Prevent tennis elbow and other common injuries from popular warm-weather sports with tips from an orthopedic specialist.
After a long winter and chilly early spring, people are eager to flock to the golf courses and tennis courts. Orthopedic specialist and avid golfer and tennis player Dr. Paul Fragner, of White Plains Hospital Physician Associates – Orthopedic Specialists, shares some tips to help get your game on safely this spring.
Get a Spring Check-Up
Spring is a great time to see your primary care doctor for a yearly check-up to assess overall fitness. “Especially before beginning any kind of new training program, it’s always a good idea to get a baseline,” says Dr. Fragner. “Routine screenings including blood pressure, weight and body mass index (BMI), and basic blood work can provide a good indication that the body is healthy enough to begin or ramp up exercise.”
Golf swings are one-sided and over time can create imbalances of muscle strength, leading to overuse. Exercises including handwalks are a good way to strengthen the elbow and shoulder and prevent injuries. To do a handwalk, bend forward, slowly walk your hands out into a pushup position, and walk your toes toward your hands while keeping your knees straight.
For tennis players, wearing a tennis elbow brace and doing specific exercises to improve forearm muscle strength will reduce the risk of tennis elbow.
Care for the Core
Many experts, including Dr. Fragner, believe core strength is the key to warding off sports-related injuries in most parts of the body. “Dedicating about 20 minutes a few times a week to strengthening the core will provide a foundation for overall fitness, and help prepare you for activities involving repetitive motion,” he says. “Even back, knee, foot and ankle issues originate in the hips, so it pays to keep your core strong.”
To schedule your spring check-up with one of White Plains Hospital’s orthopedic physicians, call 914-849-MyMD.