Author Topic: Does paddling cause golfer's elbow or tennis elbow, how to tell the difference?  (Read 5895 times)

Zooport

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Does paddling cause golfer's elbow or tennis elbow...or both?  How do you tell the difference?   I've looked online and the descriptions of either one don't seem to fit exactly where the pain is for me.

What do you do about it?  OCSurf loaned me his Theraband Flexbar, but using it only seems to make the pain worse. 

Probably just coincidence, but the day I got that Starboard Element, I started getting whatever this condition is.  The obvious answer is to quit paddling, but that's not going to happen. 
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TallDude

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I have bad elbows from swinging a hammer, playing drums and windsurfing for so many years. When I sleep my right elbow will get locked in the bent position. I have to push down on my forearm with my left hand to pop it back into position. When I paddle, my elbows are almost locked straight most the time. I don't have any problems with my elbows due to paddling. It might be your technique, or too stiff of a paddle shaft?
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Night Wing

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I know you don't want to hear this, but have you given a thought there might be something wrong in your elbow and it might be wise for you to go see an orthopedic surgeon and have that elbow checked out?

Just saying, when my right shoulder started acting up, it wasn't giving me a lot of discomfort. Just enough where it wouldn't go away. I rested my shoulder for a month, but when that didn't cure my discomfort, I went to see my orthopedic surgeon. Long story short, that was when my surgeon told me I had a bone spur that cut 90% through my right rotator cuff and surgery was my only option.

You might have an inflamed tendon or a bursa sack and resting that elbow will probably cure it. But if you have a small tear in a tendon in your elbow or you have a slight rupture of the bursa sac, no amount of rest is going to alleviate the pain. If you keep on paddling, the paddling just might cause more serious damage than what you've got now.

If I was in your situation, I'd have that elbow checked out.

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Eagle

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Had something like that when first starting out and had to stop paddling for about 3 weeks.  Was trying out different stroke mech to keep the board going straight.  Used the TB and over time the pain dissipated.  But at first the TB exacerbated the pain so cut back on the torquing power.  Have not used the TB much since as the elbow pain has never come back. 

Think it was maybe from overuse and applying too much force torquing the blade before muscles tendons and joints were adapted.  So completely stopped paddling and slowly strengthened both elbow areas over time.  If you stop paddling and the pain is still there -> probs good to see your doc.  ;)
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bts

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These are both repetitive stress injuries.

Put your palm forward. The thumb side of your elbow is lateral.  inflammation of the common extensor tendon insertion on your lateral elbow is lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow.  Think about your back hand swing breaking your wrists.  Thats the motion.

Inflammation of the common flexor tendon insertion on the pinky side is medial epicondylitis, or golfer's elbow.  Think about breaking your wrist on your golf swing.

can you get either from paddling?  Maybe, if you paddle a lot.  In my opinion, it's more likely you are doing something else that causes the inflammation and you are exacerbating it by paddling.  For me it is the 8-10 hours a day I spend at my workstation. Poor ergonomics at work are the source of my problems.

Try the forearm bands, you can try a wrist brace to lock out the offending motion.  Ice and anti-inflammatory meds to treat the symptoms.

Try to loosen your grip on your paddle. For me an oval shaft helps me keep soft hands.




Quickbeam

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Does paddling cause golfer's elbow or tennis elbow...or both?  How do you tell the difference?   I've looked online and the descriptions of either one don't seem to fit exactly where the pain is for me.

The short answer to your question is "yes". At least for me paddling causes golfer's elbow. As I understand it, golfer's elbow is pain on the inside of your elbow while tennis elbow is pain on the outside of your elbow. You might want to check out this thread: (https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,25795.0.html). There is some good information here.

I've tried just about everything, and while some things help, still haven't found a cure. I can paddle now, but just can't paddle any kind of distance. Am still working on it though. My physio says I just have to work at getting my elbows stronger. Has been kind of a mixed up year for me paddling wise so I haven't been able to consistently work my strength up. I am hoping to start being able to do this very soon. Good luck. Elbow problems are not a lot of fun.

Oh, one last thing. Almost everyone says golfers' elbow occurs from gripping the paddle too tightly. And maybe it does for some, but that is definitely not the issue for me.
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bts

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Oh, where it hurts should be obvious, you should be able to point to it with one finger and it should be very tender to the touch

Zooport

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can you get either from paddling?  Maybe, if you paddle a lot.  In my opinion, it's more likely you are doing something else that causes the inflammation and you are exacerbating it by paddling.  For me it is the 8-10 hours a day I spend at my workstation. Poor ergonomics at work are the source of my problems.

This showed up just about the time I began working long hours every day writing an educational software package I've designed.  It might be all the time coding is what has done the damage and paddling just makes it worse.  That makes more sense since I have been paddling almost daily for the past 4 years and have never had elbow trouble before.  Thanks for that insight.
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Old School 213

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Zoo, I have the same thing going on and ergonomics is to blame. On both my home and office desks that part of my elbow is resting on the desk. With poor posture I put more weight on it than is the average and it'll hurt from that.

Now paddling with it, after a 90 minute prone session it hurts and I tend to modify my strokes to keep my arm bent. SUP, I was paddling with my 100sq in. paddle wishing I had something smaller with my right hand in the top position. The prone session hurt more than SUP, it even hurt to hang on to the handlebars of my bike riding home.

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covesurfer

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I've had both tennis and golfer's elbow. Both arms have been affected at different times. Most recently, I had a bad case of tennis elbow on my left side. It seemed to start when I banged my elbow on something and bruised the end of the bone in my forearm - I think the end of the ulna.

Prone surfing seemed to aggravate it, mostly from pushing down on the board when duck diving and popping up. But I was also doing a lot of SUP and OC1 paddling. Anyway, it started in late fall and lasted until late spring.

I found substantial relief using Flex Bars. They are pretty inexpensive and are available online or in some fitness stores. There are several different thicknesses that determine how hard they are to twist. Started with the red bar and progressed to the blue one shortly. The twisting contractions that you do with the flex bars strengthen something in the forearm that results in pain relief and healing. You have to stick with the recommended program, I think I was doing five reps three times and performing that three different times a day. In any event, the tennis elbow in my left arm has diminished greatly and I no longer have to take Ibubrofen or baby it. I've also found that periodically using a support or compression wrap on the forearm/elbow area can also be helpful.

I did try resting it for up to a week - my wife laughs at that and says it's not nearly long enough. But, the resting did not seem to help at all. So, I've continued to paddle, concentrated on good form and used the flex bars periodically. Like I say, it's not totally gone, but it's more of a minor annoyance now than something that threatens to stop me from doing activities that I love. I don't have anything to do with Flex Bar as an employee or anything like that, but I really think they help.
 

Eagle

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Yeah twisting with less force with the Flex Bar seemed to build up something.  Def it hit the problem area at the time so pretty sure it strengthened the weak areas.  Got the green one and that did an ok job.  Now can max out full power and get zero pain.  So something is stronger in there.
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Quickbeam

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If you are looking for short term relief, one of the chiropractors I saw gave me an exercise that seems to help. Take whichever arm is affected and hold it straight out in front of you with the palm of your hand outstretched and facing up. Next take the thumb on your other hand and search on your outstretched arm for a pressure point. It will be close to the joint in your arm (on the inside of your arm which should be palm pointing up).

If you have trouble finding it bend your arm forward and back a few times while searching and you should be able to locate it. You’ll know it when you find it. It hurts.

Once you find the pressure point, apply pressure with your thumb while at the same time bending your arm at the joint, and while doing this also bend your wrist forward. And then, still while applying pressure, bend your arm back out straight, while at the same time straightening your wrist out. Do this a few times and you should get some relief.

Should also mention that this is for golfer's elbow. Have no idea if it would work for tennis elbow.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 10:03:00 PM by Quickbeam »
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UKRiverSurfers

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Clenching tight grip = tight elbow.. Every time.

Not just in paddlesports...

Look closely at my avatar and you'll notice that I am only holding the shaft loosely with extended fingers. Even in WW.

Look at 'Top' white water SUPers (naming no names) and they are squeezing the hell out of the paddle. Its all wrong folks :D
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 01:32:25 AM by UKRiverSurfers »
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Badger

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I had Tennis Elbow a few years ago.

I found the Tennis Elbow Classroom website to be helpful. There's no telling whether it cured me or if the pain went away by itself but the guy seems to know what he's talking about. It was worth the $57.

https://tenniselbowclassroom.com/

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« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 03:41:16 AM by Badger »
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