This my complete dog walker`s elbow guide with 6 easy steps on how to avoid this common injury.
In this new guide, you will learn some of the following:
- What is dog walker`s elbow?
- Why you should never wrap the leash
- Never put fingers under the collar
- Always opt for a shorter leash
- Walk and Never Run
- Why your shoes are a huge factor
- Pay attention or else
According to various studies, it has been found that owning a dog just might be the answer to a longer life.
Your canine companion provides you with the emotional support you need for your well-being.
It can be a true joy to own a dog.
Coming back home to your bundle of joy waiting for you is a real treat.
No animal expresses love better than a dog – sorry cat lovers.
So, if you love your dog as much as it loves you, then, it is pertinent that you take good care of it.
It is common for dog owners to make mistakes that end up injuring their dog.
However on the other hand, love can hurt.
Dog related injuries are on the rise and that is why it is important that you are more careful and avoid making simple mistakes.
One of the most painful dog related injury is a dog walkers elbow (or shoulder, or wrist).
It is a repetitive strain injury which is quite similar to the common tennis elbow injury.
The injury is caused when you walk your dog that starts to pull and put pressure on your elbow joint and connecting tissues.
Is your elbow pain getting worse and not going away? Be sure to read my in-depth post on the exact cause and more importantly what you need to do right now if you ever want to get rid of it for good.
It had been first noticed in 1981 when an American doctor noted certain symptoms as he walked his dog.
The main cause of dog walkers elbow is believed to be from persistent and repetitive control of the leash and the over-loading of the tendon attachments at your elbow.
If you have a friend or someone you know who has suffered from dog walker’s elbow and are afraid that you might end up with this condition as well, it is vital that you continue reading as this post will help you better understand what it is and how you can avoid it.
You can also check out our friends post on this very topic over at Dogster.com. There are some great little nuggets of info in there.
Before you find out how to avoid this condition, it is important that you understand what the injury actually is.
According to the definition, it is an elbow injury which results from months or even years of pulling and holding on to a leash, or rather being pulled by your dog – instead of you walking him/her.
It can also arise all of a sudden when your dog gives a big jerk.
If the injury involves pain to the tendon that is attached to the outer elbow, then it is a tennis elbow and if it is attached to the inner elbow, then it is a golfer’s elbow.
This injury is more common than you think and as the number of dog owner rises, so will the amount of injuries reported.
It is obvious that the injury depends on the location and not the activity. Now, you can go with the term dog walker’s elbow, but, the technical term is either golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow.
When you take your dog out for a walk and a squirrel or any other animal comes, chances are that your dog will use all its energy to move quickly towards the squirrel.
Today.com`s article on this topic is a great read that is not to be missed.
This has a devastating effect on your elbow as it absorbs all the energy unleashed by your dog.
The following tips will help you avoid this nagging injury:
One of the mistakes that can prove costly is wrapping the leash.
It might seem safe to loop the handle of the leash around the wrist or fingers instead of having to hold it into your palm.
However, this has an adverse effect.
The thing is that if your dog takes off, it would happen very quickly and you would not have any time to unleash your hold from the leash.
Hence, by the time you even realize that your dog is chasing something, you might end up suffering from a fracture of could easily fall down.
Moreover, this should not be taken lightly as it is not as simple as bone breaks from slamming a finger in the door.
Such injuries are nasty because the leash twists the fingers or wrist viciously.
Thus, it is possible for the bones to separate which could also result in tendon, ligament, and cartilage damage.
You might end up needing surgery which could have been avoided in the first place.
Furthermore, recovery from this condition could take several months to even a year in order to fully recover.
There are some people who have never managed to completely recover from dog walker’s elbow.
On the other hand, if you hold your dog’s leash in the palm of your hand similar to a baseball bat or golf club, you would have far greater control over your dog.
You would also pay more attention to your dog and have a firm grasp of what is happening. If you feel your dog pulling away, you will be able to easily loosen or tighten the grip.
Another thing that you should always keep in mind is that you should never put any of your fingers under the collar as it could prove extremely harmful.
You could end up suffering from severe twisting fractures when your dog pulls away or jumps when your fingers are under its collar.
The injury is similar to when the finger of a football player is caught up in the face mask of another player and that player tries to take move away.
If you have a dog, you need to remind yourself to never put your fingers under your dog’s collar.
It is a better idea to punch the collar along the edges or you could grasp the attachment ring rather than the collar as you fasten the leash.
You might need some practice to do so, but it is a lot safer.
Moreover, it is also important that you do not grab your dog from the collar when separating it from another dog because you would put yourself at risk of fracture.
It is also possible for the dog to bite you in such a case because it would be aggressive.
You need to be more careful when you take a larger and more muscular dog outside for a walk as it would have much stronger jaws.
A tip that will prove incredibly useful is opting for a short leash.
The longer the leash, the harder it would be to pull your dog and the more trouble your dog would cause.
Thus, you should avoid the leash being too long as a lot of built up energy would transfer to you.
It could result in you getting dragged or falling down which would lead to a severe fracture or bruises.
Besides just a wrist or hand fracture, it is also possible for you to suffer from ligament or tendon damage.
Dislocation of your shoulder or elbow is also possible in a longer leash.
By opting for a short leash you provide little leeway to your dog and can stop your dog easily.
When you take your dog for a walk, you should also walk.
Do not make the mistake of riding a skateboard, scooter, or bike while walking your dog as it could prove disastrous.
The same goes for roller skating and rollerblading.
The thing is that when you are on wheels, you are less stable and off-balance as compared to when walking.
Thus, if your dog starts to run suddenly, it would lead to severe injury.
The most common elbow injuries are golfers and tennis elbow.
If you want to know the difference between the 2 and to know which one you most likely have, check my post on the 3 differences between golfers and tennis elbow – fully explained.
Just like you should not wear hills when climbing hills or going for a hike, similarly you should not wear them when walking a dog.
You need to make sure that you always wear the right footwear when you take your dog outside for a walk.
Whether it is snowing or icy outside, it is important that you wear appropriate shoes.
On the other hand, if it is warm outside, you will need to wear shoes that provide stability and do not trip you off when your dog starts to pull away or changes direction suddenly.
Hence, it is a good idea to ditch the high heels, clogs, slippers, sandals, and flip-flops when taking your dog for a walk.
Moreover, you should be aware of the weather and terrain to wear the right shoes.
Finally, the most important thing that you should keep in mind when walking your dog is that you should always pay attention.
It is the most important tip that could help you avoid getting dog walker’s elbow in the first place.
Most dog related injuries occur due to a lack of attention.
If you are constantly distracted when you walk your dog, you would end up getting injured.
Therefore, avoid using your phone or listening to music when you walk your dog as a little distraction could prove disastrous.
Besides, when walking a dog, you should be spending time with your bundle of joy rather than doing something else.
Now that you have learned that the injury you have suffered is identical to tennis elbow, watch this simple 5 step video tutorial on how to cure it at home.