Common Golf Treatment, Injuries, and Prevention (P1)
Muscle aches and pains are most commonly related to tension, overuse or muscle injury from physically demanding work or exercise such as golf. In these situations, the pain tends to involve specific muscles and starts during or just after the activity. Muscle pain also can involve other soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons and fascia.
The most common type of chronic pain among golfers is low back pain related to muscle and ligament strain, and can usually be resolved with rest, physical therapy or other orthopedic treatment.
A common cause is tendonitis, an inflammation and injury to the tendons (soft tissues that attach muscle to bone). Due to the gripping and rotating in a golf swing, golfers are more likely to injure the tendons on the inside of the elbow. This is similar to tennis elbow, or injury to the tendons of the outside of the elbow, commonly seen in racquet sports.
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body. The rotator cuff in the shoulder is made up of four tendons that give the shoulder a wide range of motion. Any swelling, inflammation, tearing or bony changes around these tendons can cause pain when a person tries to move the arm in certain directions, as in a golf swing.
Wrist Injuries (sprains, fractured hamate bone, tendonitis)
A sprain is an injury to the ligaments around a joint. Ligaments are strong, flexible fibers that hold bones together. When a ligament is stretched too far or tears, the joint becomes painful and swells.
Tendonitis is inflammation, irritation, and swelling of a tendon, which is the fibrous structure that joins muscle to bone. In many cases, tendonitis (tendon degeneration) is also present.
Breaks and Fractures
If more pressure is put on a bone than it can stand, it will split or break. A break of any size is called a fracture. A stress fracture is a hairline crack in the bone that develops because of repeated or prolonged forces against the bone. The hamate bone is a small bone on the pinky side of the wrist that has a small prominence called the hook, which juts into the palm. The way most golfers grip their clubs puts the butt-end of the club right up against the hook of the hamate during the swing and can cause a stress fracture.
Apply generous amounts of sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Pay special attention to your face, nose, ears and arms. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection provided.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure to allow penetration. Re-apply every 2 hours while you are outdoors.
- Wear a hat. There is also SPF clothing available.
- Wear sunglasses with ultraviolet protection.
- Use a lip balm with sunscreen.