Golf is often perceived as a low-risk sport when it comes to injuries. But, the truth is that there are many injuries that can be caused by golfing. Most injuries are overuse injuries and often arise gradually and more subtly than a sudden traumatic injury. But they can definitely hinder a good game of golf.
The four most common golf injuries:
Low back strain
The repetitive golf swing places a lot of force and torque (or twist) through the lower back. As a result, back strains or disc injuries can result. Golf swing faults can (and should) be corrected by a professional.
Also known as medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow is an inflammation of the forearm tendons that attach to the inside of our elbow (or medial epicondyle). These tendons are responsible for bending our wrist and can get irritated over time with repetitive and forceful gripping activities.
Rotator cuff strain or tear
The rotator cuff (or the four muscles in the shoulder whose tendons run across the shoulder joint), provide power and control during a golf swing. Sometimes the tendons can get pinched or “impinged” in the shoulder, leading to tendinitis or tears in the rotator cuff tendons.
Hip strain or labral tear
A golfer will place a significant amount of pressure on the hip joint and surrounding muscles during a swing. Over time, this can lead to a muscle strain around the hip, or a labral tear within the joint itself.
So, how can you prevent golf injuries?
Golfing injuries can happen to anyone of any age or skill level. To avoid injury consider these tips:
Optimize swing body mechanics: A good golf coach can teach you an effective golf swing while minimizing the added stress on your body.
Start the season with 9-hole games to allow your body to re-condition from the winter break. Take that time to focus on skills and technique. After a few weeks increase to 18-holes.
Stretch and warm up before a golf game. Poor flexibility is a risk factor for injuries.
Don’t over-practice or overplay. Overuse injuries are from overuse. A golf swing involves repetitive, fast movements of the back, neck and joints. Too much play time will increase the risk of repetitive injuries.