Preventing and Treating Golf Injuries
Easy To Get Injuries
Golf is usually considered a low-level sport. However, because of the repetitive nature of the game, golfers often suffer serious golf injuries. Golf stresses the body in unique ways that can lead to acute and chronic injuries. Proper golf technique, equipment, stretching and preventative measures can minimize golf injuries.
The most common causes of golf injuries include overuse, mis-hits or duffs (hitting the ground during the swing), incorrect grip, lack of stretching, improperly fit equipment and trying to “kill the ball”.In addition, improper swing including the phases of backswing, downswing, ball strike and follow-through can contribute to injuries
.Of the reported golf injuries among amateur players in the United States, 36% of the injuries involve the low back; 32% the elbows, 21% the wrists and hands, and 11% the shoulders.
Most of these injuries are simple strains of muscles or related joints that respond to the conservative care of rest, anti-inflammatories, ice, stretching and golf swing or grip modification.
However, some injuries can lead to more difficult conditions, often causing the golfer to have to give up the game. Over 50% of touring professionals have had to stop playing because of injuries.
The motion of the golf swing, if done incorrectly can certainly cause injuries in many parts of the body. It is therefore advisable to study each element of the swing, preferably with a trained professional, to avoid the development of detrimental habits.
Low Back Injuries
Pain and stiffness in the low back are usually caused by the improper twisting motion of the swing during the backhand or follow through an aspect of the swing. The rotational forces of the swing place a considerable amount of stress on the vertebrae,joints, muscles and ligaments of the spine.
Lack of muscle flexibility and strength, improper set up, short clubs, improper warm up and previous spinal degenerative changes are all potential factors leading to low back injuries. To decrease the stress on the lumbar spine is it recommended that the shoulders and hips are rotated the same amount during the backswing, the spine is kept vertical during the follow through and that hyperextension of the back is avoided.
If the low back pain is persistent, it is important to seek a biomechanical evaluation of your swing and perform at least 15 minutes of low back flexibility exercises prior to teeing off.
Pain on the inside of the elbow is referred to as medial epicondylitis and is often referred to as “golfer’s elbow”. The muscles that bend or flex the wrist and fingers and pronate the elbow (turn the forearm to the ground) originate on the inside of the elbow.
Improper grip, excessive grip tension, swing, weak muscles, overuse and striking the ground with the club prior to ball contact are the common caused by medial epicondylitis. Pain on the outside of the elbow, lateral epicondylitis, is often referred to as “tennis elbow”.
The muscles that extend or bend the the wrist and fingers out to the ceiling and the muscles that supinate the elbow (turn it up and over) attach to the outside of the elbow. Excessive and repetitive wrist extension is the primary cause of lateral epicondylitis.
Rest, anti-inflammatories, larger club grips, stretching, wearing an elbow strap, sleeping in a wrist or elbow brace, cortisone injections, and physical therapy are all appropriate treatments for these annoying and often long-lasting condition. If not treated appropriately, micro tears and calcium deposits can occur in the related tendons.