ECU Tendon Subluxation from Golf
From the outside, golf doesn’t look too risky. There’s no contact with other players and not a lot of cardio to it. “What could possibly go wrong?” asks the non-golfer. Those who know the ins and outs of this aged sport know that the answer to that question is: plenty. Of course, most golf injuries are much less dramatic than those that come from high-impact sports. Instead of happening all at once, golf injuries tend to develop gradually. Most of these injuries occur from overuse, so rest is an effective form of prevention. Joints used in the swing like the knees, hips and wrists take on a lot of stress with every golf game and are at high risk for overuse injury. ECU Tendon Subluxation from golf is one of many wrist-related injuries.
The extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) tendon is a tendon that runs along the outer edge of your wrist on at the pinky side of your hand. The ECU is activated with most movements of the wrist. For golfers, this means that the ECU tendon plays a part in every single swing. This tendon normally fits snugly in its position along the wrist bone, but when ECU tendon subluxation occurs the tendon pops out of place.
The subluxation of the tendon itself is not necessarily a problem. However, the constant friction that’s caused by ECU tendon subluxation quickly leads to inflation. This condition is referred to as ECU tendinitis and plagues many golfers. It manifests as a pain on the outside of the wrist. This pain is often accompanied by a weakened grip or loss of strength in the hand. With ECU tendon subluxation, you may also hear a snapping sound as the tendon moves in and out of place.
ECU tendinitis typically develops in a golfer’s lead hand. Golfers who are in the habit of casting the club put their wrists in a position where the ECU tendon can easily dislocate. For these players and for golfers in general, it’s a good idea to study your swinging techniques. If you don’t know what to look for or how to asses your game, it can even be helpful to arrange a lesson with a professional, no matter how much of a veteran you are. Learning how to fix your posture and your technique can save you from ECU tendon subluxation, tendinitis and other injuries.
If your golf game is currently suffering from a case of ECU tendinitis or subluxation, give it a rest before you sign up for a lesson or play another round. You can ice your wrist to help bring down inflammation. Wear a wrist brace to protect you from straining your wrist further in your day to day activities. Usually dislocation or inflammation of the ECU tendon is resolved using these home-based treatments and will not require surgery.
Once the swelling and pain has gone down in your wrist, look into strengthening the muscles around the joint. Do this for all of the joints used in your golf game by implementing a regular stretching and strengthening routine. The stronger your muscles, ligaments and tendons are, the more stability you’ll feel in your game. The more stability and strength you have, the more protected you’ll be from injury down the road. Subscribe for more info.