hand pain--change rackets, change grip or???

hand pain--change rackets, change grip or???

Post by samo » Wed, 28 Aug 2002 11:31:02


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. 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.  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. My coach doesn't really have any ideas
other than to try to relax my grip as much as possible.  I thought of
demoing some different rackets and have ordered some through tennis
warehouse that haven't come yet--including ProKennex 5g and a Head
is-6.

Anyone have similar problems and/or some good suggestions?  Thanks.

 
 
 

hand pain--change rackets, change grip or???

Post by Kare » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 00:06:17

Quote:

> 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. I thought maybe I was gripping too hard with those
> fingers

I used to have the "death" grip in fear of my racquet flying out.
After matches, my right hand was shaking so bad that I couldn't put
water bottle into my mouth. Sometimes, the pain in my fingers woke me
up in the middle of night.

I did two things to cure my problem.

1. Held the racquet with both hands. My left hand helped to put the
racquet into position and release just the final swing in groundy and
volley. During points, I could relax my right hand and did some finger
stretch.

2. Learned to grip firmly (squeeze?) just before and during contact. I
kept my finger relax relaxed the rest of time. In order to force
myself do that, I practice serve with two fingers only and thress
fingers only sometimes. I was surprised that I could hit pretty hard
and accurate with only thumb and index finger. With thumb, index and
middle finger, I could hit close to my normal serve.

Now, no more pains in my fingers and upper body after matches. Only if
I can figure out how to get rid of the pain in my leg, I can sleep
well at night :-(

I might be too old for hard court :-(

 
 
 

hand pain--change rackets, change grip or???

Post by Kare » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 00:28:08

Quote:

> 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. I thought maybe I was gripping too hard with those
> fingers

I forgot mentioned the ***at the end of the handle. Do use it. It
gives you a secure feeling that the racquet won't fly out. So you can
relax your ring finger and pinkie. The "***up" is a bad idea unless
you're total beginner and have eye hand coordination problem.

 
 
 

hand pain--change rackets, change grip or???

Post by samo » Sat, 31 Aug 2002 05:21:53

Thanks, Karen, for the tips.  I'm trying to lay off for a little while
and let the swelling go down.  I'm gonna try your tip of only using
2-3 fingers on serve.  Also gonna go back to Eastern forehand grip and
see if that doesn't help.  I fear, however, I may be getting arthritis
in my ring fingers because I have pain in my right ring finger. (I'm a
leftie).  I don't want to switch to a one-handed backhand tho. I've
got an appt. set up with the orthopod in a week or so; gotta make sure
it's not serious.  For your legs--you tried yoga? I try to do a little
bit twice a day (got it from a book--very simple 10-minute routine),
and that has helped my legs incredibly.  Thanks again.

Pat

Quote:


> > 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. I thought maybe I was gripping too hard with those
> > fingers

> I forgot mentioned the ***at the end of the handle. Do use it. It
> gives you a secure feeling that the racquet won't fly out. So you can
> relax your ring finger and pinkie. The "***up" is a bad idea unless
> you're total beginner and have eye hand coordination problem.

 
 
 

hand pain--change rackets, change grip or???

Post by Michael Scarpit » Sat, 31 Aug 2002 12:32:31

Quote:

> 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.

This should HELP, not hurt, your hand problem. You should be using a
continental grip for serving, oh yes!

I'm female, 50, been taking private lessons from a very good

Quote:
> teaching pro. 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.  

Get a head-light racquet! Wilson Pro Staff line, Yonex R-7 or
something like that.

I'm also hitting out a lot as I've gotten

Quote:
> stronger and my strokes have gotten better and thinking I need a more
> control-oriented racket anyway.

Yes, also start your swing with the racquet just in front of your
shoulder, up high, NOT way behind your back and down low.

My coach doesn't really have any ideas

Quote:
> other than to try to relax my grip as much as possible.  I thought of
> demoing some different rackets and have ordered some through tennis
> warehouse that haven't come yet--including ProKennex 5g and a Head
> is-6.

> Anyone have similar problems and/or some good suggestions?  Thanks.

Try not hitting so many ground strokes. Serve and volley; this will
eliminate a lot of gripping tension, because the points are over much
quicker. Also, make sure your racquet grip is big enough (ask your pro
to measure your hand); try a LEATHER grip (Fairway and Babolat sell
them). Try a heavier racquet (12 oz).
 
 
 

hand pain--change rackets, change grip or???

Post by Frank Silberma » Sat, 31 Aug 2002 22:52:53


Quote:

> 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.

Quote:
> 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.)

Quote:
> 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.

Frank

 
 
 

hand pain--change rackets, change grip or???

Post by Kare » Sun, 01 Sep 2002 00:51:21

Quote:


> > 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.

> This should HELP, not hurt, your hand problem. You should be using a
> continental grip for serving, oh yes!

Agreed. It's easier to pronate with continental grip.

Quote:

> > been playing a lot--usually 4 times a week--and maybe this light
> > racket is a problem.  

> Get a head-light racquet! Wilson Pro Staff line, Yonex R-7 or
> something like that.

I don't think racquet make a difference in your finger pain. Besides
...

Serena Williams -- Wilson Hyper Hammer 4.3 Stretch 110
Venus Williams -- Wilson Hyper Hammer 6.2 110
Monica Seles -- Yonex Ultimum RQ Ti-2000 Long 110

It seems most female pros using these "non-player" racquets. I
wouldn't switch to a "player" racquet at your age.

But trying different racquet is a good idea. I've learned a lot by
playing with different racquets. Just don't put too much expectations
in thinking the new racquet will solve the problem.

Quote:
> try a LEATHER grip (Fairway and Babolat sell
> them). Try a heavier racquet (12 oz).

The leather grip becomes slippery when wet. I don't like it.
 
 
 

hand pain--change rackets, change grip or???

Post by samo » Sun, 01 Sep 2002 08:19:14

Thanks everyone for suggestions--gets confusing, however.  Did try out
a few demos today--liked the Yonex Ultimum 2000 the best--not sure if
it's the 110 or larger.  Much more solid feeling than the Head.

The suggestion not to use the small fingers at all on serve seems like
it really might help, along with remembering to keep my arm very
relaxed.  My fingers feel okay several hours after lesson this
morning, so maybe I was keeping the hand more relaxed. Hopefully it
won't be too stiff during the night.

Maybe I'll try demoing some of those head light rackets, altho' I
doubt I'll be very comfortable with a 12 oz racket after using 8.4
Head--too big a change.

I will try an even larger overgrip--cushier.  I'll ask the local
racket stringer guy.

Thanks again.

Pat