> Actually, I have swelling in my ring finger (and a little bit in my
> pinkie) of my left (***) hand ever since I started trying to
> switch to Continental grip serve from Eastern forehand about 2 months
> ago. I'm female, 50, been taking private lessons from a very good
> teaching pro. My coach doesn't really have any ideas other than
> to try to relax my grip as much as possible.
Try harder to hit the ball in the sweetspot, even if this means
holding back a bit at first. This is especially true while learning
a new grip, which tends to result in lots of mis-hits until you adjust.
Mis-hits are very *** your hand and arm.
Does it hurt when you hold/swing the racket even if you don't
hit the ball? If so, then you may need a rest from tennis,
and then when the pain is gone, maybe some strength-building exercises.
> I thought maybe I was gripping too hard with those
> fingers so I put an overgrip on my racket, hand size between
> 4-1/4-4-3/8 so I bought 4-1/4 racket, but overgrip hasn't helped.
> The other possibility is the racket--I've been using a Head Ti-s7,
> which I really liked a lot as a total beginner a year and a half ago,
> but I've been playing a lot--usually 4 times a week--and maybe this light
> racket is a problem.
The lighter the racket, the more impact shock is transmitted
to your hand. (Which is more likely to cause a bruise to your
hand -- hitting a bowling ball with a sledge hammer, or hitting
a bowling ball with a stiff, light stick? Which is more likely
to give you whiplash -- being rear-ended by an SUV while sitting
in a loaded dumptruck, or being rear-ended by an SUV while sitting
in a Yugo?)
Try adding a bit of lead tape to the left and right sides of the
racket head. When your strokes adjust to to the increased swing weight,
add some more.
The extra weight, distributed on two sides of the ball at impact,
will act like a tightrope-walker's balancing pole to keep the racket
from spinning out of your hand on off-center hits. As a result,
you won't feel the need to grasp the racket so tightly, and its
sweet-spot will seem wider.
Though it takes more effort to swing a heavy racket, at impact
it will feel as though you're hitting a lighter-weight ball.
(It's the relative weights of racket and ball that determines
which gets the worst of the collision.)
> I'm also hitting out a lot as I've gotten stronger and my strokes
> have gotten better and thinking I need a more control-oriented
> racket anyway.
More flexibility in the racket may also soften the impact.
I think it's best if the racket is flexible in the handle,
rather than the head. If the racket head is more flexible,
you lose power and the sweetspot is smaller.