The birds, the bees and tennis elbow

by Dr. Roopali Hall

The sounds of spring are upon us… the birds chirping, the lawn mowers humming and the tennis players grumbling about tennis elbow. As we transition onto these soft clay courts our bodies are forced to adjust to different challenges. Whether you feel a nagging injury getting worse, or you are experiencing tennis elbow for the first time, there are a few tips that go beyond looking just at the forearm that may help you beat this nuisance:

  1. Check your shoulder mobility – and by “check it” I really mean “improve it”. Truth is, we ALL need to improve opening up our shoulders. Our daily postures devastate our shoulder flexibility and to hit a tennis ball you need good movement to avoid taxing your arm and neck.
  2. The silent culprit in tennis elbow can be the neck. For two reasons: one, pressure on nerves from the neck can masquerade as tennis elbow when, in fact, the actual insult is occurring in your neck; two, the muscles of the neck affect how you move your arm and swing your racquet. If you have a history of neck injury or muscle tightness – you can be predisposed to tennis elbow.
  3. You have probably heard this before, but it really does all come back to the “core”. If you don’t have good strength from your trunk – you will have to make up for it with your limbs – and they just weren’t made to handle that kind of load. Strengthen your core and improve your biomechanics. It always comes back to your core!

Sometimes you have to look big picture to solve this pesky puzzle! Now you have some areas to explore with your trainer, health practitioner, or coach.



Dr. Roopali Hall is a chiropractic physician practicing at Train Away Pain in Westport, Connecticut, where she specializes in sports medicine and medical acupuncture. Dr. Hall provides individualized support to patients across all stages of recovery, from injury rehabilitation to advancing performance goals. She earned her undergraduate degree from Amherst College, where she captained both the Women’s Varsity Tennis and Varsity Squash teams.nnis