IASTM & Treatment of Golf Elbow Injuries

Looking for information on treatments using IASTM for golf elbow injuries? Then check out this great blog by golf medical pro & certified IASTM practitioner Dr Shane Lawlor.

IASTM for golf elbow injuries

by Dr Shane Lawlor

IASTM For Golf Elbow Injuries : An Introduction


IASTM for golf elbow injuries

Elbow pain is one of the most common symptoms I see in amateur golfers, second only to lower back pain. Whilst it is less common in pro golfers, elbow injuries still occur often enough for me to regularly treat them working on the PGA and European tours.

You will commonly know these elbow issues as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. Most noteworthy and ironically “Tennis Elbow” outweighs “Golfers Elbow” an incredible 5:1 ratio in the golfers that suffer elbow pain.

Golf elbow injuries usually happen because of one or more of the following factors:

  • Bad Technique – most common in amateurs.
  • Overuse as a result of hitting too many balls – most common in professionals.
  • Physical Limitations.
  • Hitting off of a hard surfaces.


IASTM For Golf Elbow Injuries : The Importance of Screening

IASTM for golf elbow injuries

Whilst the elbow may be injured and painful it’s rarely the only issue. The elbow is often a “weak link” that can be irritated by issues elsewhere in the body. That’s why a good screening process is important for golfers. If we only treat the location of the symptoms we may miss an issue that is contributing to the pain, stopping the injury healing quickly or likely cause further injury in the future.

Any golfer that I meet at our clinic or out on tour will be expertly assessed using an extensive screening process. This always starts with a good history of the injury and golfer. Teasing out small details such as their sleeping position can make all the difference. One of the most common reasons a player’s elbow does not heal is not from their swing but from their sleeping position. Sleeping on their arm, or with it elevated above their head, may prevent you from fixing the problem no matter what therapies you provide.

We spend time looking at how the player moves. Using the Titleist Performance Institute’s (TPI) golf specific screen highlights the players individual physical limitations that may affect your golf swing, increase your chances of injury and most likely contribute to any existing injuries such as back, wrist, neck or elbow pain.

We also use orthopaedic, neurological, palpation and IASTM diagnostic techniques. Many people think that Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation (IASTM) is purely used as a therapy but this isn’t the case. There are IASTM diagnostic techniques that can help enhance and support a medical professional’s physical screening findings.

IASTM For Golf Elbow Injuries : An Integrated Treatment Approach.

At the Lawlor Clinic we believe in a team approach and work alongside your golf coach and fitness professional to get you back to full health. We also believe in an integrated treatment approach. From the assessment results we build a treatment and rehabilitation program specific to you.

Therapies we commonly incorporate for golf elbow injuries include the following techniques:

Active Release Techniques

Elbow Active Release Technique

 Active Release Techniques (ART®) is a patented hands on soft tissue treatment that allows us to locate and break up scar tissue following injury. ART is renowned for its quick results and impact on performance.

Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy

Deep tissue laser therapy is a non-invasive technique for damaged tissues. It is also widely used as a pain relief therapy. It is highly effective for conditions in which other techniques have failed. Class IV lasers are able to penetrate deeper into the tissues than other lasers, adding to its effectiveness to treat areas that may be missed by other lasers.

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation (IASTM)

IASTM for Golf Elbow Injuries

As well as its help as a diagnostic tool, IASTM has a range of therapeutic techniques. These can help remodel injured ligaments, loosen up tight muscles and increase restricted range of motion. This diverse variety of applications makes it a great accompaniment to other therapies.

Corrective Exercises

Here’s a video of a few examples of corrective exercises I prescribed for elbow injuries and when to use them.

Want to find out more about Shane and the team at Lawlor Clinic? Then why not check out his practitioner profile.

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