Golfer's elbow

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stufisherstufisher Frets: 909
I'm after some help advice.

For the last 6 to 8 weeks I've scarcely played a guitar because I've got a fair bit of pain in my left elbow (my fretboard arm).

I've self-diagnosed the above and I'm wearing my epichondolytis brace for a few hours each day which helps and provides some respite but I'm concerned by how long it's taking for not much improvement. Generally, rest and support are considered to be the road to recovery but it's very frustrating.

I'm guessing the root cause is my bad technique (probably too tight a grip and wrong posture/playing position) but I just wondered if anyone has endured something similar and has tips/advice?


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Comments

  • joeWjoeW Frets: 512
    It took me ages to get rid of it.  A combination of guitar and pull-ups gave 12 months of pain.  I didn’t rest it much tho so could have been a better patient - still use 0.13’s which def don’t help.  There are exercises that help and getting some blood flow into an area which gets normally very little is meant to help (warm compress type).  
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  • jmf1928jmf1928 Frets: 83
    Pull-ups and carrying a baby around here. I've been using a Powerball a bit, but still quite annoyingly sore. 
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  • mgawmgaw Frets: 5352
    edited March 25
    Just developed it recently after lifting weights, stopped that cut down on guitar and so far it seems to be receding.   Worrying though as it can take a long time to get rid of it completely
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 4427
    edited March 25
    I had it for the best part of 6 months a few years ago. Tried everything, physio, accupuncture.... nothing really worked, except oddly cutting out carbs which did seem to help a little (inflammation loves a carb apparently).  Just about the only thing that didn't hurt was playing guitar though so I was lucky in that respect. 

    There is definitely something to be said for properly sorting out your technique to avoid this stuff in the future (a journey I've been on since I started getting arthritis in my fretting hand thumb), and for looking at how your guitars are set up. If it's electric you're playing, with practice and a good setup it can be virtually effortless and put no wear and tear on you at all, a realisation I wish I'd had 25 years ago...
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  • everesteverest Frets: 8
    I've had awful golfer's elbow in my picking hand in the past, plus a load of other connective tissue injuries from playing sport. From my own experience, rest on its own is not very helpful. The best thing (and I think this is broadly supported by actual evidence) is eccentric exercise, which means using the injured part but with the relevant muscles extended instead of contracted.

    A quick google turned up a sheet of exercises from an NHS trust: https://www.sheffieldachesandpains.com/assets/info%20leaflets/golfers_elbow_exercisesPDF.pdf

    I usually combine this sort of thing with other exercise, stretching, self massage etc, but even on its own it should help. Injuries can be a real arse so best of luck!

    (disclaimer - I am not a doctor or a physio, see your gp, etc etc)
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  • icu81b4icu81b4 Frets: 372
    I’ve had golfers and tennis elbow (opposite sides) and recently bought one of these 

    https://tenniselbowtreatment.co.uk/

    It’s a small massage thingy that helps blood flow, so that helped me a bit, I also keep it next to my bed in case of cramp. It’s easy to take on hols also. 

    I also agree with Everest.
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 2885
    Do you play golf ?
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  • stufisherstufisher Frets: 909
    Thanks everyone for quick responses.

    @Everest, that intel is mighty useful indeed and I shall follow it. My cousin is a physio and she said in addition that I should apply ice to the inflammation for 10mins every half an hour for a couple of days.

    @sev112 ... ironically, I haven't hit a golf ball for over 20 years but in all the time I played golf I never had any such pain.


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  • icu81b4icu81b4 Frets: 372
    edited March 26

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  • BarquentineBarquentine Frets: 319
    I was diagnosed with golfer's elbow a few years back. I wore a brace, took anti-inflammatories, had some physio. What worked for me was some exercises recommended on a different guitar forum. I can't remember exactly what I did now but they were similar to this stuff. Fin the ones that suit you. Took me about two months to get back to normal. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/golfers-elbow-exercises-stretches
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  • WazmeisterWazmeister Frets: 9755
    I ahd it and used a boots brace (presure brace ?) that really helped.
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  • inewhaminewham Frets: 158
    I had some sort of elbow pain and was recommended a theraband flex-bar by a physio. Nothing aggressive, gentle bending and twisting it really helped me. The important thing is to see a physio and get the right advice rather than rely on trial and error 

    Ian
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