Physician Led • Outcomes Centered • Patient Focused

Elbow Pain and Golf: Don’t let your golf season end this way.

My elbow hurts when I swing a club with any force at all.  Why is that?

Although only a medical doctor can properly provide diagnosis, you are most likely experiencing irritation of the elbow at a point where the muscles that move your wrist attach.  When these muscles are tight, or when there is restriction of free movement at the wrist, there is an overly forceful pull of these muscles on the bony “anchor” at the elbow (such as when a golf club is swung forcefully), which causes predictable aching as the round of golf progresses.

I don’t recall being injured.  What did I “do?”

Nothing, usually.  These injuries slowly develop because of subtle tightness patterns in the arms (and sometimes back).  In this case, predisposition plus repetition results in a painful problem.

Anti-inflammatories (like Advil) don’t seem to be very helpful.

Because this is a slowly developing problem, there is essentially progressive, microscopic injury occurring around the elbow.  After about two months of symptoms, this problem becomes less a problem of “inflammation” and more a problem related to scar deposition within the tendon itself (a tendon is the attachment of muscle to bone).  Once the problem gets to this point, medication such as Aleve or Advil can no longer eradicate it.  These medications may settle down the flare-ups, but they won’t take away the tendency for the problem to flare up, or prevent the slow progression of the problem that often occurs.

Is there anything that will treat this effectively?

Yes!  Give us a call at 221-1102 for physician consultation to confirm the diagnosis.  Although this problem can be “managed” with traditional stretches or injections, there is another way.  ASTYM (pronounced “eh-stim”) is a technique exclusive in Des Moines to Stadia Sports Medicine which our therapists are sent to certify in that addresses the underlying problem of scar tissue deposition which is causing the pain in the first place.  Response rates to this form of treatment are about 75-80% regardless of duration of symptoms.  Total treatment time is usually about 4 weeks, so now is the time to get started if you want to optimize your chances to feel better for the golf season. Give us a call.  You’ll be glad you did.


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