Tennis: Handshake or other gripping movement hurts after playing for a week… elbow too.?

Two weeks ago, i started playing tennis with my friends in our neighborhood park. i had never played before. At first we were just fooling around, but after finding out that i liked tennis, i started getting a bit more serious. I youtubed videos about forehands and the such and saw my school coach for 1 day to ask about the form on a forehand. (he lives in my neighborhood.) The next day, with my friends, I started ripping balls, trying out the forehand. (each of these days btw, we were playing for around 1.5 hrs) That night, my hand started to hurt big time. The next day the pain was gone, but would come back whenever i shook somebody’s hand or tryed to grip something. A few days later, i thought it was better so I tried to play again. The pain came back, along with a pain going down my first finger, and stretching to my elbow. Now whenever I make the forehand follow through motion, even without a racket, I feel a slight discomfort at my elbow, and handshaking still hurts, but very little. Ive found that the pain can also be created by pulling up on my first knuckle while holding the second down, or by pressing on a point on my first knuckle bone about an inch higher than my wrist. (metacarpal?) Its been a week and a half since I last played tennis, but just by doing these things I can still feel pain. Im on vacation now so I cant see a doctor (im in india), but can anyone tell me what this pain is or if it is tennis elbow? I hear that tennis elbow comes from repetitive straining, but I have really only been playing tennis for 2 or 3 days and doing a proper forehand for 1 day. My backhand does not hurt at all, and it hurts much more if I actually hit a ball while doing the forehand motion. Im 15 btw. Sorry for all this info, but I really need to be sure if this is serious or not because I want to try out for my HS team come spring.
thanks, and i realize my mistake, but right now i need info on what i did to my hand, whether I pulled a muscle or what.

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  1. Marcus, 22 February, 2010

    Alrighty, listen up. I’m 15 too. And I can tell you that as a beginner, you shouldn’t be "ripping" balls back to your partner. As a beginner, you should be trying to control your shots and trying to get a feel for the game, and the basics and the instructionals. There are a ridiculous amount of things to learn, so ease up, work on form, just like basketball, baseball, golf, or whatever. You don’t just start shooting three pointers when you first start basketball. Hope I helped.

  2. Rob B, 22 February, 2010

    Sounds like a nerve injury. Not really anything you can do about it, but it will probably go away after a week or so. It can happen if you start doing something physical using muscles you are not used to using. I play league tennis and every now and then my elbow or shoulder will get really sore and it gets worse when I swing a racquet, but even things like shaking hands or typing will bother it. I rest it for a couple of days to a week and everything is fine again. I would say that if you’re still playing, knock it off for a couple of days to give your arm a rest. It’ll probably go away. If it’s not better when you get home, then go see your doctor.

  3. lolypop, 22 February, 2010

    you are just starting with tennis so your muscles need to develop more. i have been playing for quite a while so that doesn’t happen to me anymore but it used to. i wouldn’t worry about it because it is probably because the muscles that you are using when you are playing have not fully developed yet. with practise and time you will get over it. i am guessing it is repetitive strain injury which can be serious if you continue to strain your muscles. if it continues, see a doctor, but in the mean time, you shouldn’t worry about it. good luck!!

  4. krzy5, 22 February, 2010

    the pain in your hand may be the nerve thats along side the finger. and could possibly just be because you are not used to playing tennis seeing as it was your first time. the nerve thing will go away eventually, just try to give it a rest (the same thing happened to my brother and we play tennis competitively blah blah blah), then if it still hurts see a doctor. now the pain in your elbow is probably tennis elbow, it usually happens when you dont play much or has been over used. just try to rest it out all together then see. if the tennis elbow doesnt get better there are things you can buy such as bands etc at sports stores.

    hope all goes well

  5. tatripp, 22 February, 2010

    you probably didn’t pull a muscle. its probably tendinitis which is common for tennis players even in the hand. it is commonly reffered to as tennis elbow. it is very commone with new players trying to hit hard without the right form. i’m guessing you were trying to hit fast heavy topspin shots with a continental grip which will force you to swing too much with your arms only instead of you legs and your body’s rotation. switch to a semi western grip or full western. it isn’t serious. it will heal if you let your arm rest for a few days. if you do play, just don’t try to hit the ball hard until your form is better. when your form is better, just make sure you use your good form even when you try to hit it hard. many new players lose their form when they try to smash a ball. remember placement is much more important than power. tennis elbow is literally just tendinitis of the elbow. tendinitis simply means that your tendon’s are swollen. "itis" means swollen. ice should help it and relaxing. get a coach to teach you your forehand.
    you have good spirit though. watching youtube is one of the quickest ways to learn. i tell all my high school students to watch youtube to learn more and get better and hardly any of them do. it seriously helps a lot.

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