Any sport can cause some kind of injury, and fencing is not an exception. In reality fencing actually requires high level of agility and intense physical load that over time can increase risk of injury .
The most common cause is overuse or repetitive strain caused by repeated extension or bending back of the wrist against resistance. Gripping heavy objects, weight training or extensive load on the wrist over extended period of time will also cause fencingÂ elbow. This is seen much more often than in fencers, tennis players and golf players. Frequently it is referred as a “tennis elbow”.
If you fence then it is possible a poor weapon holdingÂ technique is responsible. If the wrist is bent when executing an action the huge forces are transferred through the tendons to the elbow rather than through the entire arm. Also, if your pistolÂ grip that is too small then this will make the muscles work harder increasing the forces through the tendon. Light blades like Leon Paul will transmit more shock and energy the forearm from the hard parry or intense take of the blade.
FencingÂ elbow treatment
No single treatment has been shown to be totally effective, however a combination of the treatments below are known to resolve fencingÂ elbow over time. Each individual will react differently to different treatments. In addition to the correct diagnosis it is important to identify and correct any fencingÂ elbow causes either work related or sport related and a good fencingÂ coach should also be able to provide advice.
Rest and Ice
Rest is an extremely important component of treatment and the patient that fails to rest the elbow sufficiently will struggle. Activities which place a large strain on the elbow such as gripping things, opening heavy doors, using a screw driver should all be avoided if possible. Applying ice or cold therapyÂ to the elbow (15 mins up to six times a day) to reduce pain and inflammation is a good start, particularly in the early days.
Both stretching and strengthening exercises are important and should be done as soon as pain allows and continued after full fitness has been achieved. Wrist extension exercises are most important where the aim is to gradually increase the load through the tendon so it can cope with what is being demanded of it. More Information…
Manual therapy treatments such as massage therapy, myofacial release and transverse friction techniques across the tendon can be very effective,Â especially if initial rest and ice is unsuccessful. Trigger points or tiny localized knots in the forearm muscles are often found and can be treated with massage techniques.