As the days are getting warmer, the range is getting busy. For some, the excitement of the new season ahead is dampened by the re-emergence of aches and pains that seemed to have resolved over the winter months. Lead elbow pain is one such issue. Don’t let it get you! Here are five things you can do to avoid developing this pain, and three things to do if you already have it.
If you took the winter off, or if you have had elbow pain before, start slowly! The number one reason for elbow tendinitis is overuse. A big bucket of range balls holds about 75 balls. If I told you to go out and do 75 reps of any other exercise without building up to it, you’d look at me like I’m crazy. Worse, many golfers will hit a big bucket of balls and then proceed to chip another 70, often hitting the ground over and over. That much stress without proper preparation sets you up for injury. What to do instead?
- For a month, only get a small bucket of balls. Then limit yourself to no more than 40 chip shots. Slow down and be deliberate about each shot.
- Replace long practice sessions with multiple shorter sessions to reduce the strain.
- Warm up before practice and play! Limit range time before a round.
- Perform stretching and isometric strength training on your off days. Check out the program below to get started.
- Elbow and wrist strain is often the result of trying to make up for poor technique somewhere else in the body. Springtime is a great time to have your golf and/or TPI professional review your swing with you to set you up for a great season!
Already in pain?
- STOP hitting your driver, woods and irons for at least a week. That’s the last thing you want to hear, I know. Sadly, the body doesn’t negotiate, especially when it comes to overuse injuries. Unless you remove the offending strain, the pain will continue and get worse. The sooner you stop, the faster you will recover. Take this as an opportunity to work on your putting! As you return, start with your driver or a 3-wood off the tee. Do this for a couple of weeks. No pain – start using all clubs again, but take it easy with those divots. Hitting the ground is the most stressful thing for that elbow tendon.
- Start isometric strengthening and stretching 3 days a week. NO PAIN ALLOWED. The pain developed because of a breakdown in the tissue. Rest alone will not be enough to rebuild it to where it can handle the stress of golf. The trick is to add the right amount of stress at the right time to help the body rebuild without pushing it too far. Check out the program below to get started.
- See your TPI professional for a thorough evaluation of your golf fitness and swing to get you back out on the course as soon as possible.
Dr. Claudia a North Carolina licensed chiropractic physician with 18 years’ experience in clinical practice treating athletes of all ages and levels with a focus on optimizing movement for efficiency, resilience, longevity and injury prevention. You can find her upstairs in the Silver Creek clubhouse or at www.coremovementlab.com