08 Oct Lehman finds releif for nagging elbow injury using Prolotherapy same as Sarasota Clinic Advanced Wellness Center.
Tom Lehman always has loved the challenge of playing in big events, so it’s not surprising that he is excited about this season after an injury-plagued 2008.
During one seven-week stretch this summer, Lehman could play in five major championships, and could tee it up in seven majors combined on the PGA and Champions tours.
The Scottsdale resident, a former PGA Tour Player of the Year and Ryder Cup captain, turned 50 last month and is making his Champions Tour debut Friday in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in Savannah, Ga.
“It’s nice to finally be here,” Lehman said during a conference call Wednesday. “Turning 50 has its ups and downs and one of the true bright spots is being able to have a chance to come out here on the Champions Tour and play golf.”
Lehman, whose partner in the 54-hole event is Bernhard Langer, has shown this season that he still can play the game at a high level. Last month in the Transitions Championship, he held the lead after 54 holes before tying for eighth with a final-round 75. He also was among the early leaders in last week’s Verizon Heritage before tying for 21st.
While that might make it more difficult for some to move over to the senior circuit, the opposite is true for Lehman, who said he would feel better about leaving the PGA Tour when his game is sharp.
“That’s one thing I’ve thought about is, at what point do you say goodbye to the tour?” he said. “I always wanted to do it on a positive note. You don’t want to wear out your welcome.
“So I’ve been looking for that upward note now for a couple of years. That’s why the renewed commitment to my golf game is that I don’t want to just kind of disappear. I’d like to play well and then say goodbye.”
Chances of that happening appeared dim last year when Lehman was bothered by nagging tendonitis in his right elbow. He missed the cut in nine of 17 events and called it a season in August.
It reached a point where, anytime he swung a club higher that his waist, pain would shoot through his elbow and it was even more intense at impact. Lehman tried several forms of treatment before he discovered prolotherapy, a non-surgical procedure for chronic pain.
This year also got off to a rocky start as he missed the cut in his first four events, including the FBR Open, but then the treatment and his work with swing coach Jim Flick started to pay off.
Because of prior commitments and obligations, Lehman plans to play in about 15 PGA and 10 Champions events this year before making a full transition to the senior tour.
Making the move easier is that he has plenty of contemporaries on the senior circuit now and several more will be joining them soon.
Langer, Ben Crenshaw, Mark O’Meara, Nike Price, Jay Haas and Tom Kite are players Lehman has battled often in his career. And this year’s “rookie” crop includes Bob Tway, Fred Couples, Tom Pernice Jr., David Frost and Tommy Armour III.
The Legends field features 12 World Golf Hall of Fame members and the winners of 134 tour titles, including 74 majors.
Already, Lehman said, many of them have tried to scam him on the driving range, which is exactly what he expected.
“You get the same song and dance from everybody,” the former British Open champion said. “It’s a bunch of guys who say they can’t play anymore and, ‘Just take it easy on us.’ I know better. That’s like being set up on the first tee . . . and the guy shoots 66.
“I find if very enjoyable to hear that because these guys are having fun but they are still competitive and still know how to win.”
Last month, Lehman said this year’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine, near his hometown of Minneapolis, could mark the end of his PGA Tour days.
“I shouldn’t open my mouth, but that to me seems like the way to go out,” he said. “PGA Championship, in my hometown, go play, say bye-bye.
“But only if I’m playing well.”
Elbow pain with golfers is usually medial epicondylitis. This is where the tendon inserts onto the bone and due to repetitive stress the area becomes damaged and weak. Prolotherapy is usually with dextrose and a anesthetic such as lidocaine which is injected into thwe damaged area in order to produce a local inflammitory response that stimulates strengthening of the area. Usually these area’s like the medial condyle are of a low vascular nature. This makes it hard for the body to heal them on its own and why prolotherapy and also PRP therapy work well for these injuries. We have been performing these treatments since 1998 in our Sarasota clinic.