7 Tips To Prevent Golfer’s Elbow

It is golf season!  Many of us look forward to this time of year for recreation and good times.  However, golf injuries such as “golfer’s elbow” can occur and are very painful.  Golfers elbow is also known as Medial epicondylitis or pitcher’s elbow.  It is a condition that causes pain where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow.

When you use these elbow muscles repeatedly, small tears develop in the tendons. Over time, this leads to irritation which results in inflammation and pain where the tendon is attached to the bone.

Despite the name, this condition doesn’t just affect golfers. Any repetitive hand, wrist, or forearm motions can lead to golfer’s elbow.

The injury can occur from using the poor form or overdoing certain activities, such as:

  • Golf
  • Baseball and other throwing sports, such as football and javelin
  • Racquet sports, such as tennis
  • Weight training
  • Repeated twisting of the wrist

People in certain jobs may be more likely to develop it, such as:

  • Painters
  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Construction workers
  • Cooks
  • Assembly-line workers
  • Computer users
  • And more…

Common Symptoms of golfer’s elbow include:

  • Pain and tenderness. Usually felt on the inner side of your elbow, the pain sometimes extends along the inner side of your forearm or wrist. Pain typically worsens with repetitive wrist movements. The pain of golfer’s elbow can come on suddenly or gradually.
  • Stiffness. Your elbow may feel stiff and making a fist might hurt.
  • Weakness. You may have weakness in your hands and wrists.
  • Numbness or tingling. These sensations might radiate into one or more fingers — usually the ring and little fingers.

You can prevent this condition by doing the following:

  • Strengthen your forearm muscles. Use light weights or squeeze a tennis ball. Even simple exercises can help your muscles absorb the energy of sudden physical stress.
  • Stretch before and after your activity/game. Walk or jog for a few minutes to warm up your muscles. Then do gentle stretches before you begin your game Stretches at the end of the game/activity is also very important as it helps with decreasing soreness after strain full activity. Please talk to your physiotherapist to give you these stretches.
  • Correct your form. Whatever your sport, ask an instructor or your physiotherapist to check your form to avoid overload on muscles.
  • Use the right equipment. If you’re using older golfing irons, consider upgrading to lighter graphite clubs. If you play tennis, make sure your racket fits you. A racket with a small grip or a heavy head may increase the risk of elbow problems.
  • Lift properly. When lifting anything, including free weights, keep your wrist rigid and stable to reduce the force to your elbow.
  • Know when to rest. Try not to overuse your elbow. At the first sign of elbow pain, take a break. If you feel minor ache on the inner part of the elbow or forearm or weakening of the grip, if the soreness lasts more than 72 hours then please talk to your health professional before returning to the activity.
  • Stay hydrated: Always make sure that you are hydrated during the game.

 

It is important to rehab this injury by visiting a physiotherapist and following these recommendations:

  • Resting or pacing the activity which increases the symptom
  • ICE: Apply ice packs to your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, three to four times a day for several days. To protect your skin, wrap the ice packs in a thin towel. It might help to massage your inner elbow with ice for five minutes at a time, two to three times a day
  • Modalities: Your physiotherapist can use modalities like Ultrasound, Laser, IFC, etc. for pain relief and help with inflammation.
  • Stretching: Selective stretching will help you to maintain muscle flexibility and to decrease the chance of any future injury
  • Strengthening: it is important to strengthen your forearm and wrist muscle so that they can take the the strain you put during activity/game.
  • Guarding the part by brace or taping: a counterforce brace on your affected arm, which might reduce tendon and muscle strain
  • Posture education and maintenance during game or activity: Keeping proper posture during the activity/game can decrease the chances of injury significantly please talk to your physiotherapist regarding postural.
  • Gradual return to the activity: It is very important that you gradually return to activity/game as it gives time to your muscles to meet up with work demand.

Dr. Vikas Puri 

B.Sc., D.C, Toronto, Canada

President and Co-Founder of Intelligent Health Group.

Is Your Lifestyle Hurting You?

Parents are always telling their children to sit up straight, and not to slouch.  Good posture evokes a sense of confidence, youth, and beauty.  But did you know that studies show poor posture to be related to an increased incidence of disease and death?  It’s true!

 

Dr. Henry Winsor was the first to publish this kind of study.  He autopsied 50 cadavers and found 139 diseased organs.  Each of these organs was traced back via its nerve supply to a spinal curve distortion, most of these being minor spinal misalignments (also known as subluxations). 

 

More recently, Dr. Kado published a study in the Journal of Geriatrics that correlated accentuated mid-back curves with an increased death rate and increased incidence of heart disease.  

 

Posture is now the number one predictor of early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  90% of the information to the brain every day comes from our posture.  In other words, the sense of where our body is in space called proprioception.  If this information is poor, caused by bad posture, our brain cells start dying at a rate of two square centimeters per year. 

 

These studies support long-standing chiropractic principles.  Our health is directly related to proper alignment and motion of the spine.  There are three parts of our spine, the neck (cervical), mid-back (thoracic), and low back (lumbar). The neck and low back have a reverse c-shape called a lordosis, while the mid-back has a c-shaped curve called a kyphosis.  These normal spinal curves must be maintained within normal ranges.  Poor posture is one of the things that alter the proper shape of our spine, leading to more strain and pressure on our spinal joints.  The result is irritation and pressure on spinal nerves as they exit the vertebral column, which creates a reduction in nerve flow and blood supply to the various organs where that nerve goes.  This leads to eventual dysfunction and disease.  Not only at the spinal level in the form of spinal decay leading to arthritis, but also at the vital organ level.  Any diseases may be linked to spinal subluxations.  For example, the most common postural faults occur at the upper back and base of the neck.  These areas connect neurologically with the heart and lungs.  Subluxations in these areas can lead to premature cardiopulmonary disease and death.

 

Poor posture has become an epidemic.  We are constantly sitting in front of our laptops and computers.  Sitting is thought to be the new “smoking”.  And “text neck”, caused by constantly looking down at our cell phones is leading to degenerative changes in our neck in young teens and adults today. 

 

Chiropractors are specially trained to correct postural distortions and remove nervous system interference before it leads to disease.  They perform computerized and other posture analysis along with x-rays and a thorough spinal examination to evaluate one’s posture.  They then perform specialized treatment, known as spinal adjustments, along with recommending exercises and orthopedic devices that begin to restore one’s natural posture.  As this happens, the amount of stress hormone in the body decreases, muscle tone improves and neurological improvements are noted.  As this happens, our overall health and vitality improve.

 

Preventative medicine is the best medicine.  Everyone should visit a chiropractor regularly for spinal “tune-ups”.  Maintenance prolongs life.    We do it for a car so why not for ourselves?  And remember, sit up straight, it could save your life!

 

Dr. Vikas Puri 

B.Sc., D.C, Toronto, Canada

President and Co-Founder of Intelligent Health Group.