Fixing Golfer's Elbow From the Ground Up
- By Dr. Kirsten Wishloff
Golfer's Elbow got you down?
Medial Epicondylitis is a common injury in golfers - so common in fact that the condition is actually known as golfer’s elbow. Why do so many golfers suffer from this injury? What can we do to treat elbow pain and how can we take steps to prevent it?
In golf, power is transferred up from the ground. When this is done effectively, there is a sequential contribution of force distributed through the body in such a way that no single part is taking on a load it can’t physiologically handle. With elbow injuries, there is a disconnect in how force is transferred between the shoulder and the elbow, as well as the elbow to the hand.
To effectively resolve an elbow injury one must adequately address the following:
1) Accurate and early diagnosis of the injury
The sooner you get a skilled diagnosis, the easier the solution becomes. When we leave injuries to ‘rest’, we really provide the body an opportunity to adapt to the pain. This may seem like a good plan until you run out of ways to adapt. Peeling apart layers of dysfunction is a much longer process than quickly identifying and treating focal injuries.
2) Technique used during the golf swing
3) Global movement evaluation
When we assess a person’s movement in a joint-by-joint manner, we can gain a clear understanding of why your body moves the way it moves. Small interventions to improve movement in one part of the body can have large influence on the system as a whole. Understanding your body as an integrated system is the key to sustainability in sport.
If you’re currently working through an elbow injury, seek to find the underlying cause. The solution is often easier than you might think, you may just be looking for it in the right places.