racquet weight vs thumb and ac joint problems

Discussion in 'Injuries' started by beedub, Oct 30, 2021.

  1. beedub

    beedub New Member

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    hello all,
    I'm 65, played since a teen, then college team, considered a good player in several clubs. Can't play singles but my doubles team usually wins.
    Aging but not wanting to stop play, I use a Victor 3U HH racquet strung tight with 1.25 g lead tape at the top. Shoulder and thumb joint pain, doc suggested i stop play for several months (went to pickelball, much less load but....you know...) and things are much better. easing back in now but problems.
    I use professional Formfit steel pivot knee braces that work well, can't play without them, knee use is now ok.
    Have developed arthritis and damage in my right thumb CMC and ST? joints. The comfort cool thumb brace works well to reduce pain 50% or more, other braces make it worse. tried lots.
    Biggest problem now is a bad right AC joint. I have gone back to once a week, and with docs permission, take low doses ibuprofen and tylenol before playing with thumb brace, this seems to keep it from getting worse.
    Now the AC joint is a problem and I am going to experiment with a heavier racquet or I could add more weight to the head maybe too... to see if it will require less power from my arm/shoulder for the clear shot. The current setup is such that a clear requires a good effort with everything.

    Anyone gone through this AC/thumb thing?
    the AC joint problem is complicated by the reduced wrist/thumb power. a perfect hard clear shot uses my max of both with this racquet, i usually get it restrung because the extreme back-to back shot won't go for me.
    Now using full strength is out.
    thanks
    Brian
     
  2. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    It takes quite a bit of force to swing a 3U HH with lead tape around, especially in doubles. Have you considered playing with a lighter racket. It would allow you to play with a more forearm focused swing, taking stress off the shoulder. If not lighter, a more flexible racket should also make accessing power easier compared to stiffer rackets, though you might have to adjust your timing a bit. You might also consider lowering your string tension. I don't know what it is now, but if it's anywhere over 22 lbs, you will find that by lowering it a bit, clears will get easier. It is hard to give up some of the crispness that comes from higher tensions, but if you must choose between your shoulder or a nice crisp hitting sensation, I advise choosing your shoulder. In the same vein, playing with a soft feeling string (like bg65) will reduce stress on your shoulder compared to hard feeling strings (like bg80).

    All these measures should make generating power easier while minimizing stress on the shoulder. You seem to be really pushing the limits, so I suggest implementing all of it and see how it goes.
     
  3. beedub

    beedub New Member

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    my string tension is quite high, i forget, definitely over 22. i will talk to Racquet Science here, i need the clear and can adjust to other play.
    when i swing it is a whole arm in sequence thing. i will check out the softer strings too. hope to borrow a racquet from the shop.
    my experience a while ago with a heavier racquet is that it relieved my shoulder on a clear a bit because it doesn't need the acceleration of the 3UHH. then i have to adjust my slow shots. will see. very aggravating. will see if i can get a demo. body wear is irritating.
     
  4. beedub

    beedub New Member

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    I just played and tried my lesser racquet which has less tension. too much work to drive it far, i guess not much elasticity in the older strings. I think it has BG80 maybe.
    My Victor bravesword was strung previously with BG66 Force which tended to unravel, so it is BG66 titanium right now. Both were at 23 and 25 lb combo tension. Wtth the Victor things were much better. Used my hand brace and anti inflammatories and we will see how that works out later. play was good, but in some situations the long power return might be out no matter what, due to thumb and shoulder.

    Meeting with my racquet guy on Wednesday will see what, if anything, comes out of it. Saw a hand surgeon last week, didn't like that and didn't ask specifically if grip would be as strong again eventually. mind you, it is a little weak now due to wear. oh well. love the game
     
  5. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Try taking those lead weights off.

    Perhaps those big clears won’t be a thing now in your game but you have to readjust your game.
     

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