Can You Get Sore From Bowling?

can you get sore from bowling

If you know what you are doing, bowling can be a great workout but if you don’t, it can wreak havoc on your body. 

You can become sore in your forearms or hips from bowling because of the heavy lifting and repetitive motions. Soreness can generally be prevented by stretching beforehand and alleviated without the need for medical attention by resting from bowling altogether.

If you notice a tingly sensation in your arm or find yourself beginning to become sore, you should take a break from bowling immediately. Chronic injuries like Bowler’s Elbow and Bowler’s Thumb tend to occur when bowlers push themselves and refuse to take breaks.  

Forearm Pain 

Signs you should take it easy:  

  • Throbbing 
  • Redness 
  • Inflammation 
  • Swelling 

Repetitive throwing of a sixteen-pound ball can wreak havoc on your body if you are not doing it the right way which is why you should take the time to educate yourself on proper bowling postures and techniques. 

If you have underlying wrist and forearm problems, you might want to take into consideration wearing a wrist brace for extra protection. Forearm bowling injuries are common due to the rigorous strain your tendons undergo within the short span of playing. 

The Hand and Wrist Institute explains that many wrist-related injuries like bowling and wrist tendonitis happen because of repetitive strain injury (RSI) caused by throwing the bowling ball. In general, the forearm pain while bowling tends to be an acute case of wear and tear.  

The more you use a sensitive area like your wrist and forearm for something laborious like bowling, the more likely you are to cause strain in that area. If accompanied by faulty bowling techniques, your wrists and forearms can become especially vulnerable while bowling. 

Age can be another factor. Depending on a person’s age, forearm and wrist pain may increase with their bowling time.  

Is It Normal For Your Arm to Be Sore After Bowling?

Yes! Adults bowl with up to a sixteen-pound ball which puts a lot of pressure on your shoulders and wrists. Whether you are physically fit or not, repetitive bending and throwing take a toll on your body. 

Bowling should be a smooth and fluid process so if you are sore after bowling for the first time, it might be because you were not using the right size ball. Soreness in your forearms indicates you were gripping the ball too hard which means it was too heavy. Next time, try dropping down at least one ball size. 

Muscles Used During Bowling 

Bowling involves all major muscle groups. Although this is a full-body sport, the most prominent muscles working while bowling is the lower back, which hinges with every throw, and the forearms, biceps, and thumb which work together to release the ball.  

Every muscle on the body is prone to strain, however, these muscles are the most vulnerable to damage. 

Bowling Injuries 

It is not infrequent to see bowling cause discomfort and soreness after playing. Some of the most notable injuries bowlers experience are sore forearms and sore wrists. 

In some cases, increased soreness can cause a reduced range of motion (ROM) and difficulty performing daily activities which is why taking preventative measures is so important. Before a day of bowling intensively, you should always be sure to stretch and practice proper bowling techniques like wrist and shoulder movements. 

To prevent permanent damage, you should refrain from continuing physical activity if you begin to feel any pressure or soreness whatsoever while bowling. Take ice to your damaged area and rest until you feel better. 

Bowler’s Thumb 

Bowler’s Thumb occurs when a bowler pinches the ulnar nerve inside their thumb. This happens most commonly when you try to throw a spin on a ball that is too tight. 

To avoid getting Bowler’s Thumb you should pick your ball more carefully and be sure that the holes are an appropriate size for your fingers. Pay careful attention to the thumb hole specifically so you will have enough room to spin on release. 

Bowler’s Elbow 

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Forearm pain is sometimes referred to as Bowler’s Elbow in the bowling community. According to New York Sports Medicine Institute, Bowler’s Elbow happens when tendons in the elbow become overused, mostly because of improper bowling techniques like extending your elbow or turning your wrist. 

If you notice numbness or tingling in your elbow, pain when flexing, or sharp or dull pain in your forearm it might be a sign that you are developing Bowler’s Elbow. Because Bowler’s Elbow is a serious condition that can worsen over time, it is important that you have a doctor evaluate you as early as possible so you can get started on physical therapy right away! 

To check the current price and availability of the Venom Elbow Brace, click here to view it on Amazon.

Bowler’s Wrist 

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Bowler’s Wrist is essentially the bowling term for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which is a condition when the nerves in your wrists become pinched due to constant compression. Inflammation of the tendons, pain, redness, swelling, soreness, tingling, are all signs that you might be experiencing Bowler’s Wrist and should probably put down the ball. 

Bowler’s Wrist does not stem only from bowling but will emerge from it if you spend too much time doing so. Heavy wrist compression occurs in many of our daily activities like texting, driving, and even in some sleeping positions! Because of the way we compress our wrists, we need to pay extra close attention to our wrists when we bowl. 

Taking preventative measures is key. Like, wearing a wrist brace when you bowl to protect your wrists. You should also stretch before playing and practice proper form. 

We recommend using this wrist brace by Bowlingball. Its special fabric improves comfort and allows sweat from your hand and wrist to easily evaporate.

How to Heal Forearm Pain

The best way to heal a sore arm is to get some ice and let it rest. Even if you are in the middle of the perfect game, you should always favor rest and rehabilitation than push yourself. You would never want to damage yourself to a point of no return! Continuing to bowl on an already damaged or inflamed arm will only aggravate the problem further. 

If you begin to notice inflammation or swelling, you should immediately take a break from your game and give yourself some time to rest. Allow yourself to ice the sore area and visit a doctor, if needed.  

Even in drastic cases of Bowler’s Elbow, surgery will always be the last resort. Doctors and physical therapists want you to exhaust all options before you go under the blade. 

Final Thoughts

There is no foolproof way to ensuring you will never experience soreness after bowling. In fact, even professional bowlers feel sore sometimes and that comes with the game. However, taking preventative measures like stretching, and wearing braces can help prevent permanent injuries. 

Learning how to maneuver your ball is the easiest way to keep yourself injury-free. From picking out the appropriate size to the correct throwing postures, it is important you know how to navigate your ball so you can avoid overworking your delicate muscles. 

Overworking your delicate muscles causes them to inflame and ache so limiting your bowling time can be the key to letting your muscles rest. While this won’t fix problems like Bowler’s Elbow or Bowler’s Thumb, limiting your bowling time is a helpful preventative measure. 

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