After a great deal of disappointment at not seeing this pistol released at SHOT, we finally got our wish with last week’s release of the Glock 43, the single stack compact 9mm. Yes, I know we’re a few days late, but it gave us a few days to gather more info and ponder the long awaited introduction of the new compact Glock. Continue reading
Before I launch into the final installment of elbow issues for shooters, I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to all those emailed and posted with suggestions for healing and their well wishes. I apologize for not being able to respond to all of the posts and emails, but I definitely take note of all of the advice which has been offered. This last article (for now, anyway) will go over some of the tools which I use to assist in self therapy.
The first important piece of kit for elbow pain management is a simple neoprene sleeve such as the one seen in the pic from the last article. A neoprene wrap does not inhibit mobility and helps keep the joint compressed and warm during activity. I typically wear one when I am shooting or handling firearms for any period of time. I have had better luck with this type of wrap than those pressure pad style bands which wrap around the forearm and stick a small gel pad on a theoretical problem spot on the arm. I have seen this work for some buddies, but the gel pad only provides a localized effect and does not help the rest of the joint. I found mine a waste of time and ended up throwing it away.
The next item has been an absolute game changer, and I must thank my long time friend Jeff Gonzales from Trident Concepts for turning me on to Voodoo Floss. I have included several links below for resources from Dr. Kelly Starrett, who is a key proponent of the Voodoo Floss bands. These elastic rubber bands are used to wrap and compress the problem joint. After wrapping, work the joint through the full range of motion, then remove the band. The combination of wrapping/compression, movement, and the rush of blood flow to the joint area has a restorative effect on range of movement and function. I had gotten to a plateau using just the strength development regimen from the previous article, and actually seemed to be regressing a bit when I attempted to PT hard in conjunction with the strength exercises. Adding in a daily pre-workout regimen with the Voodoo Floss, which I am able to do alone in about 5 minutes, has boosted my joint function and reduced the pain significantly. While I am not pain free, I can say with certainty that Voodoo Floss alone has done more for my elbow issues than all of other other modalities combined.
In addition to the Voodoo Floss, my daily joint therapy kit includes a pair of lacrosse balls. After flossing, I lay one ball on the ground, put my forearm on it, then press the other ball directly over the first ball, basically sandwiching the tight area of my forearm between the two lacrosse balls. This has been a very effective way to massage the forearms, and gets deeper than the foam roller I previously used.
A local LEO whom I’d met a several classes turned me onto the final secret weapon in my elbow therapy arsenal, the ArmAid. This nutcracker looking device allows you to stick your arm through the center of it and use your other hand to close the arms and provide pressure for massaging your forearm. It allows attachment of various rollers, and I use the orange deep tissue roller ball which provides good results. I use this device to provide additional relief after workouts or other elbow aggravating activity.
As caveated before, I am not a physical therapist, but I have been down this long road and hope that sharing my pain will help readers get a better handle on theirs. I have often been asked what I might have done differently to prevent all of the problems that I have now. I would suggest adding strengthening and mobility work into your training regimen in order to improve and prolong your time behind the gun or in the gym. Your elbows will thank you!
In my last article, I outlined a bit about my battle with the issue of elbow tendonitis. I will again caveat that I am not a medical professional nor do I play one on TV, and am only sharing my own personal experiences. During the last several years I had tried just about everything for my elbows – cortisone, physical therapy to include eccentric exercises, massage, ice, ultrasound, stretching, traditional strength building exercises, fascial scraping (Graston), and rest. The only common modality I had not tried was acupuncture, only because none of my health practitioners referred me to it. All of the attempted treatments worked acceptably until it came time to do those extreme activities such as opening or closing my hands and bending or extending my arms. As long as I avoided those movements, my elbows felt ok. Continue reading
Readers of this blog have likely seen my references to chronic elbow pain over the last several years. I am creeping up on my fourth decade of shooting, and the mileage has not been kind to me. Many of my peers who are shooters, trainers, or armed professionals have also reported a bout of elbow pain at some point or another. In this 3 part article series, I wanted to detail my trials and tribulations with elbow pain, and how I have been trying to address it. Continue reading
After finishing the recent Top Cop Pistol Championship match, I reflected back on my performance and was very pleased to have been able to turn in very clean and consistent runs on all of the stages. I was coming into the match on the mend from chronic tendonitis in both elbows, and frankly was dreading having to shoot much at all. My elbows were still bad enough that during the meager 150 rounds at the official match practice day the week prior, I was not able to finish a single string without great pain. Knowing that I would be unable to complete rigorous live fire or even dry fire preparation for the match, I knew I had to resort to a novel approach – I would watch the sights and press the trigger cleanly. Continue reading
This was the second year of the Top Cop Pistol Championship, held at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Range at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida. The match drew over 110 competitors and the proceeds from the match benefitted the The Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council, a charity whose mission is to provide financial assistance to the families of officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. In addition, they also help develop educational programs to assist and support the State of Florida in drug abuse prevention and crime prevention. Continue reading
Clint Eastwood’s characters have always been brimming with exceptionally wise one liners, but today’s post highlights his great one from Magnum Force, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Continue reading
In the wake of SHOT Show, I had been pondering some conversations with folks who were interested in changing their agency or team over to the 1911 from a Glock, Sig, etc. Readers here likely understand the true investment required to run a 1911, and I wanted to throw out some fresh thoughts on what it means to keep after a quantity of pistols in LE service. If you are an agency armorer or a gunsmith contracted to repair a local agency’s weapons, what they issue/authorize could mean different things for your life. Important caveat for internet readers with short attention spans – what follows deals with LE agency use of the 1911 or other pistols, so hold your comments if you are not using one in that context. Continue reading
Every SHOT Show brings great anticipation of new things to come, and inevitably some introductions end up being disappointments in some way. This post will surely bring hurt feelings and gnashing of teeth at keyboards, but these are just my own opinions so you get what you pay for. Continue reading
SHOT was a good time, but I am very glad to be home. This year’s show reminded me as always that it is not the gadgets and guns that are important, but the relationships that we forge. For those inside the industry, the week of SHOT is less about looking at the latest doodads, but more about visiting with old friends and making new ones. The widgets will come and go, but friendships last beyond what booth someone is working this year. Continue reading
I had promised yesterday on our Instagram page that this SHOT update was going to be much earlier thanks to the wonder that is in flight WiFi. The same miracle that lets us send useless text messages from 35,000 feet also failed us completely, so I’m bringing you my final “live” update just a bit late. Continue reading
Day 2 of the show usually brings us to a few “hey did you see” items or “come by the booth and check out our new stuff,” and this year was no exception. Continue reading
Day1 of SHOT is behind us, and we are wearily readying ourselves for some Day2 action! SHOT is a massive event, and it is impossible to see everything even in all four days of the show. Here are some of the items we saw yesterday which we are most excited about. Continue reading
As you read this, I am probably in transit to SHOT Show in Las Vegas, our industry’s annual gathering to unleash the latest new products. I have only missed one show in 15 years (2014), and am looking forward to meeting up with old friends, making new ones, and checking out what our industry has to offer this year. Continue reading
As new pistols, lights, and especially new pistol mounted mini red dot optics come into the market, there follows much discussion about their integration into practical use as a CCW or LE service weapon. If we put aside the obvious need for the weapon, light, or optic to be vetted out for function, durability, and reliability, the next critical step is for the pistol to have a proper holster. Continue reading