Sports Massage Therapy

Tackling Elbow Pain: Overcoming Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow in Powerlifting

Elbow pain is a common ailment among powerlifters, often manifesting as Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow. These conditions, known medically as medial epicondylitis and lateral epicondylitis, respectively, can significantly hinder performance and cause discomfort. In this article, we’ll delve into what Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow are, their symptoms, how powerlifting can contribute to them, and explore various therapies to correct and prevent these issues.

Understanding Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow:

Golfer’s Elbow (medial epicondylitis) and Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis) are both forms of tendonitis, which involve inflammation and pain in the tendons of the forearm. Golfer’s Elbow affects the tendons on the inside of the elbow, while Tennis Elbow affects the tendons on the outside. Despite their names, these conditions can affect individuals engaged in various activities, including powerlifting.

Common Symptoms:

The symptoms of Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow include pain and tenderness around the affected area, which may radiate down the forearm. Activities such as gripping, lifting, or bending the elbow can exacerbate the pain. In severe cases, there may be weakness in the affected arm, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks or participate in sports and training.

How Powerlifting Contributes:

Powerlifting places significant stress on the elbows, especially during movements like bench press, overhead press, and heavy deadlifts. The repetitive gripping and lifting involved in these exercises can strain the tendons and lead to overuse injuries like Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow. Additionally, improper technique, inadequate warm-up, and insufficient recovery can further contribute to the development of these conditions.

Therapies to Correct and Prevent:

  • Modification of Training: Initially, it’s crucial to modify training to avoid aggravating movements and allow the affected elbow to recover. A qualified coach or physiotherapist can provide guidance on alternative exercises and techniques to minimize stress on the elbows while maintaining training intensity
  • Stretching and Strengthening Exercises: Incorporating specific stretching and strengthening exercises can help alleviate symptoms and prevent recurrence. Eccentric exercises, wrist curls, and forearm stretches can improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles around the elbow, reducing strain on the tendons.
  • Manual Therapy: Techniques such as massage therapy, myofascial release, and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization can help address muscular imbalances, release tension in the forearm muscles, and promote healing of the affected tendons.

Strengthening Exercises & Stretches

A combination of strengthening exercises and stretches can help promote balance to the structures that may be contributing to your elbow pain. Below are a few exercises that can be easily implemented into your routine:

Final Thoughts:

Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow can pose significant challenges for powerlifters, affecting performance and causing discomfort. However, with the right approach to treatment and prevention, these conditions can be effectively managed. By appropriate modifications to training, therapeutic interventions, and targeted exercises, powerlifters can overcome elbow pain and continue to pursue their strength and fitness goals safely and effectively.

Remember, early intervention and proactive management are key to long-term elbow health and injury prevention in powerlifting. Book an appointment and let us help you develop a personalized plan to get back into breaking personal records!