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Golf Related Injuries I: Tennis Elbow | 高尔夫运动损伤系列之一:网球肘

September 19, 2015

by Dr.Yu

 

 

Golfing is highly popular in North America. Sometimes it even becomes addictive. Especially in Vancouver, few can resist the temptation---just imagine the picture: You walk on a nicely trimmed green field where streams of creek gently running through and the ponds are sparkling; walking up the little hill and looking far ahead, you see birds singing, rabbits hopping, deer dancing in the nearby forests; the air is fresh and the sky is blue; you casually swing the club, while chatting with your good friends; at this moment you forget all the trivia of life---what a paradise! Indeed, golfing is very relaxing, refreshing, and thus can be extremely addictive. Therefore, someone even refers to it “the green heroin”. Unfortunately, many golfers, due to their bad posture, improper use of muscle, or lack of warm up, suffer from many injuries. The so called “tennis elbow” is one of the most common.

 

I have been golfing for three years, and I have been suffering from related injuries such as neck pain, back pain, and tennis elbow. Therefore I know the cause and feel the pain of the injuries. I would like to talk about tennis elbow today.

 

Now, some of you may think “do you get the terminology wrong? Isn’t it ‘golf elbow’”? Well, actually from my clinical experience, there are more cases of tennis elbow than golf elbow, and tennis elbow is much more painful than the other.

 

When I first started golfing three years ago, I was following my coach’s instruction: relax, and use as few muscle as possible to hit. However, being eager to hit a good ball, I eventually started to hold the club tightly and swing with much force. Then my posture became so incorrect, and my swing hit the ground all the time.

 

Finally it back fired: one day when I did a swing, the outside of my right elbow started feeling a kind of needle-piercing pain. At first I thought it was no big deal, but soon the area of pain started to extend. That night I woke up several times because of the pain. My elbow was uncomfortable in any position. The pain even moved up to the right shoulder joint the second morning.

 

I have seen many patients suffering from tennis elbow before I myself fell a victim. I could see and hear their pain: some had this condition come and go for over a decade; some lived on painkillers; some had to apply ice patch for months; some could not extend their arms or hold a fist; some could not wash their face or brush teeth; some even could not work anymore. I treated these patients and listened to them talking about their agony, but I could not fully understand until I felt the pain myself. This pain was rooted deeply behind the muscle, from where the tendon is connecting to the periosteum---it is really a pain from inside!

 

Then I started self-treatment. I used needle on myself three times a day. Each time I only kept the needle for several minutes. I did this short and intense treatment because: first, emergency situation should be treated with “reducing” technic; second, I had to work during the day thus there was not enough time. That night after the treatment I started to feel less pain, but it did not recover as fast as I expected so I did not sleep well that night. The second day I started treating myself only two times a day, and all the symptom disappeared after three days.

 

 

 

 

I healed numerous patients suffering from tennis elbow after I started my clinic in Vancouver. Most of them were labor workers, and the second most were golfers. I usually gave these treatments:


1. Acupuncture treatment;
2. Ice patch. If the symptom had lasted for more than one day, I would use hot patch;
3. Make sure patients do not use injured arm to do any work, or any exercise;
4. After the symptom is gone, make sure patients wait at least two weeks to start doing any work or exercise.

 

Acupuncture is proved very effective for tennis elbow. Normally all symptom would disappear after five treatments. A few patients need to have more treatments and sometimes need to take Chinese medicine because their symptom has lasted too long. I had one patient, who suffered from tennis elbow for more than ten years, and he needed ten treatments and extra Chinese medicine to fully recover.

 

 

My dear friends, if you also love golf, please make sure that:


1. You do enough stretching and warm up before practice; 
2. Relax and keep your posture correct; 
3. Do not hold the club tightly; 
4. Do not use too much muscle to swing the club;
5. Once you feel any elbow problem, please stop practicing and take rest immediately. Please use ice patch with 24 hours, and use hot patch after. Please take enough rest (at least seven days) until all symptoms are gone and start doing any exercise; 
6. Once your symptom gets worse, please see a doctor ASAP.

 

Hope every golfer can have fewer injuries, and more fun!

 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

 

 

        高尔夫一个老少皆宜的运动,在北美有着广泛的爱好者。走在蓝天白云之下,绿草之上,眺望远处的大海、高山,走过身边的小溪、水塘;森林间跳跃着歌唱着的鸟儿、兔子、鹅、天鹅,甚至还有狼、鹿等偶然造访,这一切构成了美丽的图画——人在其中自然觉得神清气爽,能量十足。因此高尔夫运动很容易上瘾,有人称之为“绿色鸦片”。问题是,这个运动难度很高,而很多人急于追求打好每个球,却往往由于姿势不正,用力不正确,或热身不够,而造成多种疾病。“网球肘”就是其中最常见的一种。

 

         近两年来我也经常打高尔夫,也因为打球过度得过网球肘、颈腰痛等。因此,我知道其中的发病原因,也对其痛苦有切身体会。今天我们就先谈谈网球肘。

 

        一定有人认为我写错了题目:应该是“高球肘”才对吧?其实不是这样,从我的临床经验来看,高球手得网球肘的概率远远大于高球肘,并且疼痛远远强于高球肘。三年前我刚开始学习打球时,是遵循教练的教导:尽量不用力,不发力。后来自己练习的时候,就开始不自觉地用力握杆,用力挥杆,以至于动作走形,挥杆经常击地。终于有一次练习击球时,右肘外侧有点较深的、像针扎又很难受的疼痛。当时我自认为没有大问题,不久以后疼痛的面积开始阔大,当天晚上睡觉时我竟然因疼痛醒来数次,右臂摆任何姿势都不舒服。第二天早上起来,似乎已经影响到了右上臂的肩关节。这时我才真正体会到网球肘的痛苦。

 

        网球肘在临床中非常常见,病人的痛苦也有可能很严重:有的病人反复发作十余年;有的因疼痛难忍天天服用止痛药;有的用冰敷一连数月;有的不能伸臂,握拳,甚至不能洗脸刷牙;有的病人因此无法继续工作。我以前治疗过这些病人,听说过他们的痛苦。这次我真的体会到了,才知道这种痛苦要远远胜过病人的诉说。这种痛苦来自于肌腱与骨膜连接的地方,与其说是肌腱痛,不如说是骨膜痛——这真是痛到了骨子里!

 

        于是我开始给自己治疗。一天之内做了三次针灸,每次留针只几分钟:一是急病需用泄法;二是因为我需要工作,时间不足。当天晚上疼痛开始减轻,但比我想象得要慢,还是影响了部分睡眠。第二天开始我每天给自己针灸两次,三天后症状全部消失。

 

 

 

 

我在温哥华行医以来,不知治好了多少网球肘。很多是体力工作者,再有就是高尔夫爱好者。我一般给予以下治疗:


1. 针灸治疗
2. 冰敷;如果症状发生超过一天的,用热敷
3. 停止使用任何伤手的工作和体育锻炼
4. 症状消失后,休息至少两个星期再开始恢复运动和部分工作

 


        对于网球肘,针灸治疗通常是很有效的。一般在五次治疗后症状就基本消失。有少数病人因为病程久,需要特殊对待——除针灸外也需服用一些中药。曾经有一个病人,患网球肘十年以上,针灸了十次,并同时服用中药才治愈。

 

 

亲爱的朋友们,如果你也爱好高尔夫的话,请一定要注意:


1. 运动前务必做常规拉筋热身;
2. 动作保持协调,姿势正确;
3. 不要用力握杆;
4. 不轻易发力打球;
5. 一出现肘部症状,立刻休息,不要继续运动;24小时内请冰敷,之后可以热敷,休息7天以上直到症状消失才可再运动;
6. 一旦症状加重,及时就医。

 

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