How to Prevent Golfing Injuries
Learn How to Prevent Golfing Injuries so you can “Tee it High, and Let it Fly Safely!”
Playing golf with the family is the perfect vacation or weekend activity, best of all you don’t need to travel far to enjoy a day at the golf course.
Like with any sport, there is a risk of injury when you play golf, the little ones and less experienced players are the ones who run the biggest risk of being injured mainly due to bad posture. To ensure everyone in the family enjoys this great sport safely, we have put together a list of most common golfing injuries and how to prevent them.
Most Common Golfing Injuries
Back pain is at the top of our golfing injuries as according to the American Chiropractic Association, “80% of adults in America will suffer from back pain at some point or another in their lives.” The long hours hunched over your club along with the rotational stresses of the swing, can place considerable pressure on your spine and muscles, leading to minor strains that can easily become severe injuries. The most common type of back pain is lower back pain, however, many golfers experience stabbing pain between their shoulder blades.
Tendinitis in the Elbow
Another one of the golfing injuries, tendinitis, is a condition where tendon tissue becomes irritated and inflamed. There are two common types of elbow tendinitis:
- Tennis Elbow: Occurs when there is an injury to the outer tendon.
- Golfer’s Elbow: When the injury presents itself on the inner tendon.
Ironically, golfers are more prone to suffer from tennis elbow than from golfer’s elbow.
Rotator Cuff Injury
The rotator cuffs are the four stabilizing muscles located on each shoulder; golfers can easily develop tendinitis, bursitis, and tears in the rotator cuff due to the repetitive motion of the golf swing.
There are two types of rotator cuff golfing injuries, both can cause pain and inhibit your game:
- Rotator cuff impingements: Occurs when the tendons swell and pinch the space between the arm and the bones in the shoulder.
- Rotator Cuff Tear: this happens when there are tears in the shoulder muscle and tendons.
Knee Pain and Damage
Golfers commonly complain from knee pain due to the strain placed on it to stabilize the rotation of the hip axis at the beginning of the swing. Torn ligaments can be a result of placing extreme force on a weak knee, and knee injuries are especially problematic for arthritis sufferers given the degenerative nature of the disease which can gradually wear down the joint cartilage.
Although the hip joint is usually very mobile and able to withstand a lot of stress, it is particularly vulnerable when playing golf since the swing involves a large amount of pivoting and twisting movements. The hip joint resembles the shoulder joint or rotator cuff so the injuries sustained at the hip are very similar to the tears experienced at the shoulders.
Tips to Prevent Golfing Injuries
TIP #1: Practice correct form and work on your swing.
According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine increasing the range of motion of lumbar spine extension and rotation of the lead hip can prevent one of the most common golfing injuries, lower back pain.
TIP #2: Warm up.
Before you tee off, take a few minutes to stretch your shoulder, back, arm and leg muscles, and if possible, go to the driving range and hit a few balls. This will not only help warm up it can seriously improve your game.
TIP #3: Exercise.
It is important to strengthen the muscles of your back, focus on the trapezoid and pectoral as well as your core. Flexibility exercises like yoga and Pilates also help in preventing back, shoulder and knee injuries.
TIP #4: Have someone else carry your bag.
Paying for a caddy is a good investment, carrying your golf bag across the entire course can increase your risk of back and ankle injuries.
TIP #5: Avoid hitting objects other than the ball.
Hitting the ground or a root instead of the ball can result in an injury, the sheer force of the swing coming to a hard stop can cause injury to your back, wrist, and shoulder.
TIP #6: Choose proper footware and clothing.
Your clothing should be comfortable and suitable to protect you from the elements, remember to wear sunscreen and shades always. Wear golf shoes with short cleats, longer cleats will dig into the soil and hold your feet planted as you swing which may cause knee and ankle injuries.
Know Where to Go for a Medical Emergency
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