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Tennis elbow is an inflammation of the tendons in the forearm just below the elbow. This is very painful but if spotted early this can be cured within a week. Players of all ages can get this and is mostly caused by bad technique i.e. when you receive fast shots and are not ready, you hit the ball too late, and/or off centre. This causes vibrations to travel through the tennis racket and up your forearm.

The treatment is ice on the forearm (this reduces the inflammation and pain). After a few days when there is no more pain, squeeze an old tennis ball or a mini tennis ball. Squeeze and hold for five seconds, then release. Repeat for about ten to fifteen times. Doing this daily will strengthen your hand, wrist and forearm and most importantly make the tendons open up (when inflamed, they squeeze tightly).

Another cure is to make your racket handle very slightly wider. This has the same affect as squeezing a tennis ball.

Historically tennis elbow (the most common tennis injury) was only found in adult tennis players. Nowadays when junior players change from mini tennis balls to yellow balls, it has been found that lots of ten, eleven and twelve year olds have “arm injuries”. The reason is not known.

This is clearly because it is more difficult to hit a NEW yellow tennis ball when moving from mini green tennis ball, whilst still expecting the player to hit the same level as when hitting a mini green tennis ball.

This is a shock to the system, possibly caused by bad coaching at mini tennis level, i.e. not teaching the player to hit the ball in front, so using the swing of the racket. Whether bad coaching or not, it is still a huge shock to the arm of a junior player.

If the author’s assumptions are correct or not, either way there appears to be more juniors with tennis elbow or arm problems since the introduction of mini tennis balls.

The author has always used old/used yellow balls which are easier for juniors to hit. Then when they are old enough to move to new tennis balls, whilst there is still a difference, it is not such a big adjustment as moving from mini green to a new yellow tennis balls.

You can also get tennis elbow from bad technique in golf, driving, ironing and hoovering.

Who will get tennis elbow?

Players who aspire to be tournament players are obviously going to hit and receive the ball harder and faster. If continual errors as described above are made, then they may get tennis elbow.


The author tennis elbow twice, both in the 1980’s. The first time in 1982 when the underneath of his arm was painful every time he hit a backhand. He noticed that there was no pain if he hit the ball in the centre of the racket and the correct distance from his body. The tennis elbow took six weeks to heal as he played through this at the same time as using the treatment of ice and squeezing an old tennis ball (advice given to him by a physio friend). Massage in addition to the above will give quicker positive results.

The second time was in the late 1980’s when he was trying to improve his forehand ground stroke. Now aware of the problem, he took one week off tennis and administered the treatment previously mentioned. This time the tennis elbow healed within two weeks.





Testimonials from some of Greg Bamford’s Clients are listed.

His successes with adult singles, doubles teams and junior coaching speak for themselves!

Finally, although this is a minor sporting injury, if left untreated for some months, it can travel to your shoulder and if left longer, will travel to your back. Do not be a hero!

WWS GB 14/09/2017

What to do if you have injuries before you start lessons:

If you are considering having tennis lessons and you have a prior injury or suffer from the affects of an old injury, please email Greg Bamford with full details of the injury before you book and pay for any lesson.

Greg Bamford will advise you whether it is safe or not, to have tennis lessons. Most injuries will only get worse if the injured part of the body is continually in use, putting strain on the injury.

All minor injuries will improve with rest.

Major injuries may need medical or physio treatment. In these cases it is not advisable to play any sports until completely cured.

Disputes for injuries during a lesson:

If you feel that one of our coaching staff  caused your injury, then you must provide a written account of the events leading up to your injury, a witness statement (if in a group) and a medical practitioner’s diagnosis (within five days of the injury). Thereafter we will conduct an investigation of the events leading to the dispute.

Where we advise that an injury may occur for whatever reason, you cannot dispute the said injury.