Playing Golf With An Injury

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It was 60 degrees in the DMV yesterday.  With no snow on the ground I had to peel my rear off the sofa and get the season started.  There was one problem.  I have been rehabbing elbow tendonitis and a previous trip to the range in early January ended badly and forced me into formal rehab.  I’m in the fifth week of a six-week physical therapy stint and it’s going well.  I have been constantly dialoging with my physical therapist on how best to accelerate my healing and prepare for the season.  The goal is full recovery by March 1st.  My daily regimen of exercise the arm, stretch the arm, ice the arm, and remain a couch potato is growing old, but admittedly it’s been working.  I’d estimate I’m about 80-85% recovered.

Last week I took a few full swings with the driver in the back yard and experienced some pain so I did not clear myself for full ball striking and worked short game and putting instead.  I’m glad I did and my arm is just a little sore today.  If you are right handed, left elbow tendonitis can be rough because you brace yourself against a firm left arm during the strike.  I need to be really cautious here because a dead left arm could put my season in jeopardy.  My guy says to, “let the pain tell you what to do.”  If that’s the case, I shouldn’t have played on this for three years and got it treated.  Oh well.

Yesterday, I chipped with all my clubs and worked a large variety of shots.  With a brace on the elbow, the first five shots elicited some mild pain but it loosened up and felt great for the balance of the session.  I was also surprised how sharp I was after expunging whatever left over baggage I had from 2018.   I’d love to play next weekend but it’s too soon.  It will probably take a couple weeks of range work and maybe some more short game and I should be in action by mid-March.

Have you ever worked through a bout of tendonitis?  Got any words of wisdom?

Play well!

10 thoughts on “Playing Golf With An Injury”

  1. Brian

    I fought the same injury for two years on and off. The challenge I had was never letting it heal fully before heading back to practicing and playing. I will suggest that even though your elbow feels healed, wear your brace until mid season. This will give your elbow the chance to fully heal and get stronger. Additionally, continue to do your exercises after your 6 weeks of physio. Although there will be little pain, your elbow will still need time to heal.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to hearing about your exploits on the links.

    Cheers Jim

    1. Jim, awesome advice, thanks. I am so sick of this thing and wish it to be gone forever. The good news is that my ortho guy had the same thing as well and told me after treatment that it never recurred over the last seven years. I’m hoping!


  2. I think that even though you are energized by your therapy, you need to move cautiously. The goal is NO pain, not just a little pain. Keep up the great work, hon! xo

  3. Brian- I had golfer’s elbow for a season too. I did physio in the off season and did theraband flexbar exercises to strengthen the grip and forearms and have been good ever since.

      1. Excellent. Best of luck, Brian. My golfers elbow hurt so much at one point that I couldn’t even twist a door knob to open a door. These days, I keep the flexbar on the coach and do the exercises when my tendon feels sore or forearms feel tight and haven’t had problems for 2-3 years now. (Although I have other golf injuries for sure!)

        1. Very good. I’m still at the point of using the bar, lifting my PT assigned weight, and am still experiencing a little pain. Gotta be patient and not push it too much.



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