What technique causes golfer's elbow

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Ramon, May 17, 2018.

  1. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I'm trying to find possible causes for my golfer's elbow. Please don't say "poly strings" or "stiff racquets". Equipment is not the cause, it's just a factor that aggravates it, and I already know what equipment aggravates my elbow the most. I'm thinking along the lines of technique. I've done some research, and it seems related to either flexing the wrist or pronating the arm. I don't think I'm flexing my wrist too much in my forehand, but I definitely think I'm pronating. Is that a likely cause? If so, what kind of technique would minimize it?
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Me,me,me...I got golfers elbow in early April, causing me to curtail tennis for a while and switch to ra-63 rackets until I heal up.
    I was pushing a screw into a too small hole and heard the distinctive POP.
     
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  3. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo G.O.A.T.

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    Bad technique causes bowler's elbow
     
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  4. r2473

    r2473 G.O.A.T.

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    Inadequate protein consumption
     
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  5. sredna42

    sredna42 Semi-Pro

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    I got golfer's elbow, I think that incorrect technique is prolonging it, by contacting my forehand too late and not well in front, and same as the serve, impacting the ball when it is more above me, rather than above and forward. When I watched video of my fh (r-rated) it is kinda when the penny dropped.

    I got the initial injury by cranking on someone's neck with a headlock in a fight though LOL like an idiot....
     
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  6. MC London

    MC London New User

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    I suggest you take a video of your forehand and serve and if you can play it back through kinovea.org at slow 35/50% speed. It's a great free download. I had pretty bad golfers elbow a couple of years ago, took 11 months off. The modern game of trying to "swat" an opportunistic half/three quarter forehand combined with lack of conditioning and lack of an absolute forehand follow through was a contributing factor. The serve is another typical golfers elbow contributing factor. In my case muscling first serves with a throw up at 11 o'clock (I am left handed) coupled again with lacking proper conditioning. If you go to youtube and search under "MC1961" you will see a video of myself playing just prior to having medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow) at the end of 2015.

    Even before golfers elbow I was using soft natural gut strings, and have been playing with Pro Kennex flexible frames for 20 years. Conclusion forehand and serve - technique and lack of conditioning for the standard you are playing at.
     
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  7. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    The primary factor that results in GE is usually from clenching the racket too tightly. This can be due to a grip that is too small or too large or it could simply be to a bad habit of squeezing too hard and too much time. This excessive squeezing combined with vigorous wrist actions or forearm actions can often cause GE.

    Tennis GE usually occurs with serves and/or FHs gstrokes. Pronation alone doesn't account for GE. The finger clenching, sometimes with excessive wrist actions, that is the tru culprit most of the time.

    Keep your fingers Relaxed (but not overly loose) most of the time. Death grips are counterproductive for power as well as being taxing on the forearm/elbow.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  8. HouTex

    HouTex Rookie

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    You shouldn’t assume it has to be technique driven although it’s possible that it is. It may be just over use. Could also be age. How old are you and how long have you been playing?
     
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  9. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

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    Understanding Tennis Elbow vs. Golfers Elbow / Dr. Mandell

    Understanding the difference between Tennis Elbow and Golfers Elbow is important. Accumulative Stress Disorder is a repetitive condition that stresses the muscles of the forearm causing them to inflame. There are specific ways these conditions can be treated. Dr. Mandell

    Here is more explanation from the Doc
     
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  10. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I'm 53 and I've been playing tennis since middle school, so I know age is a factor. I never noticed any arm pain until I was in my 30's and started experimenting with Kevlar strings. Pain went away when I went back to synthetic gut. Right now, my arm feels perfectly fine if I play with an arm-friendly racquet and use non-poly strings. The fact that it I can't play with certain racquets or strings without feeling pain makes me curious about why that's happening.
     
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  11. HouTex

    HouTex Rookie

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    I developed TE at age 51 and I too have played since middle school. I have never played with poly strings. I did switch racquets just prior to getting TE but I also was playing more golf than usual. In my case I think it's safe to say that it was not a technique issue. It was age and over use and failing to stop playing as soon as the pain set in. I always healed quickly from other minor injuries and I was too arrogant to believe TE could become a serious issue for me.

    My mistake was thinking that I could just take it easy for a few weeks and it would heal. I played in a tournament (mixed doubles) and by the end of the tournament my elbow was in serious pain. It took 20 months of pretty much constant therapy (both at home and with a PT), including cortisone shots, Graston treatments, etc., before I could play without pain and with different, arm-friendly, racquets (Prince EXO3 and the Volkl Classic V1).

    As for how important the racquet can be, when I was starting to play again I tried hitting with my old Wilson Hyper Prostaff 6.1 (which I played without pain for several years until I switched to the Wilson LS100 and then came down with TE). Every time I hit the ball I felt a sting in my elbow--even balls hit perfectly in the sweet spot. In the same practice session I put it down and hit the Prince EXO3 (with the same multi strings) and had no pain at all.
     
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  12. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    You're basically in my situation. I'm perfectly fine if I stay away from poly and use an arm-friendly Pro Kennex or Prince racquet. I think most people would look at my form and say it's really good, but with certain equipment I get golfer's elbow. I suppose the form on my backhand is really good because I never get tennis elbow no matter what equipment I'm using. The other day I was hitting with a Babolat Pure Strike 16x19. I really love that racquet, but about an hour into it I started feeling some pain in my elbow. It was bearable, but just the fact that it was there was concerning. Don't know if maybe a subtle change in my forehand might cure that, especially since it wasn't too severe.
     
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  13. jga111

    jga111 Hall of Fame

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    Tight grip.
    Swinging with a locked wrist.
     
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  14. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

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    The last case of serious golfer's elbow I saw was happening with a strong high school slugger on the team I've coached for a while. A friend of ours who coached this guy in the off season (late winter) had this player initially develop a spin serve in previous years that was extremely reliable for him. But during this most recent off season they got working on a bigger flat serve and the kid was practicing that a lot.

    The progression of his golfer's elbow accelerated when we started our outdoor preseason workouts in the cold. I point that out because despite our looking at causes of arm issues outside of equipment, it's a fact that synthetic strings get much more firm in the cold. Poly is probably more susceptible to this than syn. gut or multifibers and this kid was using full poly.

    What I think happened here was a case of a kid trying to really amp up a hard, flat serve and his bigger swings included more effort that included rather high gripping pressure. That was the significant change in his game, so I think that lots of reps with that new serving style strained his elbow, but his rock-hard racquet and string combo only intensified the abuse (Pure Drive strung with full RPM Blast). I switched him into a full multifiber string bed and his golfer's elbow completely disappeared after about a week.
     
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  15. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    Arming the ball.
    Framing the ball.

    Since I learned a proper stroke,
    I have had no hint of GE.
     
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  16. Stretchy Man

    Stretchy Man Professional

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    Did you have GE before learning a proper stroke?
     
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  17. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I learned proper strokes about 40 years ago!
     
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  18. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    Since I learned proper strokes, I haven't been attacked by a polar bear. No hint of one either.

    Proper strokes fix so many things.
     
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  19. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

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    I started getting GE in my off arm a few weeks ago. Mine was from doing pull-ups for the first time in years. So probably the excessive squeezing caused it in that case.
     
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  20. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    If squeezing the racquet is the problem, then I'm at a loss. When I'm waiting for a return, I'm not gripping the racquet at all, I'm in the ready position and I might even spin it around a few times before I hit the ball. I don't squeeze it until just before contact. Same thing during serve, it's loose in my hand at the start. I grip it tight on contact, but it has to be tight, right? I guess I'm just not cut out to play with stiff racquets and poly strings.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  21. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    Golfers elbow:
    1. Incorrect forehand technique - wrist flexion problems and timing issues plus a host of other imbalances in kinetic chain which requires lots of explaining here.
    2. Incorrect serving technique - Rotating body instead of shoulder over shoulder
    3. Neck disc problems
    4. Yes, you can't hide from bad equipment and in particular grips too small, racquets too stiff, racquet too light and poly string. ( Even though you don't want me to mention this, you must not avoid this.
    5. Over use and sudden increase in volume, intensity and frequency in play.
     
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  22. shamaho

    shamaho Semi-Pro

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    Bad technique is not always the case... You can have correct technique (like I do) and still develop GE (in my case was trying a different old racket and playing hard - cause no. 4 from post above :)).

    When I had GE and when to a specialist doctor's appointment, I explained how I got it and his very first comment was "oh you must play very well then!!" LOL... he then went on to say... bad technique usually led to TE and not GE... GE was many times due to excessive force being used (not clenched grip) but imparting too much spin or whatever... and the rotation of the arm could cause GE under certain situations.

    I though that was funny, but then he later told he had been a National Tennis Federation Doctor on all things shoulder, elbow and arms. He worked with several popular players of the 90s.
     
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  23. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    That does make sense. I have no TE at all and no pain when I hit a backhand. I think my form on the forehand is just as good, but if I use a stiff frame it hurts when I hit a hard forehand and I always hit with a lot of topspin. I guess that means I'll just stick to arm friendly racquets and strings because I have no problems with the right type of equipment.
     
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  24. shamaho

    shamaho Semi-Pro

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    Yes, if you did a sudden change of sticks or even strings/tension... could very well happen happen.

    But let your arm heal before you go out to play regularly.

    I kinda forced the issue on my GE and reached a point I could not do a dry FH swing... and took 6 months to get back to playing condition (working at a desk did not help at all), so be warned.
     
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  25. OjoLOCO

    OjoLOCO New User

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    I am saying, "poly strings" and "stiff racquets".



    Please go out and buy a Pro Kennex Ki series (heavier version with good flex) racquet, string it with gut/synthetic gut around 55 lbs, place an extra thick over grip, avoid ball machine forehand abuse, skip hard serving attempts, and play with green dot balls for a month until there is zero pain. A rehab racquet like this will be enlightening and actually improve your game. If necessary, play with your non-dominant hand so that your normal forehand becomes a two handed backhand.

    Always stretch with wrist extension and flexion prior to hitting. Anti inflammatories help.

    If you do this for a month, you should be back to normal. Good luck.
     
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  26. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    That's actually what I use. I have the Ki5 320 and I don't use poly. It works great. Right now I have no elbow issues at all. I just asked the question because my arm is fine until I try other frames, and I was wondering if it had to do with my technique. Maybe it's because I hit with a lot of topspin on my forehand, but I don't have the ability to consistently hit a hard flat forehand.
     
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  27. OjoLOCO

    OjoLOCO New User

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    Nice frame. What are you lacking that you want to try other hardware? Perhaps a string/lead intervention might up the playability and keep your arm happy.

    I am not a hand specialist, but extension with pronation at the wrist is what makes my GE howl (only when using a bad setup). A Jack Sock forehand is higher risk than a Dicky Gasquet forehand. As you stated, serving with a light, stiff setup can also set it off.

    For what it's worth, I cannot play with most of the new rackets that are coming out now. I like players racquets with heft and flex. Maybe those will come back in style at some point. It would certainly prevent a lot of injuries.
     
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  28. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I really can't complain about my Pro Kennex. It's a good racquet. However, I just tried the Babolat Pure Strike 98 16x19, and I was really impressed. It just has a combination of power, spin, and feel that I really like. However, you guessed it, my elbow started feeling pain after about a set. I do have some pronation at the wrist, but it's a far from a Jack Sock forehand. In fact, it's probably less extreme than Gasquet's. So far, I've concluded there isn't much wrong with my forehand besides the fact that I generate more RHS than most people. I can certainly slow it down, step into the shot more, and still get decent pace, but that isn't going to help when I'm scrambling to retrieve a shot and want an offensive counterpunch. So basically, I know what I can do to make it painless, but I'd probably have to sacrifice my game. I guess I should just be happy that there are racquets from Pro Kennex and Prince that I can use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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