90-95 square inch).
All rackets are made of graphite, but also look to what else is in the racket to help protect your arm. Materials like Twaron, Graphene, Textreme and Kevlar to name but a few. These help with reducing vibrations to your arm.
Two issues to consider here, firstly multifilament strings provide a softer feel than monofilament strings. They are a more powerful choice too. However, the trade-off is that multifilament strings break easier and lose control at contact more.
Monofilament strings “snap-back” into position easier therefore the spin and control are better plus they are more durable. But watch out if you get arm issues.
You can use a monofilament at a lower tension or a multifilament at a slightly higher tension, which would give you a personal choice.
Having a mix of the two types would also be a good thought to provide the best of both worlds. Using a Kevlar string can also provide a little arm protection too.
The manufacturers provide information on the side of the racket frame for string tensions that you can use, but the stringer of your racket can personally help you choose what is right for you.
Using a larger grip rather than a smaller grip would give your hand more to hold onto, this would give you less strain than if your grip is too small. A basic guide to choosing the correct grip is:
Once again, it is a preferential choice, some players like a small grip and build up the size with thinner over-grips. Your choice, but make sure it is comfortable for you to use.
Vibration dampeners are a personal choice. They do not dampen the vibrations from the racket frame to your arm. What they do is dampen the acoustic sound of the vibrations when the racket hits the ball. This gives the feeling of softer hitting on your arm. This takes away the harsh feel and sound when hitting the ball.
Remember to choose your racket and string requirements very wisely, do not just pick up a racket based on either price, racket manufacturer, colour/fashion or which professional player endorses the racket.
Choose a racket for you. Your stringer can also advise on the string options which give you a chance to personalise a racket for your style of play. In the end you will have to experiment with different things before you go “YES!” to the best racket and string for your game.