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Stretch Be"FORE!" for Pain FREE Swing

As the weather gets nicer and the daylight hours get longer, getting outside to play a round of golf or a tennis match is the perfect way to shake off the winter cobwebs. Jumping back into activities after taking winter months off can not only mean a few more slices from the tee box or missed back hands on the court, but can also bring some aches and pains. One of the most common joints that can be aggravated by both golf and tennis is the elbow joint. “Golfer’s elbow” or medial epicondylitis and “tennis elbow” or lateral epicondylitis are common ailments that can hopefully be avoided with some preventative exercises.


WHAT'S THE SCOOP?!


GOLFER’S ELBOW

Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is irritation and inflammation of the inside of your elbow joint. The muscles that are responsible for flexing the wrist attach by a common tendon to the inside of the elbow and can get inflamed and painful by the repetitive nature of swinging a golf club.


How can you prevent elbow pain during golf be”FORE!” it becomes an issue? General strength of your core or abdominal muscles, as well as good strength at your shoulder joint can help to prevent strain at the elbow. Ensuring good mobility of your spine, shoulder and elbow is also essential to preventing pain from developing during your golf swing.


TENNIS ELBOW

Tennis can also create an aggravating strain to the elbow joint. “Tennis elbow”, or lateral epicondylitis, is irritation and inflammation of the outside of the elbow joint. These muscles are responsible for extending the wrist and attach by a common tendon to the outside of the elbow. The outside of the elbow can get inflamed and painful by the repetitive nature of gripping and swinging a tennis racket.


How can you stave off elbow pain to keep the advantage on your side of the court? With “tennis elbow”, similar to “golfer’s elbow”, it is important to have good core or abdominal strength as well as shoulder strength to prevent strain to the elbow joint. Ensuring good flexibility of arms, spine and legs is also important to prevent poor mechanics during your swing. Conditioning exercises make sure you can move to the ball efficiently for proper swing mechanics and will help prevent over-straining at the arm while making contact with the ball for return.


STRETCHES

Here are a few good stretches to try prior to a round of golf or a tennis match to help prevent elbow pain mid match.


Wrist Extension Stretch:

Hold 30 seconds

Perform 3-4 repetitions
















Wrist Flexion Stretch:

Hold 30 seconds

Perform 3-4 repetitions
















Posterior Capsule Stretch:

Hold 30 seconds

Perform 3-4 repetitions















Overhead triceps stretch

Hold for 30 seconds

Perform 3-4 repetitions
















Upright Trunk Rotation Stretch

(use dowel rod, golf club, broom, etc)

Hold 5-10 seconds

Perform 10 times each direction









Bent over Trunk Rotation Stretch

(use dowel rod, golf club, broom, etc)


Hold 5-10 seconds

Perform 10 times each direction










Trunk Side-Bending

(use dowel rod, golf club, broom, etc)


Hold 5-10 seconds

Perform 10 times each side










ALREADY HAVING PAIN? HERE'S HOW TO FIX IT...


Are you reading this and thinking “but what if I already have pain at my elbow”? Don’t worry, there are ways to fix your pain. Your physical therapist has all the tools needed to remedy your pain. You may have some core or shoulder blade weakness limiting your performance. Your physical therapist will start with an individualized assessment to identify areas to target with specific exercises. There are also a variety of hands on techniques that can help promote healing and decrease pain. Soft tissue and joint mobilizations can improve tissue and joint mobility, promote blood flow and decrease pain. Dry needling is another treatment that uses fine filament needles to improve tissue mobility and promote blood flow to decrease pain and promote healing. The sooner you address your pain, the better the outcome. Pushing through the pain can create more irritation and inflammation, leading to a longer recovery and more time away from your sport. So don’t wait, contact us TODAY to help fix your pain!


Call Dynamic Physical Therapy and Wellness for your individualized assessment with our expert physical therapists to help you Perform Better, Live Better, and Get Better!



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