Now that the majority of the golf season here in northern Utah is over, and since my final club championship competition is finished (say hello to the 2014 champ!), I decided it was time to go to the doctor to address my tennis elbow problems.
Earlier this season I switched to some great, albeit harder golf grips. I loved the performance of the grips, but a month into using them tennis elbow flared up. The pain got so bad that I could not pick up the coffee pot to pour myself a cup of coffee. Even lifting my putter up a few inches to tap down a repaired ball mark was impossible without a ton of pain. It is a bad world to live in when there is no coffee and ball marks are not fixed.
Everyone and their dog has given me their advice and experience on the subject of curing tennis elbow. Resting the elbow, icing, and eating ibuprofen three meals a day didn’t help. Two swings and it was back instantly, even after two weeks of not playing.
New arm band and bandaid over shot area
I went into the doc’s yesterday and opted for a cortisone shot. I’ve never had one. It hurt like hell and hurts like hell right now. Some say one shot is all they needed and I’m hoping that’s the case for me. I do know it isn’t a good idea to depend on these shots and over time they’ll cause damage. Others suggested DMSO, a treatment given to horses. I’ll consider that down the road if necessary.
So I’ve had the cortisone shot and will take a week or so off to let it do its magic. In the meantime I’ll be switching grips. I’ll also consider adjusting some techniques to lessen the impact of the swing on my elbow. I have an arm brace which should help that, and another special brace on its way.
Note: I’ve had golfer’s elbow as well, and do have a bit of that since the grip change. The doctor did an x-ray on my elbow and it shows some damage on the underside, where golfer’s elbow is. I can feel a touch of it.
I the past I did the following to help cure/prevent the golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow and I got away from some of these:
- Play softer, bigger golf grips. It is a consensus that larger and softer golf grips will help, and I have a set ready to put on my clubs this week.
- Play a softer golf ball. Balls with a urethane cover and soft core like a Bridgestone B330 or a ProV1 are best.
- Pick clubs which insulate and isolate vibration better.
- Use golf club vibration dampeners on the clubs if necessary.
- Try like hell to hit the sweet spot. Center hits don’t jar the arm as much. Off-center shots are very bad!
- Swing slower and more relaxed.
- Pick the ball off the turf and take smaller divots.
- No more “ball pounding” on the practice range. The repetitive shock as well as the hard range balls are horrible for golfer’s or tennis elbow.
From a numbers and results standpoint, this is possibly my best amateur golf season yet with winning the club championship and coming in 2nd place at the Salt Lake Ameteur. Like most golfers I’m never satisfied, but the season has been a success.
September is nearly here, a great month in Utah for golf with the temps cool and the trees changing colors. Once October comes it is hit and miss (pun intended) on the weather and the temperatures really start to cool off. I hope to make it through to some time in October, then hang the clubs up for the winter in order for the injury to completely heal.
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