Golfer's Elbow ?

FiddlerDog

Professional
A friend has gotten it. Is this as bad as tennis elbow? Or does it heal more quickly? What I am really interested in discussing is the difference between TE and GE. My friend got GE after hitting one time. So, GE is clearly not an overuse injury, in his case. It is a tear or strain of some kind. TE is a degenerative pathology while GE seems to be an acute injury.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
A friend has gotten it. Is this as bad as tennis elbow? Or does it heal more quickly?
It often will but often not. They are both overuse injuries that result in micro tears in forearm muscles that attach to the elbow joint.

For tennis, GE will often arise if you are performing certain wrist & muscle actions and are squeezing too tightly on the racquet grip. Your grip should be fairly relaxed (not loosey goosey) 95% to 99% of the time. Many golfers and tennis & badminton squeeze too tightly or squeeze firmly too long while stroking. Best to keep the grip relaxed most of the time. In fact, it might be best to never consciously squeeze the grip (except for just prior to contact on volleys). On most strokes, you would just let you are subconscious mind automatically firm up the grip when you accelerate the racket. Don't need to do it on a conscious level most of the time. After contact, make certain that the grip is relaxed again.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru

A forearm compression band, like the one shown above, can be an excellent feedback tool for your buddy. It should be adjusted so that it is a little snug without being overly tight. Whenever you squeeze tightly on a racket or club grip, the compression band will feel tighter. This can provide a good reminder to relax the grip.

When you are actually swining the racket, you may not be aware of the increased tension of the TE/GE compression band. This is fine. But before you accelerate the racket and after you finish your swing, you should not be feeling any extra tightness from the band.

The band will also change the geometry of your forearm muscles to alleviate some stress to the damaged / sensitive tendons
 

FiddlerDog

Professional
What I am really interested in discussing is the difference between TE and GE. My friend got GE after hitting one time. So, GE is clearly not an overuse injury, in his case. It is a tear or strain of some kind. TE is a degenerative pathology while GE seems to be an acute injury.
 

Nollid

Semi-Pro
What I am really interested in discussing is the difference between TE and GE. My friend got GE after hitting one time. So, GE is clearly not an overuse injury, in his case. It is a tear or strain of some kind. TE is a degenerative pathology while GE seems to be an acute injury.
You are over generalizing. Both TE and GE can have acute and chronic mechanisms. Both are tendinitis's / tendonopathies. One is on the medial side of the elbow while the other is on the lateral side of the elbow.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
What I am really interested in discussing is the difference between TE and GE. My friend got GE after hitting one time. So, GE is clearly not an overuse injury, in his case. It is a tear or strain of some kind. TE is a degenerative pathology while GE seems to be an acute injury.
Activities other than tennis & golf can cause or contribute to TE & GE. Your friend's GE could still be an overuse issue. Other activities might have resulted in micro tears of the medial condyle tendon. Tennis might just have been the straw that (finally) broke the camel's back.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Weight training is often a cause of GE. Grasping bars or dumbbells too tightly &/or excessive curling of the wrists. Any throwing activity or activities such as carpentry, construction, plumbing, etc can contribute as well. Tennis could have just aggravated a tendon that had already been overly stressed. From Mayo Clinic:

Golfer's elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control your wrist and fingers. The damage is typically related to excess or repeated stress — especially forceful wrist and finger motions.

 

Keendog

Professional
Anyone who gets a sore elbow self diagnoses tennis elbow or golfers elbow around here. There are many causes of elbow pain and tennis elbow is actually a specific medical condition, not just "I hurt me elbow hitting thuh ball". See a dr about injuries rather than posting on here if you really want an answer
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Anyone who gets a sore elbow self diagnoses tennis elbow or golfers elbow around here. There are many causes of elbow pain and tennis elbow is actually a specific medical condition, not just "I hurt me elbow hitting thuh ball". See a dr about injuries rather than posting on here if you really want an answer
There are some very specific things about tennis and other sports that many, if not most, doctors and physical therapist know very little about. I've described some actions from tennis and other sports I played and got some feedback on injuries from doctors and therapists that I would not have gotten otherwise.

The bottom line is that there can be some value in feedback derived from this forum. Best to take information gleaned from here and discuss this with your doctor or physio.
 

PKorda

Semi-Pro
Anyone who gets a sore elbow self diagnoses tennis elbow or golfers elbow around here. There are many causes of elbow pain and tennis elbow is actually a specific medical condition, not just "I hurt me elbow hitting thuh ball". See a dr about injuries rather than posting on here if you really want an answer
In a lot of cases not really necessary to see a doctor for tennis elbow. And info on this board will often be better than what a doctor will tell you.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@Grip n Rip @Keendog
In a lot of cases not really necessary to see a doctor for tennis elbow. And info on this board will often be better than what a doctor will tell you.
Over the span of several decades, I've had GE once & TE on 3 occasions. Went to see the doc the 1st time I had TE (~35 yrs ago) even tho I was pretty sure what it was already. Wanted to see what he would prescribe & any wisdom he might provide. Got little bit of insight & a prescription for hi-potency IB, which health insurance paid for. So that was cool.

But I had actually gotten more info about causes & countermeasures from tennis coaches & my own research than what I had gotten from a medical doctor.

After that, never saw any need to seek the advice of a doc for either medial or lateral epicondylitis. Knew what I was dealing with & had a very good idea exactly what caused it. Would have gotten only very general advice from the doc. Don't believe he'd provide any details that I didn't already know.

The 3rd time I had gotten TE (~20 yrs ago), I was puzzled cuz I knew why I had gotten it 2x before and knew how to avoid it. But it occurred to me, after a couple of weeks, that the TE in my L elbow was a direct result of heel spurs on my R foot. Because I was not putting much weight on my R foot, in order to avoid significant pain, I would hit my one-handed Bh without loading & driving off my rear leg. As a result, I was putting undue stress on my L arm to hit my Bh shots. It is doubtful that most doctors would see that connection if they were not a tennis player with a one-handed Bh.

Nor would they have come up with unique solution that I had hit upon. I had noticed that when Marat Safin hit his jumping 2-handed Bh, he was shifting his weight forward and driving off his front leg rather than his rear leg. Even tho I've never seen anyone do this for a one-handed Bh back then, I decided to incorporate this. I would not necessarily jump but I would lean into the shot and drive off my front leg to hit all my Bh shots.

This solution worked like a charm. The pain in my L elbow and R heel started to subside even tho I was playing a lot of tennis at that time. In less than 3 weeks, both pains were gone & never returned. Pretty certain that a medical doc would never have come up with that unique solution.
 
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PKorda

Semi-Pro
You must have very, very, very, very, very, very, veeerrrry ****t y doctors then
Not at all. Live in a big city known for its medical care. Did see my doc when I had it several years ago who referred me to PT. Went for one session and learned a little and did exercises on my own.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
The differences are that GE is on the inside and TE is on the outside.

Good reminder to do the Flexbar now. I keep it on my desk and do 5 minutes a day on it.
 

gvsbdisco

Semi-Pro
I would recommend anyone with GE to see a physio or appropriate medical person to assess root cause. In my case, the underlying issue was in my neck. Started doing neck exercises, GE went away. OTOH, my experiences with TE were overuse injuries and were unrelated to my neck.
 

megamind

Legend
I would recommend anyone with GE to see a physio or appropriate medical person to assess root cause. In my case, the underlying issue was in my neck. Started doing neck exercises, GE went away. OTOH, my experiences with TE were overuse injuries and were unrelated to my neck.
Mind sharing some of the neck exercises?
Been to two physios/sports doctors, not really satisfied with how it went
 

yossarian

Professional
I would recommend anyone with GE to see a physio or appropriate medical person to assess root cause. In my case, the underlying issue was in my neck. Started doing neck exercises, GE went away. OTOH, my experiences with TE were overuse injuries and were unrelated to my neck.
If the root cause was your neck then it wasn’t truly golfer’s elbow
 

Nollid

Semi-Pro
I would recommend anyone with GE to see a physio or appropriate medical person to assess root cause. In my case, the underlying issue was in my neck. Started doing neck exercises, GE went away. OTOH, my experiences with TE were overuse injuries and were unrelated to my neck.
How are the symptoms that were caused by your neck similar to GE symptoms?
 

antony

Professional
In my case, using the wrong technique doesn't distribute forces over my body correctly. Easily remedied by being conscious of my body movement and feeling.
 

Crocodile

Legend
With golfers elbow you need to look at first how you hit your forehand and serves as these two shots are involved.
With racquets using a grip that is too small can cause issues as can racquets that are either too light or too heavy along with abnormally high or low SW. I would stay away from racquets that are either too stiff and/or don’t have good comfort technology. With strings your best bet is multi filament or gut and give the poly a miss.
You also need to manage yourself with strengthening exercises and warming up properly.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
A friend has gotten it. Is this as bad as tennis elbow? Or does it heal more quickly? What I am really interested in discussing is the difference between TE and GE. My friend got GE after hitting one time. So, GE is clearly not an overuse injury, in his case. It is a tear or strain of some kind. TE is a degenerative pathology while GE seems to be an acute injury.
They are both overuse injuries. For some people that may be picking up the racket for the first time with an arm not conditioned to swinging. Overuse is dependent on the arm and its conditioning.

IN both situations you will see crappy tendons with micro tears and poor healing response.

My experience with GE is that the causes were different but the healing time was the same. Also what fixed GE in my case (attention to technique) was different than what fixed TE (soft frame and strings). As soon as I got better spacing my FH and re-jigged my serve motion to incorporate my shoulder muscles better, the GE went away.
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
I got golfers elbow from doing pull-ups and curling 50lb dumbbells; not at the same time. I tweaked it doing curls. Then I caused more pain doing pull-ups after not having done them for many years. After that, tennis made it worse. I’d played golf for years and never had an issue. Tennis just made the pain worse and worse. The pull-ups were in January and by July I could barely play and by August I needed to take time off an go to PT. Here’s a video I made of the PT exercises I did because I knew I’d need them again some day and I’d also forget them. I share this with friends often.

 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
No. He took 3 swings after a winter off and instantly got GE. That is not overuse. This is an acute injury, which is the complete opposite of TE.
Possible. But it's also possible that it's 3 swings too much use for an arm not ready for the shock. If it was an acute injury, ice and a couple weeks rest would cure his tendon or muscle strain. If it's continued on for months its GE which is a tendinopathy cause by overuse (i.e. microtears) of a poorly healing tendon.
 

Toronto11

New User
I got golfers elbow from doing pull-ups and curling 50lb dumbbells; not at the same time. I tweaked it doing curls. Then I caused more pain doing pull-ups after not having done them for many years. After that, tennis made it worse. I’d played golf for years and never had an issue. Tennis just made the pain worse and worse. The pull-ups were in January and by July I could barely play and by August I needed to take time off an go to PT. Here’s a video I made of the PT exercises I did because I knew I’d need them again some day and I’d also forget them. I share this with friends often.

How effective was this workout and how many times a week did you do it? I'm struggling with GE right now and looking for a solution. thx
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
How effective was this workout and how many times a week did you do it? I'm struggling with GE right now and looking for a solution. thx
I have a flexbar at my desk and do it daily whether I have TE/GE or not. I can't remember the last time I had TE but I have twinges of GE right now. I certainly feel it lifting a barbell over my head. I've switched to doing hammer curls as that puts less stress on GE.
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
How effective was this workout and how many times a week did you do it? I'm struggling with GE right now and looking for a solution. thx
It's very effective. I did these exercises every other day for a few months. I also iced and took a few weeks off of playing which really helped too. I was in bad shape. My elbow was swollen at all times and I couldn't finish a forehand or serve motion. I haven't had a reoccurrence on my right elbow since. I spent some time wearing The Band-It too but I no longer wear it. I've just started doing the exercises again because my left elbow is having some GE but it's not nearly as bad. I could probably just wear the Band-It and it would go away.

It's never a bad idea to rest, ice, and use ibuprofen. Start slow with these exercises and work your way up. I'm glad a made the video because my memory isn't always sharp when it comes to remembering pain and bad experiences. I can easily go back and watch and pick up the exercises again.

The stretch at the end made the biggest improvement aside from the swelling going down.
 
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