Golf is a fun sport that challenges both the mind and body and keeps you active while spending time with family or friends. While golf may seem like a low-risk sport, the potential for injuries can be high. Many golfers – amateurs and pros alike – experience pain from overuse injuries.
From walking the course to the repetitive swinging of the golf club, many factors can lead to common golf injuries. When playing, it is crucial to remember to avoid injury by maintaining proper posture, starting slowly, and wearing the proper footwear. Read on to learn about common golf injuries and how to prevent and treat them.
Prevent Lower Back Pain When Golfing
The number one injury affecting golfers is lower back pain, since golfers spend several hours playing a round of golf in a bent-over position doing repetitive swinging motions. A typical golf swing creates enough compressive load on the lower back to injure the intervertebral discs; lingering low back pain usually results from cumulative loads, or repetition, rather than from the trauma of a single swing. Poor flexibility and muscle strength can also cause minor strains in the back that can easily lead to severe injuries.
Preventing lower back pain starts with employing the proper mechanics in your golf swing. It is best to work with a golf professional to equip you with solid swing fundamentals. In the meantime, warming up the body before playing will help reduce the risk of common golf injuries and prevent chronic aches and pains associated with repetitive activity. Nobleton Physiotherapy shared via Instagram a series of warm-up drills like jumping jacks, squats and thoracic rotations that you can do before hitting the golf course. Follow them @nobletonphysiotherapy.
Additionally, working on core strength and flexibility-focused exercises like yoga can ease back pain and will also help prevent future golf injuries.
Build Muscle to Avoid Golfer’s Elbow
Golfers can experience several types of tendinitis in the elbow. Medial epicondylitis, or "golfer's elbow," is another common golf injury caused by over-extension during golf swings. It is a condition that causes pain where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. The pain might spread to your forearm and wrist. This kind of injury is similar to tennis elbow, which occurs on the outside of the elbow.
Symptoms of golfer's elbow include inflammation at the tendons that attach your forearm muscles to the inside of the bone at your elbow, weakness in hands and wrists, and numbness or tingling in one or more fingers.
Using a proper swinging technique is key to preventing this kind of common golf injury; consulting a local professional for a technique tune-up can help. Slowing your golf swing to lessen shock in the arm when you hit the ball is another way to stave off golfer's elbow.
Finally, strengthening your forearm muscles can help prevent this common golf injury. Try these simple exercises as part of your golf conditioning routine:
- Squeeze a tennis ball. Squeeze an old tennis ball to strengthen your forearm muscles.
- Perform wrist curls. Use a lightweight dumbbell. Lower the weight to the end of your fingers, and then curl the weight back into your palm.
- Do reverse wrist curls. Use a lightweight dumbbell. Place your hands in front of you, palm side down. Using your wrist, lift the weight up and down. Hold the arm that you are exercising above your elbow with your other hand to limit the motion to your forearm.
If you need guidance on how to do these progressive loading exercises, check out R&D Physio Global’s demonstration via Instagram. Follow them @r.d.physio.
Keep Joints Healthy to Combat Knee Pain on the Green
Golf may be viewed as a relaxed sport to those who don’t play, but in reality, this game is exceptionally demanding on a golfer's joints and musculoskeletal system. A study revealed that up to 18% of all golfers (professional and amateur combined) have experienced a knee injury related to the sport.
As a golfer swings, his or her weight shifts and the leading knee bears most of the body's weight at the end of the swing. Walking the golf course for long hours can impact the knee as well. If the player has pre-existing knee injuries, they can be aggravated further by the sport.
To prevent knee pain and other common golf injuries, players should keep themselves healthy and take care of their joints by warming up before hitting the golf course, staying hydrated during their round, and practicing good body mechanics while bending, squatting, and swinging. It is also important to wear proper golf shoes to enhance your performance and alleviate foot problems that may contribute to knee pain.
Find Pain Relief for Common Golf Injuries
Golf should be enjoyable and not painful. If you notice pain during or after a round of golf, begin with the RICE method, which includes rest, ice, elevation, and compression. This will help relieve pain and swelling.
Another way to help relieve pain and recover faster from common golf injuries is to use an electrotherapy device like BioWaveGO. This portable gadget powered by BioWave’s patented pain blocking technology is used by PGA champion Rocco Mediate and Golficity vlogger Frank Fasano as part of their daily routine to help relieve aches and pains. Learn more about how BioWave’s technology can benefit you.