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Fly Time

Fishing Elbow

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Fly Time, Sorry to hear about your problem with your fishing elbow. When I first started fly fishing a few years ago, I managed to give myself a very painful case of tennis elbow. As soon as I began to get the basic casts down, I tried to get as much distance as I could with each practice cast. That was sure a recipe for disaster! My tennis elbow got to be so bad that I didn't want to go out and practice my casting since it hurt so much. I was pretty disappointed because I had saved fly fishing for my golden years and I was looking forward to collecting all the gear, tying flies, and fly fishing! I was casting with my right hand and I decided that using my left hand would give me something to practice while I rested my right elbow and gave it time to heal. It was very awkward at first, but each practice session it got a little better with the left hand. Now, I think I throw better loops with my left hand than my right. It's nice to be able to switch from one hand to the other depending on how the wind is blowing. Looking back, I'm now glad that the tennis elbow pushed me in the direction of using my left hand. I just thought that I'd share what worked for me. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

 

Tim

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I will try to develop a cast with my left hand,, It might save the season for me. Not all of my fishing is from shore so that will help too. (boat) Decrease the need for distance .

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Like already mentioned the best thing you can do other than using a two handed rod to share the load is to learn how to cast with both hands/arms. It may be ugly, and painful to deal with at first and a lot of work but it pays off in the long run. Stick with it when it seems like it is pointless. When your arm gets tired take a break then come back to it. It takes a little while to get some stamina in your weak arm.

 

Less wear and tear on the body and it really becomes worthwhile when dealing with the wind or trying to reach a cast around an obstacle or sharing a boat with another fly caster.

 

When I switched up the hardest thing I realized switching over wasn't the casting so much as the line handling with my other hand for hauling and tending line while fishing my fly.

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I found the cortisone shots were great if your doctor is good with the needle and can really hit the spot in your elbow tendons. But you have to lay off activity for 2-3 weeks at least to get the inflammation to subside, while using lots of ice and anti-inflammatory drugs (alleve is my favorite, you can get a prescription for it...prescription strength is a little more than double the over-the-counter recommended dosage). If you try to come back too soon and overdo it, you'll be back where you started and the cortisone shot will have been wasted. I stopped bothering with the shots when my dr. said that once you have tennis elbow/tendinitis you will be dealing with it for the rest of your life, it's never fully cured.

 

So i do lots of stretching and grip and forearm strengthening exercises year round. I use the Theraband Flexbar too, do the exercise recommended in the Flexbar post above. Plus the Flexbar comes with an instruction brochure, do all of the exercises in the booklet. P.T. is good or you can do it on your own, its not hard to find info on good exercises for tennis elbow recovery if you prefer to do it yourself.

 

Learn to recognize when you're overdoing it...your elbow will tell you...and learn to back off before you reinjure yourself.

 

And the posters above are correct, if your casting arm is sore after a day of fishing you're doing something wrong. Your casting arm motion should be almost effortless, all the line speed should be coming from your haul. If you don't already, learn to double haul. Then practice, practice, practice working on effortless casting arm motion combined with hauling for line speed.

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Your points are well taken, I am going to take care of business for sure. I will say though, usually when I fly fish I am not sore but on that particular day I should have stopped because I was tired from a full day of casting and fighting a heavy surf when attempting to wade. My Tech. had to be bad to say the least. Knowing when to say when is another lesson learned!

Thank You for your post and taking the time.

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I found the cortisone shots were great if your doctor is good with the needle and can really hit the spot in your elbow tendons.

 

I stopped bothering with the shots when my dr. said that once you have tennis elbow/tendinitis you will be dealing with it for the rest of your life, it's never fully cured.

 

Cortisone= bad way to go in the long run

 

That orthopedist is wrong (as most of them often are). I heard that a few times when I was suffering from it over the years and luckily disregarded it.

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triumph19

 

I totally agree. There is absolutely no medical evidence that confirms that cortisone injections have any long term effect on Tennis elbow. However the side effects of cortisone are pretty bad and well know to PT and Doctors. Muscle loss is one and I personally don't go a lot on that.

 

Tennis elbow if you have time will in most cases and rest sort itself out but it can take a couple of years. I could not wait that long and elected for PT which was very painful but very effective.

 

I personally could not have carried out the massage applied by my PT in fact it would have been impossible. Plus its very hard to massage your self and cause a lot of pain and to continue the massage. It was 30 minutes of hell and a fight and a challenge not to use the F word.

 

But worth it and 18 months on no sign of TE returning and it will if you over work the tendons in your arm mostly by poor form in whatever activity you are engaging with. In my case Badminton and the aggravated by fly casting when the problem was already established. Yep I was stupid.

 

Mike

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I got to the point that i could not lift a coffee cup. One tennis partner and my co-coach in babe ruth were in the same boat. I rested. Tennis pal got plasma injections and baseball pal got cortizone. We all healed at about the same time.

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Fishing Elbow vs. Golf Elbow vs. Tennis Elbow, what's the difference?

Pain in the elbow caused by fishing is described by orthopedic drs. as "tennis elbow" OUTSIDE the elbow joint, or "golf elbow" which is pain on the inner side of the elbow joint. I have golf elbow and have had it since vigorously casting to far out stripers in the surf last fall. It hasn't gone away. Hurts all the time, even when not fishing.Pushing or pulling something with weight makes it hurt.

 

i've read about this condition. It's suggested I use an "ice cup" 3x a day for the elbow and take ibuprofen 3x a day. Even if I'm not fishing, this pain is always there/ Need to do something about it soon. Ice packs/ibuprofen mostly:)

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flysully

 

I don't think that ice packs and the ibuprofen are serious solutions to your prob. Dare I suggest a visit to your family doctor as a first base start to getting signposted to the right specialist.

 

Mike

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Fishing Elbow vs. Golf Elbow vs. Tennis Elbow, what's the difference?

Pain in the elbow caused by fishing is described by orthopedic drs. as "tennis elbow" OUTSIDE the elbow joint, or "golf elbow" which is pain on the inner side of the elbow joint. I have golf elbow and have had it since vigorously casting to far out stripers in the surf last fall. It hasn't gone away. Hurts all the time, even when not fishing.Pushing or pulling something with weight makes it hurt.

 

i've read about this condition. It's suggested I use an "ice cup" 3x a day for the elbow and take ibuprofen 3x a day. Even if I'm not fishing, this pain is always there/ Need to do something about it soon. Ice packs/ibuprofen mostly:)

 

Sorry to hear about the elbow problems. Might be a good time for you to look into Two Hand fly rods. I tried them a few years back and after much testing and fishing have settled into the ones I prefer to fish with. I still use the One Handers when conditions permit, but much prefer the TH'ers these days. A simple flick and you have 90' of line out of the tip.

 

Wife says hello to you guys.

 

Lou :wave:

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I have to agree with Mike Oliver, have you seen a doctor for this pain or is this self diagnosed? I have had the elbow and shoulder problems for 10 years from swinging a hammer for 20years and have done the rest & wait,PT and the shots. PT was the best result since it also made my arm stronger and the muscles in the surrounding area were able to pick up the some of the slack in helping with pain free range of motion. Also ice and advil will help just don't use the ice for longer than 20 minutes at a time,20 on 20 off.


Hope it gets better.



Joe


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Fishing Elbow vs. Golf Elbow vs. Tennis Elbow, what's the difference?

Pain in the elbow caused by fishing is described by orthopedic drs. as "tennis elbow" OUTSIDE the elbow joint, or "golf elbow" which is pain on the inner side of the elbow joint. I have golf elbow and have had it since vigorously casting to far out stripers in the surf last fall. It hasn't gone away. Hurts all the time, even when not fishing.Pushing or pulling something with weight makes it hurt.

 

i've read about this condition. It's suggested I use an "ice cup" 3x a day for the elbow and take ibuprofen 3x a day. Even if I'm not fishing, this pain is always there/ Need to do something about it soon. Ice packs/ibuprofen mostly:)

 

I acquired my golf elbow shoveling snow last year. Took 9-12 months to get better. I stopped doing anything that made it hurt, and did most of the same forearm and grip strengthening exercises recommended for tennis elbow. Long-term strengthening the muscles around the elbow is the key to fixing the problem. Stronger muscles around the joint allow the muscles to absorb abuse rather than the tendons in the joint.

 

This stretching exercise was great, it really stretches out the golf elbow tendons:

 

Designed to stretch the epicondyle tendons: place your hands flat on a table, twisted 180 degrees to the outside so that your fingers are pointing at your body. (So twist your right hand clockwise, and your left hand anti-clockwise.) Make sure your whole hand is flat on the table, from fingers to the heel of your palm. Now by leaning back away from the table, you will feel your whole forearm muscles and tendons stretch. Stretch them as much as you can comfortably do and hold for 30 seconds.

 

I tried to add a photo but I'm tech challenged today.

 

Do a google search on "Golf elbow exercises", you'll find lots of good stuff.

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I acquired my golf elbow shoveling snow last year. Took 9-12 months to get better. I stopped doing anything that made it hurt, and did most of the same forearm and grip strengthening exercises recommended for tennis elbow. Long-term strengthening the muscles around the elbow is the key to fixing the problem. Stronger muscles around the joint allow the muscles to absorb abuse rather than the tendons in the joint.

 

This stretching exercise was great, it really stretches out the golf elbow tendons:

 

Designed to stretch the epicondyle tendons: place your hands flat on a table, twisted 180 degrees to the outside so that your fingers are pointing at your body. (So twist your right hand clockwise, and your left hand anti-clockwise.) Make sure your whole hand is flat on the table, from fingers to the heel of your palm. Now by leaning back away from the table, you will feel your whole forearm muscles and tendons stretch. Stretch them as much as you can comfortably do and hold for 30 seconds.

 

I tried to add a photo but I'm tech challenged today.

 

Do a google search on "Golf elbow exercises", you'll find lots of good stuff.

 

Appreciate your interest and concern. Thanks for the stretch exercise which led me to investigate physical therapy exercises as well. I will be icing, stretching and doing the P/T exercises as indicated. The golfer's elbow began suddenly last fall when I, as a die-hard flyfisher, found it necessary to use an unaccustomed spin rod for the rest of the fall season. The tight squeezing of my fingers on the thinner rod handle followed by the arm extension for long periods of time every day is what I am told was the cause. That, followed by almost constant snow shoveling /ice chopping all winter seems to have made the condition chronic. Flyfishing now, surprisingly, doesn't seem to aggravate my elbow but any lifting with the arm extended kills so I need to deal with icing, exercises now before it gets even worse. Thanks again for your help.

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