Preventing and Treating Golf Injuries – Part 2
Hand and Wrist Golf Injuries
Because the wrist position changes rapidly during the golf swing, there is a potential for wrist injuries. Weakness in the wrists and hands may cause excessive motion and result in persistent pain.
De Quervain’s disease, a painful tenosynovitis of the outside of the thumb and wrist is seen in golfers who use a forceful grasp, moving the wrist
towards the little finger side, and in those who prematurely uncock the wrist at the beginning of the downswing.
A trigger finger of the index finger is common in those golfers who use excessive grip tension. Although fractures are uncommon in golfers, a fracture of the hamate bone in the wrist can be caused by hitting a fat shot.
These injuries are usually caused by overuse rather than an improve specific component of the swing. The broad range of motion of the shoulders during the swing, increases the risk of injury. 97% of golf-related shoulder pain occurs in the leading shoulder.
Impingement, rotator cuff strain, posterior shoulder subluxation and arthritis in the glenohumeral and AC joints are the most common golf-related shoulder injuries. Shortening the backswing, stretching the muscles in the front of the shoulder, strengthening the muscles in the back part of the shoulder, avoiding sleeping on the involved shoulder, and participation in an overall shoulder strengthening regime is recommended.
In general, to prevent golf injuries:
• Stretch the low back, hamstrings, shoulders, neck, wrist and hand prior to teeing off. Especially, perform rotational stretches of your low back.
• Have a trained professional evaluate your grip, stance, swing, etc.
• Don’t try and “KILL” the ball and lead your swing with your nondominant hand.
• Strengthen your wrist and hands with specific exercises such as squeezing a tennis
ball, performing wrist curls and reverse wrist curls.
• Participate in an overall conditioning program with a special emphasis on spine and
• Modify your equipment as needed…enlarge your grips, use a good glove, clean your
grips, use an elbow brace, use clubs that are long enough and tell your spouse that you
can’t afford this month’s house payment because it is medically necessary for you to
buy the newest and improved clubs.
• For acute pain: rest, ice, immobilize and if appropriate, take anti-inflammatories.
• If your pain persists, seek the advice of a physician and/or a physical therapist.
• Enjoy the game….foot wedges are acceptable, all 3’ puts are gimmies, and take 3 or 4
mulligans per round…why not….you paid the green fee!
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