The perception seems to be that tennis pros don't get Tennis Elbow. This is a question I recently ran across on Quora – answered it, and decided it would make a good post and podcast.
Even if your Tennis Elbow injury doesn’t have anything to do with tennis, keep reading. I think there’s still a valuable lesson here. (What IS Tennis Elbow?)
Do pros get Tennis Elbow? Having personally treated some tennis pros, I can attest that they do get Tennis – and Golfer’s Elbow. Here's my answer on Quora:
Answer (1 of 6): There are some claims that tennis elbow, when caused by playing tennis, results from poor tennis technique.
If this is true, then professional players, who presumably have regular coaching and very good technique, will be less prone to developing tennis elbow than recrea...
Based on a cursory search, it does seem to be true that pros develop the injury much less frequently than those who play non-professionally for fun and recreation.
Two major, probable reasons spring to mind:
1: Technique, Conditioning and Experience:
(Which is really all one thing, in my mind, not three!)
The higher the bar, the more likely the tennis pro is extremely well conditioned and has excellent technique – and a lot of experience, all of which minimize the strain that arises from poor technique and from the sheer volume of strokes.
I suspect it’s also likely that most high-level players have already had an elbow injury episode or two early on before their passion also became their livelihood...
They learned their lesson well, improved their technique, strength and conditioning and they put it behind themselves.
2: Prevention, Support and Early Treatment:
Although Tennis Elbow can be very challenging to deal with once it has progressed to a chronic level – it IS a highly preventable injury and not as difficult to treat and heal in its early stages as you’d think (in my experience.)
Surely, no one has more motivation to treat it early and correctly or prevent it altogether than a pro, with so much riding on his/her performance.
Again, the higher the bar the more support they have; trainers, coaches, soft-tissue treatment therapists (like myself) and others who have the best skills when it comes to identifying, treating and correcting the problem ASAP.
Unfortunately, most people in general tend to ignore the early warning signs,
They misidentify the nature of the injury – and then they choose all the wrong treatments when they do finally take it seriously, (often only after several months have gone by) all of which often seriously compounds the problem (in my opinion and experience.)
Here’s where we can learn one from the pros even if we’ve never lifted a racquet and our injury has nothing to do with tennis.
Listen To The Warning Signals
Listen to those early warning signs right now if you can, and it’s not too late.
I'm willing to bet big that if a pro starts to feel:
- That tell-tale tightening sensation in their forearm muscles...
- Or the very first ripples of that nasty burning sensation in the tendons at their elbow...
They jump all over it! And I don’t mean by trying to mask the pain with pills, shots and ice, either...
I mean by stretching it out and getting some deep tissue work done on it by an expert member of their support team that day or the very next.
Yes, it’s easy for them to take immediate action with so much on the line for them and harder for us when there isn’t, but the wait and see approach is not a wise one.
It’s a very sneaky and deceptive injury, because we often don’t realize how serious it is at first, and sometimes not even when it’s already chronic and fairly severe.
We’ve known for a decades that the problem is usually a very gradual progression of degenerative breakdown in the tendon – not a one-time ‘Acute’ injury.
It’s rarely a single acute injury “event” (like a tear) – even if it may have felt like it happened all at once – that was probably just the last straw.
And we know it has nothing to do with persistent inflammation either. That’s an old myth, which refuses to die.
I could go on and on, but I think you get it.
You may never play tennis like the pros or play at all, but you can be just as proactive as they are, and get help from therapists and treatments that treat the underlying cause and not just take – or do something for the pain.
Learn To Treat And Heal Your Own Tennis Or Golfer's Elbow Right Here:
I'll be your personal tutor guiding you through easy-to-follow lessons, where you'll get the therapy techniques, key stretches and essential exercises you need to treat and recover from your injury at home.
Just watch the videos, follow along and start putting an end to your elbow pain today.
Tennis Elbow sufferers, get started here: Tennis Elbow Classroom
Golfer's Elbow sufferers, get started here: Golfer's Elbow Classroom