Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow

It is at this time of year that we all head to the tennis courts at home or on holiday. Wimbledon has finished and we all want to emulate our favourites, donning our short white skirts shorts and lycra tops. All the golf on television and the great weather encourages the budding golfer to spend hours on courses or weekends away with buddies playing two or three courses over a weekend between drinking and late nights. Of course not to mention 4 hours in the car driving like a maniac with both hands gripping the steering wheel whilst tearing along the motorway at max speed. ( a great way to pre-tension  the forearms before 54 holes of golf!

Of course we play for hours, as many sets as possible, determined to win and look good doing so.

Well, that is… until we develop pain in our elbows wrists shoulders and back! Painkillers don’t do much, doctor puts you on waiting list and anti inflammatories, some of us buy elite straps and carry on for a while. Most of us find the wine is a much easier option.

Then again, some beat their way to the Osteopath’s door.  Usually it starts with a low back or a neck issue, with an afterthought,  just before the session ends…..”can you do anything with tennis elbow?”

Of course we can. We have all of five minutes to assess treat and prepare a treatment plan and prognosis.

This is what we do:

Assess the point of pain/pains, determine the probable mechanical cause, check to see if distal posture is maintaining the problem. Then treat it all.

Soft tissue and shortened origin muscle stretching, normally on all extensor and flexor muscles of the forearm, Same thing on the Biceps as the tendon blends in with the fascia of the forearm and pre-tensions it. Open the chest and mobilise the back as we notice our patient has round shoulders and head forward posture. Result of spending all day on computer and smart phone!

Advise patient to ice the affected areas where muscles attach to bone on inner or outer elbow. Increase the size diameter of tennis racket or golf club handle. This reduces grip tension on forearm muscles. Can use some foam in palm of hand also.

Remind patient that it take years of practice before we stop gripping the handle as if it was a life or death action. Professionals do Not need to grip the handle, it becomes an extension of the body.

Oh yes, all in the last 5 minutes of the appointment, so probable better to book in a few days later for a follow up. Many apologies to the next patient for running late!

Can we help, yes of course we can! Please book in when the problems start not three months later when it begins to affect your daily life.