Bringing Golf Injury Prevention To The Fore (End)
Therapist advice to the injured golfer
- Ensure the thickness of the grip is appropriate – get the golfer to check with his/her local club professional. This will often help with the tightness of the grip.
- If the golf bag is carried ensure there is a dual strap system and these straps are adjusted to allow for appropriate weight distribution. Ensure the bag sits above the centre of gravity, that is sitting on the waist or slightly above.
- Consider basic warm up exercises such as a simple squat movement, using the club for support, which helps in stretching the lower back and hamstrings.
- Practise swings – during the warm up start the swing with the club held parallel to the ground and gradually work down to a normal starting position.
- Recommend a strength programme specific to core and lower back.
- Refer the golfer to their local club professional for guidance on grip, posture and swing technique.
Above and below: Holding simple shoulder mobility stretches for 30 seconds can help to warm up the supraspinatus muscle.
Above and below: A warm up including squats helps to stretch the lower back and hamstrings
Right: Hooking the arms around a golf club placed lengthwise across the back and rotating the trunk and head to help with thoracic mobility
The golf swing is a complex coordination of joint rotation, muscle action and body stability. The potential for individual variation is significant, however, like all injury in sport, rehabilitation is most effective when it is tailored to the individual, the whole chain is considered and it is sport specific. In golf this is specific to the grip, posture and swing. Many of the overuse injuries can be addressed through alterations in technique and practise regimes, which can allow the golfer to keep playing throughout the therapist’s treatment programme. Referring the golfer to the local club professional for technical advice is often useful to support the rehabilitation process and prevent the reoccurrence of the injury. Minimising ‘down time’ for the golfer is the key to success and enjoyment of the sport.