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Tennis Elbow Therapy - Counterforce Brace

Sep 4, 2008
The equipment you choose can play a role in reducing your tennis elbow symptoms. Physical therapy devices specifically for tennis elbow, as well as the tennis equipment you buy at your local tennis shop, play a role in reducing tennis elbow pain.

Counterforce Braces

Counterforce braces compress the forearm muscles about an inch below the elbow, and keep the tendons from moving excessively. This compression reduces the strain to the tendons and soft tissue of the elbow by limiting the force of the muscle contraction. Movement is not constrained, so the counterforce strap should not interfere with a normal swing. Most players experience less tennis elbow pain when wearing a counterforce brace during activity.

The important thing is not to strap the brace too tightly. The brace should be snug, and should only compress the muscle during contraction (when the muscle tends to expand).

Effects of Equipment Choices on Tennis Elbow

Changing your tennis equipment may improve your tennis elbow symptoms. In general, you want less vibration and less torque - both of which cause strain on the tendons and soft tissue of the elbow. Keep that in mind as you read through these specific suggestions:

1.) Racquet weighting: heavier racquets (are particularly weight at the head of the racquet) tend to have less vibration and are more resistant to torque.

2.) Strings: natural gut is a good choice since it tends to be the softest available string. Nylon is the next softest, followed by synthetic gut. The new polyurethane strings should be avoided due to their hardness and increased vibration.

3.) Stringing Tension: obviously, the lower the tension, the less amount of vibration and torque. Tension is a trade-off between control and power, but in terms of your tennis elbow, less tension is better.

4.) Racquet Head Size: mishits produce more torque than shots hit in the sweetspot. As you move further away from the sweet spot, the greater the amount of torque created by the increased distance from the fulcrum. Because of this, larger headsizes have the potential to produce more torque on your elbow on severe mishits.

5.) Grip size: your grip needs to fit your hand size. A grip that is too small or too large may increase your tennis elbow symptoms.

When used in conjunction with physical therapy for tennis elbow, counterforce braces and other equipment choices can help you get back on the court without the pain of tennis elbow symptoms.
About the Author
William "Josh" Hohman, along with his wife, Dr. Julia Hohman - a board certified Sports Medicine & Family Practice physician - have just written Cure Tennis Elbow in 6 Weeks - a step-by-step formula for getting tennis elbow pain under control - visit www.cure-tennis-elbow.com for more info.
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