Treat your own tennis elbow/golfer's elbow/trigger finger

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...

Treat your own tennis elbow/golfer's elbow/trigger finger

Post by nitsugavals » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:51 pm

I've used two methods to treat my golfer's elbow with quite a bit of success. To begin with, you will obviously need to stop or significantly cut back on the activity or movement that initially caused it. However, to achieve full recovery and prevent it from happening again, you will likely require a physical therapy program. (Some people advocate deep tissue massage at the tendon-bone interface for golfer's and tennis elbow, and a search on the board found that some here got relief from that--I didn't. I also worry about aggravating the nerve adjacent to that massage site, as well as achieving symptom relief without rehabbing the muscles to prevent it from happening again). I have no financial incentive from either therapist or device.

This first method uses a Flextend, which is a glove with resistance bands attached. It looks like a medieval bondage device, but it works well. It also strengthens the fingers and helps prevent some of the injuries we are susceptible to. It has reported success with trigger finger as well. The massage in this method is along the muscle bellies further up the forearm.

Tennis elbow (outer elbow tendonitis):

Golfer's elbow (inner elbow tendonitis): ...

The second method, which worked slightly better for me, uses a Theraband, which is a simple cylindrical device that allows for various types of wrist movement to work on various muscle groups. This therapist also recommends The Stick for the massage portion, however I found that using the Theraband itself to roll the muscle bellies worked just as well.



Both of these therapists advise against stretching, as it can aggravate the injury and you may end up back where you started.

I hope this information is able to help some of you suffering from these surprisingly debilitating conditions. Other conditions of the wrist and hand can also be addressed with similar therapy techniques.


Re: Treat your own tennis elbow/golfer's elbow/trigger finger

Post by led66 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:15 pm

Thanks for the input. I don't know if I agree with the not stretching. I think it's just easy to over stretch the elbow. I'm definatly gonna look into the 2 methods. I've taken a long break from guitar due to elbow pain. Till recently I've discovered that it can be fixed.

Nick Clow

Re: Treat your own tennis elbow/golfer's elbow/trigger finger

Post by Nick Clow » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:26 am

I agree with you that the twisty theraband (used sparingly) can be helpful in getting your elbow(s) on track.

However, I think one always needs to look at a bigger, more holistic picture of what is going wrong. If you are getting a sore elbow, you are doubtless overdoing it or at the least not having enough rest. (Are you playing every day? Try playing every other day or 2 days on, one day off.) You may have some posture/mechanical problems and/or your symptoms might be because you have suddenly upped your workload without giving your body time to adapt. Are you stressed in general? Do you work in an office and use a PC all day? If so, I recommend jumping out of the window in a bid for freedom.

It might take trial and error to find the right approach to correct the issue. Be resourceful and reflect deeply on what is going on. The mantra 'Listen to your body' is a good one.

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