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Tennis elbow is caused by inflammation of the muscles of the forearm that attach to the elbow.
It is a type of tendinitis that causes pain in the elbow and arm. It can pop up at any age, but it’s most common in people over the age of 40.
Some athletes may find that pursuing pickleball could be a more gentle option if they have this condition than playing tennis itself, although the condition can certain still be aggravated with pickleball.
But what’s the best pickleball paddle for tennis elbow?
In this article, we’ll explore this condition further and highlight several paddle options that may work well for use if you’re experiencing tennis elbow.
Can Tennis Elbow affect Pickleball Players?
Despite its name, you can still get tennis elbow even if you’ve never been near a tennis court.
Because tennis elbow occurs due to a sudden trauma – or as the result of a repetitive strain – it can be an affliction suffered by many athletes, as well as some people in particular lines of work.
In pickleball some of the causes may be:
- Bad form
- Bad timing
Unfortunately, once damaged, the elbow can be resistant to healing.
Most players don’t take the time needed to rest their elbow. The elbow needs rest to heal completely.
Most players want to continue to play as they heal which is understandable!
Finding a paddle that can be as gentle on this condition as possible, as well as maintaining the proper form and timing with your game, can be helpful toward not further aggravating your condition.
Tennis Elbow is caused by many issues
There are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of tennis elbow.
The issues that most often result in tennis elbow are:
- Pushing yourself too far
- Not stretching
- Not exercising outside of pickleball play (no cross-training or additional strength or cardio work)
- Not taking care of yourself after exercise or playing (no post stretching)
- Bad nutrition
- Not hydrating
- Using the wrong pickleball equipment (wooden paddles instead of fiberglass)
Physical trainers advise athletes to strengthen their shoulders, overall arm and abdominal muscles.
What exercise is appropriate?
Many players are using massage techniques as well as other exercises and targeting the area just above the elbow. This is where they feel the pain and this is understandable.
However, they should be looking to the shoulder.
Looking above the area of the pain to where the larger muscle is doing most of the work is more logical. In this case, it is the shoulder.
When the elbow can’t go through its normal range of motion, the shoulder has to work harder.
Your elbow acts as a hinge and transfers power.
Eventually the hinge which is the elbow and forearm is the area that gets hurt.
Exercises for Tennis Elbow can include:
- Horizontal adduction: Hold an exercise band horizontal to your body. Squeeze a small ball and hold it up against your side. Press it against your side, trapping the ball between your elbow and your side.
- Arm Raise: Sliding up against a wall with your back against the wall, cross your arms and raise them above your head. Go up and down the wall with your arms making sure they’re touching the wall at all times.
Although it is possible these exercises may work well for use with tennis elbow, it’s important that you always consult a medical professional before attempting any form of exercise with this condition to ensure it is safe and appropriate.
Your doctor may have specific recommendations as to whether or not pickleball is an appropriate activity with tennis elbow, or if it is contributing to it, so never attempt this sport without first consulting your physician for professional medical advice.
Genearlly, pickleball players who are prone to injury may also want to consider training with a professional athletic trainer to learn proper techniques and movements.
The trainer can help you with what equipment best fits your level of play and body size. The trainer may also be able to recommend a paddle that would be more appropriate for playing with your condition.
Best Pickleball Paddle for Tennis Elbow
There are a number of paddle options that may work well for someone who has tennis elbow.
It’s important, though, to always consult a medical professional before using any new product or even playing pickleball to ensure it is safe for you to do so.
The following products may work well for someone who has tennis elbow, but who wants to play pickleball.
HEAD Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle – Radical Pro Textured Paddle w/ Honeycomb Polymer Core & Comfort Grip
HEAD Radical Pro is perfect for a wide range of player’s which also makes it good for those suffering from tennis elbow.
Playability in a paddle is important when playing with an injury.
Lighter weight is also important for a tennis elbow pickleball paddle.
According to the manufacturer: “The Radical offers a large sweet spot as well as a thicker core and an ergo comfortable grip. HEAD engineers have optimized the tubular construction of the polypropylene honeycomb core to create perfect playability, sound and feel.”
Features and details of this paddle include:
- HEAD performance: With decades of experience, HEAD brings the best equipment to the sport of pickleball
- Fiberglass finish: The lightweight pickleball paddles feature HEAD’s hitting surface that offers excellent feel and power for the competitive player. A lighter weight paddle is going to be easier on the arm for those suffering from tennis elbow.
- Textured: Extreme Spin Texture on the face of the paddle offers better grip on the ball for increased shot placement.
- Minimal Vibration: A polypropylene honeycomb core is paired with a new Ergo Grip for the perfect touch with minimal vibration- cutting down on the fatigue factor for someone with tennis elbow.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this paddle could work for your game.
Gearbox G2 Paddle
According to the manufacturer: “Gearbox was fueled by a vision to create superior, technology-based sporting equipment.
The G2 is a breakthrough paddle advancing the basic honeycomb paddle design to a new single piece, molded construction.
Utilizing carbon and glass fiber with high heat and pressure, the G2 is a molded single piece paddle with a carefully enclosed poly-honeycomb core.
This advanced process yields a magnificent edgeless paddle with impressive durability and quality.
The G2 is designed to have a traditional feel for touch shots. The less your arm has to work, the better for the arm. This impressive high-end paddle is a great value, slightly below other competitors in its same class.”
View at Amazon for more information on how this paddle might work for you.
Details of this paddle include:
- Weight: 7.8 ounces
- Handle Length: 5 inches
- Paddle Length: 15 15/16 inches
- Core Material: Poly Honeycomb
- Surface Material: Carbon/Glass fiber
- Paddle Width: 8 inches
- Grip Size: 3 7/8 inches
NewFit Blur Pickleball Paddle – USAPA Approved Premium Pickleball Paddles – Graphite Face & Honeycomb Polymer Core for a Quiet and Light Pickleball Racket
The NewFit Blur Pickleball Paddle is USAPA approved. The graphite and honeycomb polymer core makes for a light racquet, which could potentially work well for someone playing with tennis elbow.
Lighter weights are better for sufferers of tennis elbow.
A description for the manufacturer of the benefits of this product includes:
- “Power and Control: Great mix of power and control. The graphite face reacts to the ball and delivers the best feel for ease on the arm.
- Honeycomb Core: The advanced honeycomb core is optimized for striking power and the large sweet spot reduces sound.
- Light: The paddle is designed for speed and durability. It uses composite carbon fiber and polymer honeycomb throughout the racquet.
- Comfortable: You will be able to play through your tennis elbow because of the ergonomic grip that is inlaid with specially formulated cushioning to dampen vibration and reduce fatigue. Playability with a grip that is comfortable.”
Features and details of this product include:
- Quiet Power (great for clubs with noise restrictions)
- Weight: The weight of Blur is 7.8-8.2
- Includes two paddles and four balls
View at Amazon for more information on how this paddle could work for your game.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com