Question on Golfer's Elbow

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by dancemyth, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. dancemyth

    dancemyth New User

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    I started playing again after LONG hiatus and shoulder surgery. Being the type-A impatient person I am, I'm serving and hitting pretty much as hard as I can. I'm experiencing elbow pain for the first time - it seems to be triggered mostly by serving and whip forehands. From what I've read, this sounds like golfer's elbow.

    If I hold my arm out straight with the palm up (thumb to the outside), the pain is on the top, but on the outside (thumb-side) of my elbow. When I look at diagrams of golfer's elbow, they all seem to show the tendonitis on the inside (pinkie-side) of the arm. Do I have golfer's elbow? I'm pretty sure this is not tennis elbow, since it's not on the bottom (pointy-end) of the elbow, and backhands don't hurt.

    Should I follow a golfer's elbow rehab routine? (reverse tyler twist, ball-squeezing, wrist curls, etc.). I've been playing with a hybrid, polys on the mains strung pretty tight, so I'll also try switching out the polys and lowering the tension (although this will no doubt screw up my game.)

    Any other suggestions? Thxs.
     
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  2. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Yeah, I also got a golfers elbow type of injury from a whip forehand movement. I would definitely recommend following a GE rehab/prehab routine, wearing a compression band during any exercise, and icing after strenuous activity.

    My theory is that much of my problem came from hitting balls above the middle line in the stringbed. I have added lead at 10:00 and 2:00 trying to move the sweet spot a little higher and I am hoping that this will help.
     
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  3. kslick

    kslick Rookie

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    GE is on the inside of the elbow. So palm up, that would make the small pointy bone closes to the body GE. Outside further from the body TE. Man taking a hiatus and shoulder surgery and coming back playing poly at a high tension = ouch!!
     
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  4. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I have the same lead setup as you since I tend to hit high off the string bed.

    The strokes that hurt are consistent with GE. The description of where the pain is located sounds more like TE which is confusing.
     
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  5. dancemyth

    dancemyth New User

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    kslik: umm....yeah. My wife tells me I'm pretty stubborn ("But, honey, I LIKE to hit really hard with tight, stiff strings.")

    Mike: I'm confused too, but I thought TE would present itself on the bottom of the elbow (with the hand held out palm up), near where the funny-bone is.

    Interesting idea on the head setup. By "high" on the stringbed do you mean "towards the business end of the racquet." (ie, away from the handle)? I definitely tend to hit serves and forehands that way. Maybe some lead tape is a good idea.

    Man ... poly strings, strung loose on a heavier-headed racquet. I'm going to be hitting over the fence.
     
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  6. kslick

    kslick Rookie

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    Here's something I pulled from a thread in the racquet forum.

    B) I have/had problems with injury. What can I do to help make my racket better for my arm?
    ---1) Add lead at 3&9 to improve stability (to decrease twisting in your hand, which causes injury) then counterbalance it to make it very headlight. You can follow the suggestions posted above to make the racket more headlight. I suggest weight at 7 inches above the buttcap for counterbalancing, but you can combine that with the leather grip replacement suggestion as well.


    Check the thread out many ideas over there. I would keep it more HL but you can add tape at 10,2 or 12 to move the sweetspot up. As for the polys ditch them for now. I know..I know polys are great but the pain will not go away and this will become a lingering issue. If need be at least hybrid the poly. Just my 2 cents.
     
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  7. javierjavier

    javierjavier Rookie

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    going to re-iterate other comments here and say it sounds like you have good old tennis elbow and not golfer's elbow.

    if you're just starting up there is a chance that it will go away as you play more, but i would definitely rest it when in pain. if you find that it's not getting better then you should seriously consider changing the layup of your setup be it strings or even racket.

    good luck. i had the same problem after i started playing again after a long hiatus. it eventually went away as i played more and more.
     
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  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Play with a head LIGHT stick. Combine that with poly and it is no surprise you are having elbow issues. Most here seem to agree that arm friendly setups consist of the following: play with the heaviest stick you can wield, make sure it has a low stiffness rating (low 60s or less), head light balance and soft strings like multifilaments or if you can afford it, natural gut.
     
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  9. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Yes. Weight on the top half of the hoop pulls the sweet spot higher. Seems like that would be helpful if you're already hitting there.
     
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  10. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    This would still be considered golfer's elbow.
    Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) involves inflammation of the forearm flexor tendons at their insertion to the bone at the elbow area. But as you can see in the image below, the tendons are an extension of the flexor muscles of the forearm that run on top of the forearm when your palm is pointed up:
    [​IMG]
    So you have some extension of inflammation beyond purely where the tendons are inserting on the bone, and a little more out to the transition zone between the tendon and muscle.

    It sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of all the measures you need to take to first let the inflammation subside (rest, ice) then to work on strengthening your forearm muscles.

    Good luck on a speedy recovery.
     
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  11. dancemyth

    dancemyth New User

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    Thanks guys for all the feedback & advise.
    I just dropped off a racquet for stringing with Xcel (seems like about the softest multi out there) @ 5 lbs lower tension (55 instead of 60)
    I'll try the tape too.
    I'm in the process of getting my own stringing machine so I can experiment more economically. Mikeler I'm afraid of the power of gut. Any other suggestions for my next experiment?
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Try that Xcel and maybe you'll like it. I'm currently using Pro Supex Maxim Touch 17 (another very soft multi) strung at the lowest recommended tension on my racket. It is very powerful at that tension and I can't tame it! But I'd rather be on the court and lose all my matches then sit on can.

    I recently bought some Babolat PSTs which are very easy on the arm too. Buy a flexbar and look up the Reverse Tyler Twist exercise, but don't do it if it causes pain. This is not a muscle that hurts, so the adage "no pain, no gain" does not apply. The adage for this is "if it hurts, stop immediately".

    I had to do 12 physical therapy sessions of ultrasound/electrostimulation my GE got so bad. Took almost 2 months off two. Of course, I had it on and off for a year. Nip it in the bud now and you should be healed fairly quickly.
     
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  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Ah, I see. My pain is right at the joint. I forgot some people get it all the way up to their wrist at times.
     
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