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tennis elbowTennis elbow (TE) affects up to 40-50% of all tennis players in their lifetime. In tennis, repetitive strokes place large demands on the wrist extensor muscle group. Backhand strokes have been shown to invoke higher stresses on the elbow than forehand strokes. The force imparted by the ball onto the racquet during a backhand stroke is transmitted via wrist extensors to the common extensor tendon origin on the outside of the elbow. When overloaded greater than capacity, the tendon begins to break down and lead to tissue disruption, hence the feeling of pain and weakness around the elbow.

Every aspect of the game of tennis is a variable that could potentially influence force transmission to the elbow and extensor muscles. This includes external factors such as properties of the racket, ball, court surface and game conditions then player dependent variables including grip strength, posture, technique and experience.The following is a summary of the current research into the development/risk factors of tennis elbow in tennis players however a lot is still unknown on the topic and more research is needed.

Double-handed vs single handed backhand?

In two-handed backhands, the impact of the ball on the racquet is dissipated through two arms, with greater force through the left arm (in a right hand dominant player). This may achieve a lower force transfer to the dominant elbow than in single-handed backhands.

Technique?

An increase of wrist extension was found in more experienced tennis players just prior to ball impact compared to novice players who strike the ball with their wrist in more flexed position at impact.

Many people think about the shoulder joint when they are recovering from a shoulder injury or when they want to strengthen their arms. But most people forget their scapula, or shoulder blade. The scapula fixes our shoulder to our body. It is the base that ensures we can position our arm exactly where we want it to go. It transfers strength from the trunk to the arm making the arm stronger. Failing to strengthen this area is guaranteed

rafa theraband exercises webEvery year for 3 weeks in January, Kirsty McNab, Sports Physiotherapist, owner of Physiologix, upstairs at The Gap Health and Racquet Club, is buried  under Rod Laver Stadium at The Australian Tennis Open, working with the players, based in their main changing room.

One of the most common issues treated is the shoulder.  There are a multitude of things that can be wrong with this joint and an even greater range of reasons why they went wrong. Treating these elite athletes successfully requires not just a diagnosis of what exactly is injured, but also why the injury has occurred. 

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