Golfer's elbow...from tennis

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Zverev, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Zverev

    Zverev Professional

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    On some medical site some "knowledgebla" people are saying that
    tennis elbow takes 6-8 weeks to recover from, golfer's elbow (medial epycodilitis) 2-3 weeks.
    Don't believe this BS.
    Medial epyco...is much worse than tennis elbow.
    I had TE and recovered from it and never stopped playing, just switched to 2HBH, heavy racket, soft string and was carefull when serving.

    With Medial you neither can hit forehand nor serve,
    so you effectively cannot play and I am not playing for..already 4th!!!!!!! month, and GE is still there and it looks like it's gonna be with me for a year at least.

    Beware of the pain on inside of your elbow,
    it's not lighter condition as they say,
    it can cripple you for long time.
     
    #1
  2. tennissavy

    tennissavy Hall of Fame

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    I am sorry to hear about your condition. I totally sympathize with you. If you read my post to Audiodude a couple of weeks ago, I have had golfer's elbow since november. The good news, knock on wood, is that I have had a sudden improvement over the last 3 days. I think I found out how to rehabilitate the condition. It has either helped me immensely or it is just a coincidence. People might laugh at it though so if you want to know, e-mail me at tennissavy@yahoo.com.
    Mike

    I am due to leave this Friday for florida and my goal was to be well enough to play by then. I had serious doubts but now I really feel that I will be able to play. I know I can right now so I just have to stay on the right track and not do anything to re-injure myself.
     
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  3. Audiodude

    Audiodude Rookie

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    Golfers elbow

    I have recently gone through what I thought was a terrible case of golfers elbow. I felt enough pain hitting forehands, especially high forehands, overheads and serves, that several times during a match I actually fell to the court in pain. I reached the point where I couldn't even press down on our electric can opener. I was really quite pathetic. I too have had very bad tennis elbow and was able to continue to play through it. The golfers elbow stopped me dead in my tracks. I took about three weeks off and was religious about icing 7 or 8 times a day, doing stretching exercises for my forearm 8 or 10 times a day, taking anti inflammatories every 4 to 6 hours and what seemed to help most, wearing a tennis elbow brace with a pillow to localize the pressure on the inside of my forearm about two inches down from the point of my elbow. You want the pressure to be applied to the tendon running from the wrist to the point of the elbow. I tightened the strap quite a bit, but not enough to cut off circulation, obviously. I kept the brace on for about 18 hours a day, even when icing my elbow. I purchased an Ace Bandage wrap that allows you to keep the entire wrap in the freezer and just pull it out and wrap it around your elbow. It's soft enough where it's not even a little uncomfortable to wear. I started hitting again last week pain free with the brace on. I haven't played a match yet, but I have tried serving and felt no pain and I don't feel any discomfort hitting high forehands. Three weeks ago I didn't think I'd be playing tennis for at least 6 months. My regimen may not work for you, but it's worth a try. Get out there and get that elbow brace, it's made by Aircast. I picked mine up at sports authority for about $10.00. Get that ice going. 5 or 6 times a day, 30 minutes each time. It's not recommended to go beyond 30 minutes per session. I'm not sure why. I alternated between Aleve and Ibuprofen. Search the web for golfers elbow. You'll find some sites that illustrate the stretching exercises. This will help relieve the tightness of the tendon pressing against the elbow reducing the aggravation of the tendon. You may already be doing all this stuff. If that's so, I really feel for you. whatever you do, don't even try to throw a football. That really made me see stars.

    For what it's worth, it's not really fair to call this my regimen. This is all stuff that's recommended by most of the reputable sports medicine sites. I just made sure to do all of it on a very regular basis. 30 minutes after I cranked up that tennis elbow brace though, I knew I was onto something.

    Good luck.


    Mike
     
    #3
  4. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry to hear that.

    Hm, have you tried to play at all before rehabing your arm? Hopefully not, but just checking.

    I didn't do anything with my right arm for 2 months, when having my bout with GE 3 years ago, not even carrying the groceries (than was painful too).

    If you're heavy computer user, switch the mouse to the left hand and do not type too much.

    Only when the pain with no load is gone, can you start stretching and flexibility on that arm.

    And only if you have been doing flexibility with no weights and have no pain, can you start with light weights (3lbs) and progress.

    All the medicine and braces are only paleatives. You must recover enough strength in your muscles in order to avoid the stress being transmitted to the tendons. And you cannot strengthen the muscles until the pain is gone. Catch 22.

    And if you have a damn racket or strings which hate your guts, it'll come back on quickly even when having a stronger arm. Thus change your equipment, lower the tension, etc.
     
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  5. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    because you can burn the tissues and the skin.
     
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  6. Zverev

    Zverev Professional

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    Thank you very much, guys, for your responses.
    I did icing and ibuprofen for the first couple of weeks,
    and from there on Voltaren, electro messages, ultrasound, warmth, etc.

    Normally I don't feel pain in there anymore,
    but I do feel it when I wash my face or press down with my palm on the table,
    even when openning a car door, always do it with my left hand now.

    It's not even pain, it's discomfort now, but it's not disappearing.
    Couple of days ago went for a hit against the wall,
    warmed up well, was hitting very slowy and not hard,
    only backhand.
    No problem, no pain or whatever.
    But next morning I felt much greater discomfort than before,
    it was too early to go then.
    So I am sort of stuck in this funny condition,
    when I am sort of OK but cannot really do anything,
    otherwise it keeps coming back.

    I think equipment was somewhat guilty in my case.
    4 months ago I have ******ed a bargain - pre-strung Dunlop HM 200g,
    brand new for third of the price.
    The string was some Dunlop Tournament Nylon, very very stiff,
    high tension.
    Instead of just having cut it straight away I kept hitting with it for a week.
    It started as very light pain, but I didn't pay attention,
    wasn't really familiar with GE, and kept hitting for another week or so,
    untill it became really bad.

    Anybody tried CT cream?
     
    #6
  7. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Very similar to mine, just a bit slower, sorry.
    The treatment seems well oriented, it seems to try to dissipate the internal scarring which is the source of GE.

    Yes, nothing with your right hand until you can wash your hair with it with no pain.

    The progress is very slow, but I see definitely some in your report, thus be strict and persevere. NO TENNIS, sorry, until you don't have pain when stretching/doing flexibility on the arm, then with weights, and you're months from that, sorry.
     
    #7
  8. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Z, have you had the elbow x-rayed? May be more than just TE. Felt that twinge after over-pronating on an overhead or throwing a ball.
     
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  9. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    Guys, didn't want to start a new thread about GE... but here's the question: Which of the following factors would contribute to GE more:

    A racquet that is: a) too heavy or b) too light (leading to whippy strokes)

    Or didn't you notice your equipment being a factor at all? (i.e. stiff racquet, light racquet, stiff strings, etc...)
     
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  10. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    There is no single factor and things vary from person to person.

    For me it was:

    - a temporary neglect of my conditioning something like 3-5 years ago (the idea of just playing tennis and that would be OK; it's not), thus the tendons took the stress

    - a stiff racket, Wilson 6.1. I can play with no problems with Tour 90 or 6.0 85 at high tensions, 68lbs; all heavy
     
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  11. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    An MRI would be necessary I guess for soft tissue (tendons). Not sure to which extent it visualizes the scars produced by TE/GE.

    That twinge you're talking about it's still TE/GE. One should know his own limits with it, in terms of stress you impose on the area, racket, strings, etc, or else it will come back, depending on your current conditioning, and how serious the previous bout was.
     
    #11
  12. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    Every person is different. I had golf elbow on and off for the last 3 years. and here is my experience:

    Cause: light, stiff racket is the killer. used a Prince TT Vendetta. bad idea. the forehand stroke also matters, a loopy stroke puts more stress on the inside of elbow. late preparation, late hit puts more stress on the elbow.

    Cure: never believed in anti-inflamatories, they are only pain-masking pills and will do more harm than good. If you don't have swelling, don't use ice, it only slows down circulation and delays healing. Stretching helps. the main idea is to speed up circulation, hence the healing process.

    switch to a very soft racket, I switched to a Dunlop Revelation Select Pro. The HM 200g is kinda stiff, the MW 200g is much better. heavier racket helps.... I juiced up the Dunlop with almost 2oz of lead, at 3 and 9 positions, and at butt cap for balance. search TW racket finder to get the stiffness index down as much as possible, ideally below 60. the rackets I have tried that did NOT help my elbow: Prokennex 5G, Volkl c10 Pro, Fischer.

    changed my forehand stroke from a loopy one to a flat stroke, especially on low to mid low incoming balls, i don't attempt to loop the ball up, instead, hit relatively flat with less net clearance, more crosscourt for more margin for error.

    string tension, been using Ashaway Nylon for years, it's OK, lowered tension from 62 to 58... do proportional stringing (search this site archive for details), so that the mishits don't vibrate so much.

    better timing, trying to move forehand contact point more in front of body, try avoid late hits behind body. lots of training helps.

    build a smooth stroke, remove any hitches, jerkiness in the forehand stroke, been using a 15 oz wooden racket as training to to build a smooth swing.

    the COMBINATION of all of the above has eliminated my golf elbow and it's been pain free for about a year now.

    so, experiment with the above, and good luck.
     
    #12
  13. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Very interesting 5G didn't help you. Perhaps too heavy for you. I know many people here recommend it for TE. Also, not sure what mass the
    Dunlop Revelation Select Pro
    has, I see
    Dunlop Super Revelation Racquets
    (which could be very well different from what you have)
    at
    Strung Weight: 10.2oz / 289g
    and that's much too light, IMO, but if it works for you ...
     
    #13
  14. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    actually the 5G was too light for me and too stiff for me. and once I add lead, it becomes too powerful... plus the 100 sq in head is not quite suitable for me 1hbh.

    anyway, the revelation select pro is very different from the super revelation. the select pro is probably around 11.7-12 oz stock, and after adding lead, mine weighs around 13.7 oz range.
     
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  15. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Well, so you're playing with a reasonably heavy racket and not having TE, on the contrary. This is quite significant.

    Any lead in the handle? How do you apply it?
     
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  16. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    So, would swinging or rotating an indian club or a bat with donut weights on the end strengthen the forearm muscles needed to prevent GE? Mentioned an X-ray on the actual elbow joint to rule out other causes for elbow pain. What I always thought was TE or GE was old age and over use.
     
    #16
  17. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    I put 1/3 of the lead around the 3 and 9 oclock position, and 2/3 under the butt cap and at the very bottom of the handle under the replacement grip. the racket is quite extreme 12 pts head light.

    simply law of physics says when a heavy racket collides with the ball, there will be less shock/vibration to the racket, hence better for the arm.

    I think a lot of people with TE or GE initially having problem trying to switch to a heavier racket is that the timing of the stoke needs adjustment, and they have a lots of late hits when the contact point is behind the body and that puts a lot of stress on the elbow. Practise with even heavier racket (like a woodie), and hit against the wall will establish the rythm, and when you switch back to a lighter one (from a 15 oz wood to a 13.5 oz leaded graphite), most of the timing issue should be resolved.

    Especially at levels 4.5 and up, there are some hard hitters already. A light 10-11 oz racket just doesnt cut it against a heavy incoming ball, and the player is forced to grip the handle real tight to avoid twisting, the tight grip transfers more racket shock into the arm. With a leaded 13.5oz stick however, if you get the stroke timing right, it's a smooth stroke thru the ball, and the weight of the racket will prevent twisting, especially with the added stability of the lead tapes at 3&9 position. the weight also adds paces to the ball. The player is then able to have a loose grip, and absorbs less shock.

    Again, with a heavier racket, it's easier to hit thru the ball, with relatively flat trajectory and moderate topspin for control, it would be quite tiring try to brush up the ball to generate topspin on every shot.... that's why I was say I had to change my FH from a loopy one to a flat one. big NO NO to those with GE trying to hit open stance FH with western grips.. way too much elbow stress. Try closed/semi-closed stance and use semi-western grip to hit a relatively flat FH off your front foot, this way most of the FH power is generated from the footwork, and the arm basically just guide the racket into the ball and let the weight of the racket generate the pace for you.
     
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  18. Zverev

    Zverev Professional

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    Normally I don't quote-reply, to keep posts short,
    but those insights, I believe, are excellent.
    dozu, sorry I have edited, it's just to make it shorter.
    Otherwise, thanks for those great points.
    I couldn't agree more.
    I think, several factors have contributed to GE in my case.
    Unfortunately, I have started with two new rackets same time,
    so it's harder to find the culprit, but possible.
    Here they are(in my case):

    1. Stroke mechanic changes when you change rackets,
    your wrist is used more to counter-act your mis-timing,
    and this leads to greater stress on medial tendon.

    2. Heavy topspin - played net rusher those weeks - used topspin overhead on unusually numerous occasions.

    3. buying pre-strung racket with cheap stiff string at high tension and playing with it.

    I hope those points might be usefull for someone.

    When changing rackets, it's better to start with the wall or ball machine, and groove your stokes again, to avoid mishits during the game.
     
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  19. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Couldn't agree more, especially when the timing of the "wrist release" is not perfect (which isn't, for the majority of amateurs) and then the elbow tendon takes in the hit.
     
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