Bowling Injuries

 

 

 

Bowling has been a billion-dollar a year industry for the United States since the 1940s. It might not be given the recognition it deserves by sport’s mainstream media, but bowling is actually one of the most popular sports in the world, with over 100 million participants. Today, there are collegian bowlers; recreational bowlers; and men and women competing in amateur, semiprofessional, and professional leagues and tournaments across the world. Many think of bowling as a fun, benign sport. However, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System found that there were over 23,000 bowling-related injuries treated by U.S. hospitals in 1997.

How Do Bowling Injuries Happen?

The nature of the game and the rules and regulations for the sport don’t lend to very many traumatic injuries. Of course, there is the risk of a slip and fall or a player dropping a ball on his/her foot, but the majority of bowling injuries are considered overuse injuries. Unlike traumatic injuries, overuse injuries are the result of repetitive and/or strenuous actions placing stress on the body’s muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, and so forth. For example, a professional bowler will commonly play over fifty games a week and throw a sixteen pound bowling ball for ten frames per game. This may seem like a rather simple action, but when consistently repeated over and over, it can cause a great deal of stress and wear and tear to the player’s body. Poor body mechanics and poorly fitting equipment can also contribute to overuse injuries.

What Are Some Common Bowling Injuries?

Bowler’s Elbow

Bowler’s elbow is also called bowler’s tendinitis and golfer‘s elbow, but the technical medical term for the condition is medial epicondylitis. In any event, it’s an inflammatory condition occurring around a bump on the inside of the elbow called the medial epicondyle. This is the attachment point for the common flexor tendon of the forearm muscles. As the wrist is flexed and the hand grips the bowling ball, the forearm muscles pull upon the common flexor tendon to move the hand and wrist into a throwing position. This is a repetitive motion in bowling and can frequently cause the common flexor tendon to become inflamed and degenerate and thicken over time - medial epicondylitis. The main symptom is pain and tenderness along the inside of the elbow. The pain may spread to the forearm and wrist area and even include a numb or tingling sensation. The bowler may also notice a weakened hand grip and inflammation around the elbow.

Herniated Disc

The bones that form the spine in your back are called vertebrae, each of which are separated and cushioned by spongy fibrocartilage discs that absorb shock during movement. A herniated disc occurs when one of the discs becomes damaged from either overuse, wear and tear, or a traumatic injury to the spine. The disc may dry out and become less flexible, bulge out, or rupture open. Frequent bending, such as a bowler does during the final approach and throw, and carrying a heavy load, such as a bowling ball, at arms length increases the pressure within the discs and frequently leads to herniated discs. Most herniated discs in bowling occur in the lower back, or lumbar spine area. The most common symptom of a herniated disc is a backache. Lumbar herniated discs frequently cause sciatica, or numbness and pain in the buttocks and lower legs.

Finger Sprain

A finger sprain is an injury to one or more of the ligaments in the fingers, most often the collateral ligaments along the sides of the fingers placed inside the bowling ball. The ligament is stretched or torn when the finger is forced past its normal range of motion. This is commonly seen from the weight of holding the bowling ball with the fingers, a poor release, or from a bowling ball that doesn’t properly fit the player’s fingers. Like all sprains, a finger sprain is graded based on how severely the ligament is stretched or torn:

Grade 1: stretching or microscopic tearing.
Grade 2: less than 90% of the ligament is torn.
Grade 3: more than 90% of the ligament is torn.

The most common symptoms of a finger sprain include: swelling, stiffness, pain, and tenderness in the affected finger. Grade three finger sprains may be accompanied by joint instability and immobility.

Of course, these are just a few of the many injuries that bowlers are prone to developing. Various shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tendinitis; knee injuries, such as menisci injuries; hip injuries, such as hip bursitis; and lower and upper extremity muscle strains are also concerns.

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Acute Sinew Liniment

Acute Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

Quickly relieves pain, reduces swelling and inflammation, and breaks up clotted blood and stagnant fluids in the injured area. Stimulates circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues, providing rapid pain relief and faster healing. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $39.95
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Chronic Sinew Liniment

Chronic Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

Strongly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles, thereby quickly relieving pain, stiffness and weakness. Sinew Injury Poultice, Sinew Relaxing Soak, and Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Herbal Ice

Acute Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

This first-aid ice alternative poultice (balm) is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the recovery and healing process. Reduces redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the injured area. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain normal range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Injury Poultice

Chronic Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This poultice (balm) is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful in cold and damp weather. It significantly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and further promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Relaxing Soak and Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $37.95
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Sinew Relaxing Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your injured area. It is used to relax muscles, tendons and ligaments that are in spasm to reduce pain and stiffness and improve range of motion. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Sports Massage Oil

This specially formulated massage oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It penetrates deep into muscle layers to warm and stimulate muscles, increase circulation and relieve tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.
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Sinew Warming Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This soak is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. It is used to bring warmth into the injured area to drive coldness out of damaged tissues and increase local circulation, thereby relieving pain and stiffness in cold weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Our price: $23.95
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