By Andrew Preston
Golfer’s Elbow, aka Medial Epicondylitis, is a niggly condition that affects not only the everyday golfer taking a swing, but those involved in racquet sports, (for example: tennis/squash), throwing, and activities that involve gripping (for example: driving).
What signs or symptoms should I look out for?
For some people, you may not see Golfer’s elbow coming.
Over time, what may begin as a low level irritation can soon turn into a pattern of pain and discomfort from the stressed structures. If this is your dominant arm, this can be quite limiting in day to day activities.
- Pain with grip
- Weakness in grip
- Sensitive to touch the elbow
What causes golfer’s elbow?
The cause may be due to repetitive stress or excessive loading which can build up around the tendons and muscles on the inside of the elbow and forearm.
What should I do if I think I have golfer’s elbow?
- Modify your aggravating activities
- Ice around the elbow may be advised in the first instance for pain relief and to allow affected structures to begin their repair process.
- Book an appointment with your physio so they can help further identify the cause of your pain and prescribe exercises to kick start you recovery.
How I can fix my golfer’s elbow long term?
But alas! All is not lost! It may just be that your grip technique is off, and this in turn has put low level undue stress to the inside elbow.
For example, a lot of amateur golfers can have poor swing mechanics at impact, which can lead to excessive load on the forearm muscles.
- Simple swing modifications may be all that you need to become pain free.
- For sports that require a lot of throwing (eg. Cricket or baseball), technique needs to address the power exerted from the ground up through the body.
- If your arm is aggravated by playing tennis, it may be as a result of striking the ball too late or simply gripping your racket to heavily.
- A graded and progressive strength programme for the muscles of the shoulder, arm and forearm is required for long term results.
Want to know more or need some pointers on how to manage Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s.. book in and see our accredited Titleist Performance Institute physios, Andrew Preston and Conor Keane. Who knows, they may even have a few other tricks up their sleeve to help you improve your swing!
CHECK YOUR TECHNIQUE – COULD YOU BE MOVING BETTER TO PREVENT INJURY, ACHES AND PAINS?
By Andrew Preston
The answer is usually YES! The way your body moves while you exercise, play sport or participate in performance activities can contribute both negatively and positively to your overall health. That’s why identifying any flaws with movement or asymmetries between right and left is so important, to prevent injury and improve performance!
How do I know if I need to assess my movement/technique?
- You have ongoing pain recurrent pain
- You’d like to prevent risk of future injury
- Before undertaking a new exercise program
- You want to increase performance
How is movement and technique assessed?
An assessment tool known as a Function Movement Screen (FMS), developed in the U.S. by Gray Cook, has proved to be an invaluable tool for physios, coaches and trainers to help them communicate and discuss the safest and most effective ways for individuals to exercise.
How does the FMS work?
- The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was created to help standardise movement assessment.
- Assesses injury risk in performance activities.
- Looks at seven fundamental movements such as;
– inline lunge
– straight leg raise
– rotary stability and
– trunk push up.
- After screening, the patient is ranked with a score out of three. Three is a score showing you are able to perform the task well, where one is a poor score and indicates either a range of motion issue or a strength/stability issue. Total score is out of 21.
Who should consider doing an FMS?
It helps physios communicate properly with you, your coach or your trainer to discuss the safest and most effective ways for you to exercise.
The main objectives of the FMS from a clinical stand point is to try and identify any flaws with movements and more importantly any asymmetries between right and left.
Asymmetries can lead to overload on certain joints and over time lead to injury. A score lower than 13/21 is generally considered poor and indicates the person is a high risk of injury in a dynamic sport.
If there are significant differences between sides, for example, a score of one on the right leg forward lunge compared to a three on the left leg, this can signify a problem and a potential cause of injury.
What happens after I have a Functional Movement Screen?
- After the test, you’ll get a report with some recommendations about how best design your exercise programs to minimise your chances of injury.
- If big issues come up during the test, like pain or gross limitations in the way you move, we may suggest you return for a follow-up physiotherapy consultationto appropriately address those problems.