What You Don’t Know About Golfer’s Elbow Can Hurt You

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Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a golfer like a diagnosis of Medial Epicondylitis, better known as Golfer’s Elbow. 

 

 

Golfer’s Elbow belongs to a family of conditions including:

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
Plantar Fasciitis
Patellar Tendinitis
Achilles Tendinitis
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

What is the common denominator in all of these conditions? They all end with the suffix -itis.

What does that mean?

In medical terminology -itis means inflammation, therefore all of these conditions are considered to be inflammatory in nature. In the case of Golfer’s Elbow/Medial Epicondylitis, your doctor will tell you that you have inflammation of the tendon of the elbow.

Unfortunately that terminology is incorrect, therefore traditional treatments that address inflammation are likely unhelpful and possibly harmful.

Why is it wrong?

Over 15 years ago researchers discovered that most tendinitis conditions are actually tendinosis conditions.

Tendinitis, tendinosis – who cares? They are practically the same word!

When it comes to medicine, words matter. The researchers looked at the tendons of people with tendinitis conditions and did not find inflammatory cells. So no inflammatory cells means no inflammation.
Then what is wrong with the tendons?

What the researchers did find was degeneration of the collagen of the tendons (as well as other cellular changes). When viewed under a microscope the tendons appeared brown, dull and soft, whereas normal tendons are white, glistening and firm. In other words, the tendons appeared abnormal and diseased and that’s exactly what the suffix -osis in tendinosis means. Furthermore, tendons that are subject to mechanical overuse or repetitive strain typically show this type of cellular change.

Why does this matter?

What matters is how these terms are used to determine treatment. If your doctor says you have a tendinitis condition, he or she will likely recommend a treatment to address inflammation (such as cortisone shots). However, anti-inflammatory treatments should not be indicated for these conditions. And here’s the kicker they may actually interfere with tendon repair.

So let me get this straight, it’s likely my doctor knows this but is recommending cortisone shots anyway?

In defense of doctors, most offer cortisone shots because they don’t have anything better to offer. There is some evidence that cortisone shots can sometimes help, but the evidence only supports a short term benefit. The long term outcome is fairly grim, which is why most doctors will limit the number of shots in one area to three. Also, there is research showing that repeated cortisone injections into tendon tissue leads to cell death and tendon atrophy. This is a clear example of risk vs. reward. You may be that lucky person who receives tremendous relief from one injection and have no adverse effects (now or in the future) and never have an issue in that area again. Or you may not.

Then what treatments do work without all the risk?

Rest:  Most medical professionals do not emphasize the importance of rest and what constitutes an appropriate rest schedule. This is compounded by the fact that most people either can’t or won’t adhere to an appropriate schedule of rest, even when it is recommended. Here’s a hard fact to swallow, it takes a tendon three months to rebuild collagen. If you are constantly loading that damaged tendon by continuing with your activities, you can be sure it will take much longer than 3 months to rebuild collagen.
Massage/Manual Therapy:  Massage and other related manual therapies address the excess muscle tension and myofascial trigger points that are major contributors to pain that can take a tendinosis condition and make it even worse. In my clinic I have seen symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow resolved in one or two visits, leading me to believe there are instances where excess muscle tension and myofascial trigger points were the culprits and no actual tendinosis existed.

A qualified therapist, particularly one who specializes in Orthopedic Massage, should be able relieve some (if not all) of your pain by restoring normal muscle resting lengths and addressing myofascial trigger points. This type of therapy is a low-risk, high-reward treatment option that is definitely worth exploring.

Notes
1. E Bass, “Tendinopathy: Why the Difference Between Tendinitis and Tendinosis Matters,” International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork 5, no. 1 (March 2012): 14-17.
2. KM Khan et al., “Histopathology of common tendinopathies. Update and implications for clinical management,” Sports Medicine 27, no. 6 (June 1999): 393-408
3. KM Khan et al., “Overuse tendinosis, not tendinitis, part 1: a new paradigm for a difficult clinical problem,” Physician and Sportsmedicine 28, no. 5 (May 2000): 38-48.
4. P Ingraham, “PainScience.com: The Science of Stubborn Aches, Pains, and Injuries.” PainScience.com RSS. Accessed May 3, 2015. https://www.painscience.com/.
5. P Ingraham, “PainScience.com: Repetitive Strain Injuries Tutorial.” PainScience.com RSS. Accessed May 3, 2015. https://www.painscience.com/.

Book Your Pain Relief Seminar Today!

Hello Tennis Club Owners, Managers & Pros,

The Spring weather is FINALLY upon us!  Your members will be itching for outdoor play and trying to shake the rust off after a long New England winter.  You can help your members and your club in the process…because happy members = happy club.

How can you do that?  Book a Freedom Movement Pain Relief Seminar!

Your club members will learn how to self-treat various tennis injuries and you look good in the process.

We are offering FREE bookings during April vacation week (4/20-4/24) and spots are filling FAST.  All you need to do is supply the space and advertise the event to your members with ad material we supply.

What are the actual benefits to hosting a seminar?

It’s a very simple equation…you end up with happier & healthier clients that spend more time in your club.  It’s a win-win for everyone.

Check out our awesome promo flyer below!

Presentation

What are you waiting for? You’ve got nothing to lose!

PROS – YOU DESERVE BETTER CLIENTS!

 

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Would you like to increase client retention and satisfaction? Why clients quit

Would you like to increase client compliance in your programs?

Would you like to gain more clients and more referrals? 

You need BETTER FUNCTIONING CLIENTS!

Why? Because they make you LOOK GOOD!

You know that client, the one that no matter how many times you tell them how to move their body – and they just CAN’T do it?

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Do they not understand your instruction? Could you do a better job demonstrating? Are they trying to drive you INSANE?

Nope. None of the above.

They don’t do it because they can’t do it. Their bodies just won’t let them.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had someone who could address your client’s physical limitations, freeing you up to work on technique, power and strategy – the stuff you love to teach, right?

That’s where I come in – I am a Pain & Performance Specialist with specialized training from the International Tennis Performance Association and the Titleist Performance Institute. I have developed a comprehensive system that will revolutionize the way your clients respond to your golf or tennis instruction.

INTRODUCINGTHE GAME ON! POWER &

I’m sure you have questions, such as:
Q. Why not just send them to a massage therapist?
A. Traditional massage techniques simply cannot achieve our level of results.

Q. Why not just send them to a personal trainer?
A. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but just exercise (even corrective exercise ) is rarely the
answer.

Q. Why not just send them to a physical therapist?
A. That’s better, but physical therapists don’t spend a lot of time doing manual work. And manual work is the juice, because in addition to being good for you, it feels good. It keeps your clients vested in the entire program because it’s so reinforcing.

Q. Why not send them to an orthopedist?
A. Do you ever want to SEE your clients again? Typically once they head down the orthopedic road, it’s a never ending merry-go-round of activity restrictions, injections, medications and surgeries.

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What do you need to do to gain these benefits? Refer them to me. That’s it! Give me the privilege of being your “go-to”, the one you refer your tough clients to without hesitation.

Call (781)780-2480 to schedule your complimentary appointment today.

Let’s do something great together!

 

Thank You Veterans!

 

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As a special thank you in honor of Veterans Day, we are offering free 30 minute massages for retired and active duty military. You also have the option to upgrade to a 1 hour massage for only $40!  This event will be held on Tuesday, November 11th.  Book now, as a limited number of slots are available!

Call, text or email to schedule an appointment or for more details.

781-780-2480

gameon@gameontherapeutix.com

Please come in uniform (we’d love to get your photo for our Facebook page) or bring your military ID or other proof of service.

 

Study Shows Massage Heals Muscles!

Let the healing begin!

Let the healing begin!

 

I came across a study that I’d love to share with you because educated clients are the best kind of clients! You can go directly to the related articles linked below if you’d like. Or stick around, and I will do my best to outline the important points of this study.

How Massage Heals Muscles – The New York Times

Massage’s Mystery Mechanism Unmasked – Science

Now let’s talk about the study, which was published in Science Translational Medicine. It came about because Mark Tarnopolsky, a neurometabolic researcher at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, suffered a severe hamstring injury in a water skiing accident. The massage therapy he received did such a great job relieving his pain that was determined to find out why.

In the study, test subjects had a tissue sample taken from their quadriceps muscles (that’s the thigh muscle), and then participated in an intense cycling session. Ten minutes after their workout, one of their legs was massaged. Then researchers took two more tissue samples, one 10 minutes after the massage, and one 3 hours after the workout.  The genetic profiles of each sample were then compared.

There were clear differences in samples of the massaged legs vs. the un-massaged legs. The massaged legs had had three times less of NFkB, which turns on genes associated with inflammation. They also had 30% more of a gene called PGC-1alpha, which helps muscle cells build mitochondria. In case you forgot your biology, Mitochondria make energy. Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cells, as they generate the energy that our cells need to do their jobs. They are pretty important little buggers!

So what the heck does all this mean?

These results suggest that massage suppresses the inflammation that follows exercise while promoting faster healing.

To summarize:

  • Massage turns on genes that help muscles heal
  • Massage turns off genes associated with inflammation

If you beat on your body in sports or at the gym you should definitely be making regular massage a part of your post-exercise recovery routine.  And nothing fuels you through a workout like knowing you will be enjoying a massage after all your hard work!

 

Golf Pros: Where Have All the Golfers Gone? Retaining Clients in a Sport on the Decline

bw golfFor the game of golf, the statistics are pretty bleak:

  • 400,000 players left the game in 2013 (National Golf Foundation)
  • 200,000 of those players were under 35 (National Golf Foundation)
  • 2013 marked the 8th straight year that more courses closed than opened (National Golf Foundation)
  • US golfers played 462 million rounds of golf in 2013, the fewest since 1995 (Golf Datatech)
  • 61% of golfers are over 50 years old (National Golf Foundation)

What does this mean for golf pros?

  • You have fewer new clients
  • You have fewer younger clients
  • Your current clients are older and are facing declining physical health

So what can you do? Grab ahold of that 61% of older golfers and keep them in the game for as long as possible. How can you do that? Develop a relationship with a skilled massage therapist and you will have an invaluable resource for your clients. But not all massage therapists are alike, so take the time to find one that has specialized training in treating sports specific issues and prescribing corrective exercises. In fact, there are many massage therapists who have golf specific training and certification. If you express an interest in developing a referral relationship, most therapists will provide you with a complementary sample session, so you can see what kind of service your clients can expect. Do your homework and due diligence and your clients will reap the rewards.

Refer your clients early and often, before the inevitable loss of mobility or injury occurs. With consistent massage therapy and corrective exercises your clients will gain and retain mobility, stability and flexibility. They will function better, be easier to teach and see more results, allowing you to focus on teaching the skills you love to teach without worrying about physical restrictions.

It’s a win-win for you AND your clients.

5 Ways Massage Will Help Your Golf Game

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There are many muscular restrictions that can get in the way of your golf game.  Receiving massages on a regular basis keeps those muscles loose and relaxed, so you can focus on your game – not your pain.

 

 

 

Here are 5 ways massage will help your golf game:

 

1.  Relaxes the hip and glute muscles, allowing the hips to fully rotate and the pelvis to fully pivot over the leg.

2.  Relaxes the shoulder muscles, allowing the shoulders to fully rotate around the spine.

3.  Relaxes the spinal and abdominal muscles, allowing the torso to fully rotate.

4.  Relaxes the glute and thigh muscles, preventing knee pain.

5.  Relaxes the forearm muscles, preventing golfer’s elbow pain.

 

The next time you have a frustrating and disappointing round of golf, try a massage instead of new equipment or a round of lessons.  The solution just may be easier than you think!

The Time is Now!

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Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time,” is like saying, “I don’t want to.”
~ Lao Tzu

The Time is Now!

Put yourself and your well-being first, for once.

Now that summer is winding down, it’s time to look at what you what to accomplish before the end of the year.

Take the time to improve your golf or tennis game.
Make the time to finally address that nagging pain.
Carve out some time that’s just about YOU.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

What’s the common denominator here? Time. We all never seem to have enough of it. But the truth is, it’s up to us to make the time for ourselves because it will never magically appear. Jobs, kids, household responsibilities and just plain life will get in the way. Every. Single. Time.

I understand how hard it is, I don’t have a lot of time either. In addition to my “real” job I’m working hard to get Game On Therapeutix up off the ground with a solid client base. My dream is to be able to spend my days doing what I love and helping you all in the process.  None of this leaves a lot of time for me.

But I recently took steps to improve my own health and well-being and I can’t believe I waited so long. Why did I do it? It finally occurred to me if I didn’t do this for myself, nobody was going to do it for me. I needed to do it for myself.

You need to do it for YOURself!

What do YOU need?

To rectify a physical limitation that’s affecting your golf or tennis game
To address that painful lower back, or knee, or hip, etc.
Or just a full body sports massage

It’s up to you to do it!

Put yourself and your well-being first, for once!