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#124745 - 04/07/10 01:14 AM Hand pain related to bowling
pagedownwarhammer Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 4
A/S/L: 18/M/Knoxville TN
I have already checked google and did a forum search but found nothing for my problems.

I have just recently started bowling in February and I like it a lot. At first it was once a week, then in late February it was about twice a week and for the first half of march it was 2-3 times a week bowling. With an average of 3-5 games of bowling per visit.

My problem is this, about halfway through March I woke up one morning after bowling the previous night and had extreme pain in my Middle and Ring fingers. I also noticed that they were extremely swollen. After 2 or 3 minutes of rubbing it the swelling went down and the pain went away, and for the rest of the day I was fine. The next morning, and for 3 or 4 mornings after that, the swelling was back, and getting worse, but after 5 or so days of it, it was gone the next day.

The next time I bowled, it all came back again, and lasted about 4 or 5 days. After the 3rd week of this I stopped bowling. And the pain was relatively low, until it went away completely, so I thought I could bowl again and afterwards I iced it, but to no avail the next morning the pain was back and worse than ever. I haven't gone to a doctor because I won't re-qualify for my parents health insurance until this August when I am a full time student again.

To clarify the pain is ONLY in my Middle finger, Ring finger, and wrist. and the swelling is only in the two fingers. Has anyone had this problem, or knows what might help prevent it? My stepmom said she thinks I have "bowlers" elbow, but I've never heard of that and how is that related to my fingers?

I bowl with an 11 house ball, but I have to choose between holes that are too big, or too small and I use the holes that are slightly too big. I'm a right-handed straight bowler with a 5-step approach and a 110 average.
I took some Tylenol PM (An anti-inflammatory) but it didn't help.

I bowled again tonight, but this time with a wrist brace, hoping that helps, and I iced it when I came home.


Edited by pagedownwarhammer (04/07/10 01:16 AM)

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#124750 - 04/07/10 01:58 AM Re: Hand pain related to bowling [Re: pagedownwarhammer]
TAR31 Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 04/03/10
Posts: 240
A/S/L: 24/M/NC
interesting i would like to know also b/c i'm never had pain before but i have been having slight pain on my ring finger in the first crease/joint. could it come from bowling too much b/c i normally bowl 1-2 times a week but last couple of weeks have been 3 sometimes 4?


Edited by TAR31 (04/07/10 01:59 AM)
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#124753 - 04/07/10 02:25 AM Re: Hand pain related to bowling [Re: pagedownwarhammer]
MikeHL Offline
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Registered: 09/11/09
Posts: 763
A/S/L: 34/M/da U.P. of Michigan, eh
First, welcome! I'm also very new -- picked up a tenpin ball in earnest less than 6 months ago after half a lifetime in a different type of bowling not found anywhere in the world outside of New England (where I grew up) and maritime Canada.

Originally Posted By: pagedownwarhammer
I bowl with an 11 house ball, but I have to choose between holes that are too big, or too small and I use the holes that are slightly too big.

Here's your problem in one sentence. If you want to assure yourself frequent, pain-free bowling, you're going to need your own ball fitted for your hand. If there are any people you know around who are really avid players w/a few balls (or more than a few) in their arsenal, ask them all where they get their gear and where they get it drilled.

It's a big deal to ask where to have your ball(s) drilled. The finger pain that I've had came from a drilling of my first ball that the nearest Pro Shop botched 6 ways from Sunday. My ring and middle fingers would throb in pain for 3 days after every session. As you might guess, I won't let them touch anything of mine again and have switched to a different shop who plugged the offending fingerholes and re-drilled.

(My middle finger is a little tender now, too, bc I made the mistake of tossing off 12+ games in one night 2 weeks ago. The scorer was off and I was practicing, so I don't even know exactly how many it was. I didn't feel any pain that night, but the next morning I only had about half the normal range of motion in the knuckle closest to the fingertip. It only rested itself back to normal yesterday.)

It's probably going to kill you to hear this, but STOP BOWLING until the swelling, tenderness and pain go away. If you hit the lanes earlier than that, you'll only make it worse. It doesn't sound like you bowl in any leagues at this point, so there's no worry about missing anything or putting teammates in a difficult spot if you're hurt. smile

It's also worth noting that if you're using equipment that fits your hand properly, you'll be able to use heavier gear than 11 pounds -- 13 at a minimum would be my guess. In the month I used house balls, 13 seemed to be the best weight for me to handle. 14 would feel fine for a game or two but after 3 or 4 it would wear away at me and feel like a bit too much. 15-pound gear drilled for my hand works just fine. smile

I'm just starting to learn to generate some hook, and there are some very knowledgeable people here who have tossed little tidbits my way to help w/that. Please keep asking if anything's on your mind!
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#124754 - 04/07/10 02:34 AM Re: Hand pain related to bowling [Re: TAR31]
BowlingAddict Offline
Junior Master

Registered: 04/05/10
Posts: 36
A/S/L: (23/Male/Alabama)
Im going to going to have a ball plugged tommorrow, Ill ask the Pro Shop guy. He knows about everything.

I would recommend getting your own ball if you're going to bowl alot. Because those house ball dont normally fit correctly. And it causes you to have to grip the ball with force to hold it. Plus there arent any grips in them And that applied force could be what causing the pain.

It could also be that the holes in that 11 lb ball are too small. If the holes fit your hand too tight that will definately cause swelling.

It could be a number of things. But I believe having your own ball customly made to fit you will solve the problem.

Go to your college's sport team physician and ask. He should be able to help or give some advice without wanting all the insurance papers.

Once your hand is back in good shape, I would also recommend buying a Pro Hands Exerciser. I had a little pain in the beginning but after using that for some time, my hands fingers, and grip got alot stronger. Combine that with a bowling workout that I do and now I could bowling alot fo games and not feel anything. Last Friday I bowled 34 games in one day, and didnt feel any lingering effects saturday morning. As to where before the workout and the hands exerciser, if I bowled over 10 games I would have a stiff back and aching knees.


Edited by BowlingAddict (04/07/10 02:41 AM)
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#124756 - 04/07/10 04:53 AM Re: Hand pain related to bowling [Re: BowlingAddict]
pagedownwarhammer Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 4
A/S/L: 18/M/Knoxville TN
Hearing that it could be my ball did remind me that I forgot to mention that the house ball I use I have to sort of bend my fingertips to use and I hadn't thought about it before now, but now it seems to me that is probably a bad thing.

As it stands I am heading into college in the fall and after looking online most balls I see are $70-$100 so I am not really in the position to buy my own ball tomorrow. I can look at the house balls and see if there is a heavier ball with better holes for my fingers.

My Dad (The one who got me into bowling) has mentioned leagues that give you a free ball after you are done with the season, but he couldn't remember what it was called. Any ideas? And how would I go about finding one of those leagues around here (Knoxville, TN)

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#124757 - 04/07/10 05:25 AM Re: Hand pain related to bowling [Re: pagedownwarhammer]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6283
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
Originally Posted By: pagedownwarhammer
My Dad (The one who got me into bowling) has mentioned leagues that give you a free ball after you are done with the season, but he couldn't remember what it was called. Any ideas? And how would I go about finding one of those leagues around here (Knoxville, TN)


Ball leagues or merchandise leagues. To find one go to the bowling centers around you and ask if they have one.

The culprit to your pain is definitely using a house ball and gripping the snot out of it. They aren't drilled to fit anyone right.
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#124787 - 04/07/10 12:32 PM Re: Hand pain related to bowling [Re: Calvin Pistorio]
beefers1 Offline
Legend

Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 1241
A/S/L: 24/M/British Columbia
We don't have any of those leagues around here, but my guess is that the added weekly cost in paying for the ball is going to be more than just buying one. Since you're just starting out, a plastic ball will be fine, and you might be able to find one with drilling for under $100.

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#124812 - 04/07/10 06:38 PM Re: Hand pain related to bowling [Re: beefers1]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6283
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
The ball leagues around me aren't much if at all more than a regular league. I've always found them a great deal, bowling in a league format and getting a ball that would cost $200+ at a Pro Shop. One center even pays for the drilling at the Pro Shop based in that center. I guess it helps on the cost of the equipment that it's a Brunswick house and it's Brunswick balls that you get.

Even a ball league I did at another house was a good deal. You have to remember the centers are probably getting a good deal on them compared to a bowler going in and paying retail price at the Pro Shop.

My first ball league was a total of $208 for the 12 or so weeks of bowling plus a Brunswick Inferno, the newest highest performance ball they had out at the time. I was going to do one a few seasons ago but it wasn't going to be a true league format. Bowl your league session when ever you want during the week, pay the money and get a ball at the end. That wasn't my idea of a league.
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#124814 - 04/07/10 07:09 PM Re: Hand pain related to bowling [Re: Calvin Pistorio]
beefers1 Offline
Legend

Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 1241
A/S/L: 24/M/British Columbia
Wow, I thought that ball leagues only gave basic plastic balls and maybe a pair of universal shoes, for beginner bowlers. Those leagues aren't sanctioned, are they?

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#124818 - 04/07/10 07:38 PM Re: Hand pain related to bowling [Re: beefers1]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6283
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
Depends on the center and the leagues. My first two ball leagues, the second one was for a Brunswick Absolute Inferno, both sanctioned. Since most of the bowlers were already sanctioned it other leagues it wasn't that hard. The third and last one I bowled didn't sanction. It was at a different center, different chain even. One bowler even rolled his first 300 in that league. brickwall
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