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Fore! Focus on These 2 Areas to Avoid Golfer’s Elbow

April 18, 2017 in Articles

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Golf is one of the greatest recreational sports enjoyed by many, but a golf swing has a lot of components that can result in injury. Just look at Tiger Woods and the number of surgeries he’s had to stay relevant in the PGA -- including one yesterday! One common injury that occurs from golfing is known as medial epincondylitis, or golfer’s elbow. Golfer’s elbow usually occurs in people age 40-60, but can happen to anyone that plays golf frequently and may overuse the tendons in the forearm. Medial Epincondylitis results when the tendons on the medial {inside} part of the elbow become irritated which causes weakness and pain in the forearm with exercises that involve gripping.

Why does this happen?

All of this irritation and pain comes from stress being placed on the elbow during the golf swing. In order to avoid this stress, a golfer needs mobility in other areas of the body to split the force of the swing evenly. Golfers need mobility in their mid-back, hips, and shoulders so they may rotate their body effortlessly and not cause added stress to the muscle and joints.  If one of these areas lacks mobility somewhere else in the body will have to pick up the slack and take on that added pressure – typically the medial elbow.

focus on these 2 areas to avoid golfer's elbow
  1. Mid-back {thoracic spine} and hips: increasing mobility in these two areas will enable your body to provide proper rotation for a golf swing without having to stress the elbow or other joints
  2. Shoulders: improving mobility in the shoulders will help achieve the external and internal rotation required for the back swing and follow through, ultimately decreasing stress on the elbow

If you are experiencing golfer’s elbow or any dysfunction while playing sports or in everyday activities, it’s important to see a physical therapist to resolve the issue. Improving mobility in your hips, shoulders, and mid-back will have wider reaching benefits than just improving your game of golf! Alternatively, consider seeing a physical therapist for a movement evaluation to determine how physical therapy can improve your mobility, decrease risk for injury, and improve your golf swing! 

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