Tennis Dampeners: Do They Help With Tennis Elbow?

Tennis Dampeners: Do They Help With Tennis Elbow?

To answer your question right off the bat, yes, they do help with tennis elbow.

If you’re not familiar, tennis elbow is over inflammation of tendons in your arm caused by constant strain and use.

It’s named this way because it’s almost exclusively related to playing tennis, at least when it’s in this region of your arm.

Tennis dampeners, or as they’re known as vibration dampeners, are there to help you through just about every single hit you make with your racket.

If you’re trying to prevent injury and maintain your muscular integrity, then you need to seriously consider getting one.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Holding For Elbow

For a more in-depth look at what tennis elbow really is, you need to know the symptoms.

It’s good information to have in your back pocket anyway as you continue your tennis career.

Tennis elbow is the inflammation of tendons around the elbow caused by damage.

This damage can be brought on by rapid and constant vibrations, which could be symptomatic of a stressful work environment in a labor career (carpenters), but usually persists in tennis players, hence the title.

Tennis elbow will impair your ability to do random and remedial household things, such as turning a doorknob without feeling pain in your elbow or hold a coffee cup with a firm grasp.

There are numerous risk factors that you need to be aware of.

  • Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to develop this issue through tennis and other activities. Your tendons undergo stress and damage as you age and perform work-related tasks, and the standard effects of aging apply as well.
  • Playing Tennis: There’s a lot of dynamic movement coming out of your elbow and arm, and a lot of the stress ends up resting on the elbow due to the bones colliding or scraping against one another. You’re exercising your tendons while playing tennis, and after prolonged periods of time, this is no longer beneficial or considered exercise as far as your tendons are concerned.
  • Occupations: Carpenters, butchers, cooks, even people who type all day can endure the symptoms of tennis elbow, even if it’s not the full-blown thing. We’re seeing a rise in computer-related occupations, and subsequently, we’re also seeing a rise in tennis elbow cases in the United States per year, though interest in the sport remains the same.

In accordance with dampeners and tennis elbow, there is not enough hard data to guarantee that using a dampener will prevent symptoms of tennis elbow.

While dampeners do in fact absorb vibrations, much like shocks in a car do the same thing, the information about those specific vibrations being the root cause of tennis elbow is unconfirmed.

We wish nothing more than to provide you with the most honest and accurate data.

Some people just like using dampeners for how it makes the racket feel and others just don’t want to take the chances that in ten years, a conclusive study does arise that confirms rackets cause tennis elbow.

The only thing that is for absolute certain is that tennis players often get tennis elbow, though it can be through a variety of other means and stress.

What Is A Tennis Racquet Vibration Dampener?

Tennis Vibration Dampener

To better understand what they are, let’s describe them.

They’re clips that stick onto the string pattern of your racket, usually near the handle, and sometimes in the corner of smaller grid squares higher up.

When your racket gets hit, the super tense strings receive a ton of kinetic energy.

Since the strings are tense, there’s nowhere for that vibration to go. It just ends up traveling down the strings.

Where do the strings lead?

To the handle, and your hand. It’s going to rattle through you and mess you up pretty bad. Over time, all those vibrations will cause issues in your tendons.

Vibration dampeners come in small circular pegs that go between some of your strings, in small clips, or long clips that go along the length of your strings that run from the top of your racket down towards the handle.

This helps reverberates a lot of vibration for backhands as well and usually offers the most overall satisfaction from the user.

What Won’t A Vibration Dampener do for You?

Well, they are believed to help against tennis elbow, though there isn’t too much research behind that, but they will not improve your game or make your racket stronger in the least.

They will not make it easier to play in a US Open either since you have to undergo a quick check to make sure they’re on the right way.

Vibration dampeners aren’t absolutely critical pieces of equipment, they’re more like optional accessories that may or not may help you out.

It’s all up in the air, though some pros stand by them.

Types of Vibration Dampeners

Button

Tennis Button Dampener

Just as you’d expect, these small button-style dampeners just kind of rest there on your racket.

You can pin multiple ones of these to the corners of your string grid when it becomes longer strings instead of a proper grid.

You want to position these close to the handle to prevent incoming vibrations from traveling down and rattling through the handle, and then through your hand.

Worm

Worm Tennis Dampener

These are longer clips that basically stretch over about ten or twelve different sections of the grid.

They sit on either side of the strings and are usually used in a pair, creating a barrier where vibration tends to get absorbed by.

These usually do not rest right above the handle unless you get what’s referred to as a stubby worm dampener.

These work well to eliminate massive vibration from backhand maneuvers.

How to Install Vibration Dampeners

These press right onto your strings with absolute ease.

Simple smaller clips have no issue, whereas you might run into a problem with the longer clips that just take a little bit of time to snap on.

You have to apply them to each string individually while lining it up appropriately and not crossing over the other strings in the grid.

Those longer ones are called worm dampeners, and they are definitely a bit trickier to get on.

It’s recommended to use one on each side of the racket (vertically) to muffle inbound vibrations and damage to your racket.

Do Tennis Vibration Dampeners Work?

Using Tennis Dampener

It’s up for debate.

You’re going to find plenty of tennis players who say that these don’t matter, but then others will say that they’re not used to using a tennis racket without it.

After examining just what these do, there are a few reasons for the divide in the tennis community surrounding it.

For one, if you have a very high tension racket, then you’re more likely to get used out of these.

They’ll “snuff out” the vibrations.

The higher the tension, the less give the strings have, and the more likely you are to feel those vibrations in your hands. It’s going to matter at that point.

Another thing is that if you hit hard, which is just based on your play style, then you’re really going to need dampeners.

The more force you apply, the harder the ball is going to hit that string grid. Just think of it this way: the harder you play, the more likely you are to need them.

There are some people who just don’t feel a difference, and that’s okay. If you’re a very big and bulky person who just has a lot of muscles, sometimes the vibrations are negligible.

Do whatever works for you, just be aware of the risks associated with not using them.

What Happens if I Equip a Dampener Improperly?

Tennis Dampener On Tennis Racket

If it’s a pro game, then an umpire is going to inspect it before you even begin the match.

There are right and wrong ways to apply a dampener, and it’s up to the ump to make sure it’s on the right way. You won’t receive a penalty if you do this one time.

That being said, if in the same game, the umpire finds that it’s been moved, they might dock you.

It’s an arbitrary thing, but something to pay attention to if you’re going to bring a dampener into a US Open match or something like that.

So, do I Need One?

It’s up to you, but it’s recommended especially if you want to avoid tennis elbow in the future.

If you’re a younger athlete, you should work at all costs to preserve your muscles and tendons.

Apart from that, there’s also just a preference at play.

Dampeners change how your hand feels when the ball hits the string grid, and for some, it gives them better control over how they angle their shots.

To each their own, just so long as it helps you out and you aren’t equipping them improperly.

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