Image credit: Washington Post, 2022
Despite the injury being called ‘tennis elbow’, it affects many golfers alike. This injury can be very uncomfortable and it will likely affect your game. Tennis elbow symptoms include pain on the outside of your elbow, pain with gripping objects and pain when hitting golf shots. The pain normally occurs on your non-dominant hand, though it can develop on either side.
Keep an activity log
Tennis elbow is usually associated with an increase in activity, whether that be at the course, at home or at work. As the muscles take more stress, it can expose you to injury.
To decrease the chances of big activity spikes, keep a diary of your weekly exercise. For me personally, I have a consistent activity load including workouts and golf. To avoid injury, don't increase your physical load by more than 25% on any given week.
Strength training essentially increases the load tolerance of your muscles making them more resilient. This is a very important concept. If your muscles are weak, they cannot absorb high levels of force. Think of muscles like suspension on a car, they absorb shock. If your shock absorbers aren’t working at their full capacity, the car frame (your bones) will take more load.
Therefore if your bones are under a large amount of stress, pain may become present. Like us physiotherapists say 'you can't go wrong with getting strong.'
Practice on soft surfaces
Do you practice on golf mats? Secondly, are these mats placed on top of concrete? Practicing on golf mats is a sure way to create problems for your elbows and wrists. Instead of the club head sliding through soft grass, you tend to get a hard collision when hitting balls off mats.
As you can imagine, your muscles and bones are taking more load to try and control the club face after having a strong deflection from the mat. As a way of preventing injury, mix up practice surfaces where possible and take rests in between shots.
Get a brace
Using a tennis elbow brace can be a quick and easy pain reliever. For some of my clients, they get an immediate reduction in their symptoms and therefore can continue playing golf regularly. Most golfer’s have probably seen a member at their club that wears a brace every round.
The brace acts as a support to the muscles and the compression-like effect helps the muscles function.
Get swing advice
If you are a player who takes big divots and gets very steep on their irons, you are at risk of tennis elbow. Due to the fact you have heavier turf interaction, the force placed on your wrists and elbows is greater than someone who has a shallow swing. Another swing fault that may predispose you to tennis elbow is the notorious ‘chicken wing’. Because the lead elbow flexes through impact, the wrist extensor muscles must work harder to control the club face. Getting swing advice from a qualified PGA pro can certainly help limit these above swing errors. I would suggest seeing a pro who has been TPI trained as their understanding for injury and movement is going to be enhanced.
Bonus tip: See a physiotherapist
If you want to get relief as soon as possible and play better golf, book your online or face-to-face consultation today! The consultation will include a: - TPI screening - Golf swing assessment - Injury assessment - A plan to improve Don't let you injury stop you from doing the things you love.
Book via the link below.