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The sport of darts is played in just about every country around the world.
Enjoy by both women and men alike, the sport has exploded on the international stage.
Individuals are making serious money at the professional levels.
But here is the thing …
It does not matter if you just like a game a few times a week at your local pub or play on the professional tour, and injury known as dart throwers elbow can really set you back and have you sitting in your chair as a spectator.
And if you do not take proactive measures to address the pain, you may not be throwing a dart again for months, or worst case scenario – years!
The game of darts goes way back in time.
Well before my time and my parents time.
Predating the World Wars, men would gather mainly in British pubs for a game.
It was definitely a form of entertainment and a way to pass time.
It would also bring people together and create a competitive, friendly atmosphere.
Bars and pubs loved it because it kept individuals longer inside which resulted in higher sales.
It was definitely a win-win situation!
Back then, the boards themselves were made from wood.
At the end of the night, they would have to put the dartboard in water to soak overnight.
This would allow the wood to swell to cover over the holes made by the darts the previous night.
And how times have changed.
Dartboards of today are either manufactured with cork or from sisal fibers.
As with the evolution of any sport, injuries are part of the game.
The longer you play a sport, the higher the chance/risk of injury.
You do not need to be NASA scientist to know this.
It really does not matter how much you train or how fit you are.
Overdoing it on any level, especially with repetitive movements, you are simply a ticking time bomb.
And this is no different with Darts.
Even though the game itself is non-contact, injuries to the fingers, hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders and back are very common.
And this is why you are here reading this article and post.
Be sure to also visit our friends over at Oxford Reference for more great tips and insightful info on how to best tackle your condition.
You have landed on this page because you are most likely suffering from the most common injury that occurs in Dart players – the dreaded throwers elbow.
The question we all need answered is …
How does dart thrower`s elbow develop anyway?
This is a non-contact sport!
Look no further than the actual motion of throwing a dart.
And not just three darts at a time.
How many darts do you throw each game?
Could be as low as 18 and as high as 100`s.
Of course we would all love to throw just 18 darts / game but the simple fact is that not even pro`s are able to do this each game.
And even professionals can develop this stubborn elbow problem.
There is no arguing throwing darts is a repetitive movement and action.
As a result you can develop a nasty and stubborn repetitive strain injury in your elbow.
If we look deeper into the mechanics and setup of this actual motion, we can quickly assess and pinpoint how injuries can develop, especially in the elbow.
The setup and your body’s alignment to the board.
We want to have a perfect setup to the dart board with each throw.
Now you may be thinking, this is common sense but …
You need to take into consideration all these elements and because we are dealing with a repetitive injury, form and technique are paramount if …
You ever want to completely recover and heal so it never happens again.
It is vital that your shoulders, elbow and throwing hand form a direct and straight line to the board.
If your elbow is not aligned properly with your shoulder, with each throw you are putting unwanted stress on the connective tissues at your elbow.
Overtime, this will become your setup and a bad setup at that.
The second thing to keep in mind is the pace at which you throw the dart towards the board.
Your hand, wrist, forearm and elbow help propel the dart but it is your shoulder that provides stability.
The best and safest position is to allow you elbow to slightly elevate as you extend your arm as you throw the dart.
It is vital that you maintain the same pace and speed with each delivery.
This will allow you to be consistent and hit the triple 20`s at will.
But on the finish your elbow should be level.
I cannot stress how important this is.
All of the great Pro`s finish their delivery with a perfectly, level and flat elbow.
You will know if your elbow is level, if the darts are all pointed downward on the board.
If you drop your elbow on release, you will spray the darts high and low all over the dart board.
Leaning too far forward, too far back and even dropping your chin, will all cause your elbow not to be level and your Dart scores will suffer and show for it.
Not to mention, your elbow will take a beating as well.
The third thing to consider is the way you grip your dart.
This sounds a little silly but you need to consider it all if you ever want to stay healthy and continue on with this sport.
If you watch professional dart players, they always aim and point the dart towards the board.
They are always aiming in the flight plane / flight path the dart will travel.
Your average, amateur dart player usually hold their darts sideways and downwards before they are ready to make a throw.
Fourth, take a closer look at your stance.
It is not uncommon to see amateurs and sometime professionals sway or lean a little just before they are ready to throw.
An unbalanced stance will not help your game improve.
Really bare down and try to keep a steady stance without swaying.
Of course, your stance will be affected by the amount of alcohol you consume …
So limit your intake when playing :)
As for foot position,
The most successful dart players usually stand perpendicular to the board.
Point your toes forward will cause instability and most likely an uneven throw.
And last …
But not least of all …
Look at changing the weight of your Darts.
Now you might be thinking that I am joking but I assure you, I am not.
While darts are not heavy to begin with, you need to look at how quickly this can add up over weeks, months and years.
I guarantee if you decrease the weight of the dart, this will provide some level of elbow pain relief over the many years that you plan on staying healthy in the game.
This also applies to really any other kind of sport where you can decrease the weight of the “tool” you are using to swing, hit or strike.
Sounds simple yet so under utilized and overlooked.
If you are not on point with each of these 5 tips, you will put undue and unwanted stress on your elbow and other forearm flexors and extensors.
To be a little more specific, the attachment point at your elbow will begin to swell and inflammation will set it.
You may not notice it at first but …
At the end of the night, your elbow may start to throb and it may even keep you awake at night.
Micro tears start to develop and massive pain will set in.
What most people do not know about this injury is that it is exactly the same as tennis elbow.
Now to be absolutely sure …
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the pain on the outside of your forearm near your elbow?
- Does your elbow pain increase as your game goes on?
- Simple actions such as turning a doorknob or twisting the lid off a jar cause pain and discomfort in your elbow?
- Does your pain get worse at night?
- Can you make a strong fist with your affected arm without wincing in pain?
- Does your elbow sometimes feel hot or perhaps like someone is holding a match to it?
- Can you fully extend your affected arm and extend your wrist upwards without pain?
If you can relate to any of these …
Or even say Yes to one of these questions, then you definitely have tennis elbow.
And if you think that wearing a bulky elbow brace or elastic sleeve will give you just enough pain relief you are seeking so you can continue playing…
Because wearing the medical gadgets are a complete waste of time and money.
Not to mention, they actually make things worse.
Check out my post on why wearing a tennis elbow brace is not a good idea and you will learn exactly why.
But do no worry because you are not alone …
And I will show you a quick video tutorial that will not only put a stop to your pain but …
It will allow you to continue throwing darts as you recover from your condition.
How great does that sound?
So what does this mean for you?
Well first of all, you do not have to wait for an appointment with your Doctor OR
Take time out of your busy day or take time off your for non stop Doctor visits OR
No need to waste money on useless exercise gadgets or medical devices that only take away your money and not your pain…
Never have to worry about getting painful cortisone shots in your elbow that only provide 4 weeks of pain relief and …
Then you are right back to where you started in the first place.
No worrying about whether you will have to go under the knife and be off work without pay for weeks or even months…
Because everything you need in this video tutorial, you already have at home!
So are you ready to get started and get back to hitting 180`s with the boys in the pub or at home?
I bet you are …
Click here right now to see the video that will give you a blueprint for success.
is the author of Tennis Elbow Secrets Revealed which has been teaching individuals how to overcome their tennis elbow injury at home since 2005 with over 1,767,986 copies sold.
He is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Exercise Rehab Specialist based in Vancouver, BC, Canada