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You didn't ask for it, but now you've got it. Now what can you do?
Before offering specific suggestions, let's discuss what causes tennis elbow.
I'm not sure. Many believe that vibrations travelling up the arm from the
racket strain the tendon. Therefore, anything dampening these vibrations
will help. I suspect that simple stress on the tendon from certain racket
motions strains the tendon. Therefore, changing your form may help.
Ok, here are the specifics:
- Change your racket.
- Using a heavier racquet will result in fewer vibrations.
However, when I switched to a lighter racquet things improved. So
just try a change.
- Head-light racquets, i.e. with the center of gravity closer to the
neck, are better vibration-wise. Of course you may be giving up
- Put extra tape around the handle. When you grip with a more
tightly closed fist, there is more stress on your tendon.
- Improve your form.
- Keep your elbow in when hitting forehand shots.
- Hit the ball in the sweet spot to minimize vibrations.
- Do curls and lift other weights that strengthen the ligaments,
tendons and muscles about the elbow.
- Take an anti-inflammatory an hour before playing. Aspirin's
supposed to be good for your arteries anyway.
- Medical treatment
- Many swear by acupuncture. I've heard many reports of
miraculous cures. I've been skeptical, for example that the
acupuncture is masking the pain rather than curing the condition.
However, the patients say the treatment is more than temporary.
- You can get a hydrocortisone injection that may remove the pain for
six months. I don't like this option because pain is not something
to be masked if possible. Also, you can't repeat this
indefinitely. It is not a permanent solution. Finally, just
because it's a simple shot does not mean it cannot go painfully wrong.
It can and does.
- The next step after the injection is to have surgery. Yech.
It's not a good option.