Golf is one of the expensive sports, and it is popularly known as the rich man’s game. This is mainly due to the cost of equipment and the expense to become a member of the golf club. Golf is commonly played by business people; CEO’s and film personalities to prevent lifestyle disease.
Playing golf is good for your body as it improves stamina and builds muscles. Golfers are prone to certain injuries of muscles and joints. This is due to the repetitive motion involved in each swing while playing the game. It is possible to avoid some common injuries while playing golf if you simply follow some sense steps to make things better.
Lower back pain is a common complaint among golfers, as you swing you put on a great strain on this area. This can be due to some causes of arthritis, stress fractures, and disc problem. You can prevent the back pain if you work on your swing. Some other prevention method includes:
- Staying hydrated will prevent muscle pain.
- Warm up with stretches before and after swinging will prevent the strain on your muscles.
- You must wear comfortable golf shoes to put less stress on your back.
- Let someone else carry your bag.
This is the most commonly injured body part for golfers. Golfer’s elbow can get injured by striking the ground during first shot. Tennis elbow can be caused due to over-extending your swing. Bad form mainly causes elbow injuries.
- You can prevent elbow injury by working on your swing.
- You must perform strengthening and stretching exercise to cut down these types of injuries.
- A brace can be used during the play. For moderate pain, icing can help.
- You must practice on real turf instead of on the rubber mats.
- You should ease up on grip pressure and loosen up the elbows during the swing.
- You shouldn’t release hand prematurely at the top of the backswing.
The muscles located around our shoulders are used during a golf swing. The common problem that can affect our shoulder muscles is rotator cuff issue, arthritis, and impingement syndrome. Shoulders muscles can greatly influence your swing if both the shoulders are used at a time. This can lead to chronic shoulder pain.
- You must perform warm-up exercise targeting shoulders, and this could cut down the pain.
- Exercise that incorporate body twisting can help out on core stability.
- You should maintain strength and flexibility of shoulder and scapular muscles.
- Slow down the backswing to reduce the stress on the shoulder.
Wrists are used in golf swing gets frequently injured due to overuse of extensor and flexor tendons. Impaction syndrome of a wrist is caused due to repetitive movements. Pain remains on the top of the wrist and the right side at the top of the backswing.
- You should work on strengthening the muscles in the hand and forearm.
- It is recommended to use anti-inflammatory medicines to slow down the pain.
- Slow down backswing to minimize the wrist extension.
Trigger finger results locking up your fingers. This problem occurs when the flexor tendon sheath which runs through finger tendon. This could lead to painful locking and snapping of the finger. A possible treatment for such issues remains surgery and cortisone.
- The golfers with such fingers should use the glove to pad the left hand.
- Consider softer grips and make sure the handle grips are replaced.
Knee pain is seen among golfers, and this can be caused due to knee arthritis, kneecap pain, and a torn meniscus. The symptoms remain pain, swelling of the knee, squatting and walking. Treatment for such problems remains medication, joint replacement surgery, and injection treatment.
- You must wear spike less shoes because they can reduce twisting stress on the knees.
- You must focus practicing with short irons to minimize the stress on knees.
Fracture of Hamate Bone
The hamate bone is a small bone which is found on the pinky side of the wrist. The hamate has small prominence called hook which juts into the palm. Most golfers would put butt-end of club right against the hook of hamate during the swing. This can cause pain and numbness in ring and pinky fingers.
- Don’t take fat shots at balls near rocks or other obstructions.
- Make sure your clubs are fitted properly so butt end of the club extend beyond the pinky side of a left hand.
Why Injuries Occur?
The main cause of injuries includes:
- Ground impact forces
- Poor conditioning
- Lack of flexibility
- Excessive practice
- Poor swing mechanics
About 80% of golfers spend less time warming up before playing the game. Poor flexibility remains a risk factor for a golf injury. Those who warm up had less injury before playing than after playing. The second main reason for golf injury remains repetitive nature of this sport. The golf swing involves high- velocity movement of spine, elbow, wrist, ankles, shoulders, and neck.
Tip to Prevent Golf Injuries
To avoid golf-related injuries, it is important for golfers to learn solid swing technique. The golfer who follows the poor swing will have an increased risk of injury. This is due to excessive stress placed on shoulder, elbow, and back. All golfers should perform flexibility exercise prior starting each round.
Along with stretching exercise, they should hit some golf balls before a game. Gradually you should work the way up to the driver. You shouldn’t engage in long practice sessions by doing shot again and again. You should use a balanced stroke for the swing. Never pressurize your elbows or make a poor swing. Make sure you perform an abdominal exercise to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Golf looks like an easy game to play but to become a good golfer you need practice. Golf is perceived as a low-risk sport when it comes to injuries. Golfers who lack proper technique suffer from acute injuries.