Golfers elbow, also called Medial Epicondylitis, is a painful condition occurring from repeated muscle contractions in the forearm that leads to inflammation and microtears in the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle. The medial epicondyle is the bony prominence that is felt on the inside of the elbow.
With the unexpected warm weather we have been experiencing recently, it is likely that many of us have wanted to get out on the links sooner than later. Hopefully the wave of warm weather we have been experiencing will continue and allow for an early start to the golf season. Before the start of the season, however, it is a good idea to tune-up your body. With a few weeks of preparation, you can bring your game to the next level in 2017.
When it comes to strength characteristics of highly proficient golfers, a 2007 study shows that a group of golfers with a handicap index of < 0 displayed increased hip, torso and shoulder strength along with greater shoulder range of motion compared to golfers with a handicap index from 10-20.1 What’s more, this study demonstrated that highly proficient golfers also displayed improved single leg stance balance compared to the 10-20 handicap group. The greater strength, flexibility and balance within the low handicap group likely allows for improved posture, sequencing and timing to more consistently hit accurate golf shots on the center of the face of the club. This theory was supported in the study as the self-reported driving distance of the low handicap group was greater than the 10-20 handicap group. Although not proven, the differences in physical characteristics between the two groups likely accounts for some of the increased driving distance.
A separate study had golfers complete an eight week training program focusing on improving flexibility, strength and balance.2 The golfers were instructed to complete the exercises 3-4 times a week, with aspects of golf performance being re-assessed at the conclusion of the training program. This study found that golfers displayed improved club velocity, ball velocity, carry distance and total distance at the end of the training program.
These two studies emphasize the importance of maintaining good overall physical conditioning, as doing so can directly translate to improved performance on the course. The following are exercises from the eight week training program that you can use to help enhance your game for the upcoming season:
Double knees to chest: Lie on back, grasp knees and bring to chest. Hold for 30 seconds.
Kneeling lunge: Kneel with one leg, put the other leg in front at a 90 degree angle and push forward. A stretch will be felt in the kneeling leg. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.
Seated trunk rotation with club: Sit on a chair, hold a club behind your neck and rotate torso to the right as far as possible without pain. Hold at end-range for 30 seconds. Repeat to the opposite side.
Standing hip abduction: Stand on one leg with elastic resistance tubing attached to the opposite ankle and bring leg out away from your body. Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Standing hip adduction: Stand on one leg with elastic resistance tubing attached to the opposite ankle and bring leg toward your body. Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Static front squat: While standing feet shoulder width apart, squat until knees are at a 45 degree angle to the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Single-leg stances on the floor: With hands on the hips, balance on one foot without letting opposite foot touch the ground. If needed stand next to a counter top or railing and use hands to help prevent falling while completing the exercise. Attempt to stand for 30 seconds without loss of balance.
Single-leg stances on padding: Repeat the single leg stance exercise, but to increase the challenge stand on a foam padding or rolled up towel. Again, if necessary, use hands to lightly hold onto a countertop or sturdy piece of furniture to help prevent falling. Attempt to hold for 30 seconds without loss of balance.
To speak with an Athletico Physical Therapist about other golf-related exercises, request an appointment at an Athletico near you.
Episode 17.09 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.
Dr. Nikhil Verma from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush is filling in this week for Dr. Cole.
Segment One (02:14): Joe Estes from Athletico Physical Therapy talks with Steve and Dr. Verma about preventing Golf Injuries, proper warm up routines and the new indoor simulator at Athletico’s Golf Performance Center in Oak Brook that proudly uses the innovative K-Vest to improve the game for professional and amateur golfers.
The technology behind the K-Vest is a three-sensor wireless system that strategically places sensors on a golfer’s hips, shoulders, and hand to measure motion during a golf swing. The sensors immediately communicate to a computer a 3D analysis. This analysis allows the instructor to instantly address critical aspects of a golfer’s body such as hip rotation, speed, sequence and timing.
Segment Two (12:55): Dr. Verma and Steve discuss OTC vs Rx Medications; risks of addiction, non-drug alternatives and guidelines for use of OTC pain medications. Dr. Verma is Professor and Director, Division of Sports Medicine, Fellowship Director, Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Verma specializes in treatment of the shoulder, elbow and knee with an emphasis on advanced arthroscopic reconstructive techniques of the shoulder, shoulder replacement, knee ligament reconstruction and articular cartilage reconstruction and meniscal transplantation.
U.S. News & World Report ranks the orthopedic program at Rush University Medical Center #4 in the Nation and the highest ranked program in Illinois.
Segment Three (20:00): Gerard Iaculo from Jim Karas Intelligent Fitness & Wellness talks with Steve and Dr. Verma about the use, history and benefits of Kettlebell training.
At JimKaras.com, training is grounded in timeless training principles and has over thirty years of experience recognizing the legitimate innovations in our industry that burn fat (NOT MUSCLE), improve functional performance and decrease your risk of any injury.
Episode 17.07 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.
Segment One (03:00): Dr. Matt Sardelli from OrthoMichigan discusses the role of the anterolateral ligament (ALL) in rotational instability of the knee and ACL tears. As far back as 1879, a French surgeon named Paul Segond first speculated that, in addition to the four obvious structural knee ligaments known then — the anterior cruciate, medial collateral, posterior cruciate and lateral collateral, which loop around and through the joint — other ligaments must exist in the knee or it would not be stable. He wrote that during dissections he had noticed a “pearly, resistant fibrous band” originating at the outside, front portion of the thighbone and continuing to the shinbone, which, in his estimation, must stabilize the outer part of the knee, preventing it from collapsing inward.
Dr. Sardelli specializes in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. He earned his undergraduate degree in physiology from Michigan State University, where he also became a certified athletic trainer, and received his medical degree from Wayne State University. Dr. Sardelli completed post-education with a residency at Detroit Medical Center and later the University of Utah, as well as a fellowship in orthopedic sports medicine at TRIA Orthopedic Center in Minnesota.
Segment Two (11:20): Steve and Dr. Cole discuss rib injuries. The term rib injury usually means rib fracture – that is, a break in one or more of the ribs. Sometimes the ribs are not broken but there is bruising of ribs or nearby muscles. Rib injuries occur when there is a force to the chest such as from a fall, road accident or assault.
Usually, the diagnosis is made from the details you give to the doctor (history) plus a doctor’s examination. Ribs which are broken (fractured) are painful, particularly with movement, deep breaths or coughing. The injured area is tender when pressed. The break (fracture) or bruise usually heals in about four weeks.
Good pain relief during this time helps you to breathe and cough properly. Simply putting up with the pain is not a good idea, as it can lead to shallow breathing, lack of coughing and chest infections.
Segment Three (20:27): James Standhardt Director of Instruction at GOLFTEC talks with Steve and Dr. Cole about the importance of a golf specific training program, physical fitness and the ability to make swing changes, how getting in “golf shape” differ from preparing for other sports.
James Standhard graduated from the Professional Golf Management program from Ferris State University and acquired his PGA membership in 2006.James has taught for more than 13 years and has given over 18,000 lessons with GOLFTEC. Five time “Outstanding Achievement in Instruction” winner.