Monday, September 15, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Elbow tendinitis: What can you do at home?

One of the more common injuries that PGA players suffer is from elbow tendinitis. Pain is felt on the inside or the outside of the elbow. What can you do to prevent this injury from derailing your golf game?

Elbow tendinitis: What can you do at home?

While it is hard to tell when watching the pros sink birdies and seemingly impossible putts, they do in fact suffer injuries. Some of them are in pain even during the time that they are playing.

They do have the luxury of the trailer with physical therapists on the lot to help them through their pain. But what you do not see on TV is that when they are off camera, some pros are doing quick exercises taught to them by the physical therapists in order to manage the pain in between holes. 

One of the more common injuries that PGA players suffer is from elbow tendinitis. There is pain felt on the inside or the outside of the elbow. It is a pain that comes on gradually and gets progressively worse and can be felt most often when gripping the club. The pain may also be felt when doing fine motor movements with the fingers such as typing. 

While often this type of tendinitis pain is felt in the elbow, shoulder weakness and tightness is part of the reason that these muscles develop inflammation. Therefore it is important when addressing this type of ailment that you concentrate on the shoulder and the elbow. 

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The following techniques and exercises are the tricks and tips that are most often taught to the pros to relieve pain. It should be noted that seeking medical attention as this condition persists is imperative for the correct diagnosis and treatment. 

  1. Elbow stretch #1: Holding your arm straight out in front of you with the palm facing down, apply pressure to the back of the hand until you feel a nice gentle stretch in the forearm and the elbow. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 6 times.
  2. Elbow stretch #2: Holding your arm straight out in front of you with the palm facing upwards, apply pressure on the palm downwards to the hand until you feel a nice gentle stretch in the forearm and the elbow. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 6 times.
  3. Cross friction massage: Find the tender spot on the elbow. Place your fingers down firmly on the spot and move your fingers back and forth going across the muscle. You should be pressing down hard enough that you are not running over top of the skin causing irritation. Perform this for 5 minutes.
  4. Side planks: It is important to strengthen your elbow and shoulder as much as it is to stretch. Lay on your side lift up on your hand and on your feet. Hold 30 seconds repeat 4 times. Perform each side. If this move causes pain hold off until you are able to perform it pain free.
  5. Seated scapula depressions: Sitting on the end of a table straighten your arms out and push down, lifting your legs and butt off the table. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 30 times.
  6. Ice: Never underestimate the importance of ice. When in pain, ice should be applied immediately this will help with the inflammation and ultimately reduce the pain. Ice should be applied for 10-15 minutes.

Performing these exercises will allow you to help reduce the inflammation in the elbow and begin a less painful golf game. No promises that you will start hitting as accurately as the pros!


Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.

Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales, Pa.
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Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Head Team Physician for Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon for Flyers; Rothman Institute
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director of The Center For Sport Psychology; Sports Psychology Consultant for 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Team Physician for USA Wrestling, Consultant for Phillies; Rothman Institute
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer, The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician for Drexel, Philadelphia Univ., Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Martin J. Kelley, PT, DPT, OCS Advanced Clinician at Penn Therapy and Fitness, Good Shepherd Penn Partners
Julia Mayberry, M.D. Attending Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Main Line Hand Surgery P.C.
Jim McCrossin, ATC Strength and Conditioning Coach, Flyers and Phantoms
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales, Pa.
Kelly O'Shea Senior Health Producer, Philly.com
Tracey Romero Sports Medicine Editor, Philly.com
David Rubenstein, M.D. Team Orthopedist for 76ers; Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center
Robert Senior Event coverage, Sports Doc contributor
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Athletic Trainer for US Soccer Federation; Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute
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