THE CORE

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - Ten­der Mercy

Treat your el­bow in­jury prop­erly to avoid off time.

Ten­dons con­nect mus­cles to bones, and when you do things like put a death grip on a golf club and hit an en­tire pyra­mid of range balls, the mus­cles around your el­bows of­ten be­come bruised or torn. The acute pain you feel on the in­side (golfer’s el­bow) or out­side (ten­nis el­bow) of the joint “is a very com­mon prob­lem for golfers,” says Golf Di­gest

tness ad­vi­sor Dr Ara Sup­piah. The fol­low­ing are his rec­om­men­da­tions for treat­ment and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. Re­duce the pain by ic­ing the area for 20 min­utes ev­ery so of­ten dur­ing the rst few days while tak­ing doc­tor­ap­proved, anti-in am­ma­tory drugs like naproxen sodium (Aleve), Sup­piah says.Wear­ing a com­pres­sion sleeve or brace can in­crease blood ow and heal­ing agents to the area. Some braces are even de­signed for sleep­ing.“Go easy on that arm for a few weeks,” Sup­piah says.“Avoid lift­ing heavy ob­jects, play­ing golf, etc. The pain is a re­minder to take a break.”

If the pain doesn’t sub­side af­ter a few weeks, con­sider a cor­ti­cos­teroids injection. It’s very e ec­tive for pain man­age­ment. Still, you should have no more than three in a life­time.“Too many can cause tis­sue dam­age,” Sup­piah says.

Other treat­ments to con­sider are low-in­ten­sity ul­tra- sound ther­apy (think of it as an in­ter­nal mas­sage of an in

amed joint) or platelet-rich plasma in­jec­tions, Sup­piah says. For PRP, blood is drawn and spun in a cen­trifuge un­til platelets (which con­tain heal­ing agents) are con­cen­trated. They are then in­jected back into the el­bow. Nei­ther is typ­i­cally cov­ered by med­i­cal aid, Sup­piah says.“PRP is more e ec­tive, but you usu­ally need three shots and six weeks to re­cover,” he says.

An­other rad­i­cal pro­ce­dure for ten­dini­tis isTopaz.A nee­dle emit­ting ra­dio waves is in­jected into the ten­don, cre­at­ing small trau­mas that prompt heal­ing agents into the area – like a jump-start for the nat­u­ral re­cov­ery process.There has yet to be any sci­enti c study con rm­ing that Topaz works for el­bow ten­dini­tis, only anec­do­tally based en­dorse­ments from doc­tors, Sup­piah says.

“The last re­sort is surgery, an arthro­scopic ten­don re­lease,” Sup­piah says.“But it might be nec­es­sary if you suf­fer from re­peated is­sues with the ten­dons – tendi­nosis – and noth­ing else works.” –

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