How to Treat Tennis Elbow?

I’ve been playing tennis a bit recently and I’m starting to feel pain in my forearm/elbow region. It hurts to do anything with my arm.

How can I treat this?
And is it okay for me to practice backhands, since the pain is in the right arm (I use the right arm for forehands)?

Also, why did I get this? Is it natural? Am I doing my strokes wrong?

Thanks!

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  1. Eric C, 09 July, 2010

    tennis elbow usually comes from hitting the ball too late. if the pain is located inside the arm, it is from your forehand. if it is on the outside elbow, it is the backhand. unfortunately best thing to do is to stop playing completely. it may take months but it is best don’t play till the pain is gone.
    After the pain is gone, you need to adjust (correct) your swing and make sure you hit the ball in front of your body, not on the side. Some argue the equipment too stiff or tension too high – those could make the tennis elbow worse, but how it happen is from your form, your swing, the contact is too late, that is the cause.

  2. Jeff, 09 July, 2010

    Bad technique or too hard string/racket combo causes tennis elbow, probably.
    Use gut or synthetic gut string with lowest playable tension.
    Learn to play two hand backhand and avoid one hand slices for awhile.
    Ice the elbow every hour for 5 minutes, use ice bag or ice bath. Before ice it, gently smash the pain point 15 times.
    Ice the elbow 10 minutes every time after you play.
    Get tenex shock absorbing band.
    Play less and short if you must.
    Eat more meat especially the chewy part of the connective tissues – gross but it helps
    Good luck – it happens to more than 50% tennis players at some age point

  3. FREAKING RIPPED, 09 July, 2010

    Usually you get tennis elbow with some technique problems, and the tennis elbow’s severity also depends on what equipment you use; especialy on the stiffness of the string and racket you use (a low stiffness rating helps prevent tennis elbow and so does avoiding polyester strings.) The best thing to do it to ice it and take some time off tennis maybe 1 or 2 weeks. Although you may be reluctant to do this, it’s the only surefire way to get rid of it. Good luck!

  4. Anonymous, 09 July, 2010

    Iceee?

  5. QUAKE, 09 July, 2010

    These are all very good answers. In my case, proper equipment and strings helped a lot. I used to have tennis elbow as well, what worked for me was switching to a heavier racquet, in my case Prince Ozone Pro Tour MP (12.1 ounces) + Prince Duraflex synthetic gut 16 strung at 54 lbs or Ashaway Dynamite WB16 string strung at 44lbs.

    Heavier racquets with soft strings will absorb more hard "vibration" than a lighter racquet and hard poly strings.

    String believe it or not makes a big difference. I tried poly strings and it hurt my arm. Switching to Ashaway dynamite wb16 (which has one of the lowest synthetic gut stiffness rating), made it much better.

    Formal classes will also help your form and correct any errors in technique.

  6. SaVee, 09 July, 2010

    My boyfriend got tennis elbow from doing construction/clean-up after Hurricane Charlie hit our area. He wasn’t used to this kind of work and after about a week, boy, did he suffer! So, I did extensive research for the best possible treatment for him – he was in SOOO much pain!!

    Tennis elbow is a repetitive strain injury. Usually, injury occurs gradually over time from the arm doing the same movement over and over again. To begin the healing process, it is MANDATORY that you completely REST THE ARM! Otherwise, it will worsen! (Since you are just beginning to feel the pain, your healing time will be minimal, unlike my bf!) The tiny tears in your extensor muscle tendons will begin to heal themselves during rest. This can take up to a few weeks to a couple of months depending on the severity. In the meantime, ice the area for pain and inflammation on and off during the day. (My bf also used Ibuprofin for pain/inflammation.) As for the other arm being used, go right ahead – your safe!

    Next step in the healing process is to set yourself up with a PROPER tennis elbow stretching routine. This is very, very important because incorrect stretches/exercises may do more harm! (I’ve seen it!)

    You may want to (or have someone else) analyze your form when you begin playing again. And, very critical to not re-injuring the area – make sure you continue doing warm-up stretching before you play!! I wish you much luck and a speedy recovery! 😉

  7. Sharpley, 14 October, 2011

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