Golf injuries – physio tips to avoid them

Golf can offer a range of health benefits and reduce the risk of suffering from chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression and dementia. While the risk of injury during golf is low compared to other sports, injuries can and do occur. Become aware of the possible injuries and either prevent them or get them treated early.

Keep reading if you’d like to find out tips to improve your golf game and keep you injury-free.

Most common golf injuries

1. Back pain

The lower back is the most commonly injured area due to the rotational stresses you put onto your back as you swing. Spinal compression and prolonged bending play a role in stressing the back too. Make sure you don’t continue playing if you experience any back pain as it may lead to other injuries.

2. Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow

Both Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow are forms of tendinopathy, an irritation of the tendons that connect the elbow to the forearm. Tennis Elbow refers to the outer tendon while Golf Elbow refers to the inner tendon. This is a common injury among golf players due to overuse of tendons through gripping, arm rotation and wrist flexion.

3. Rotator Cuff injury

From bursitis and tendinopathy to full or partial tears, rotator cuff injuries can cause significant pain that radiates through the arm and shoulder. These types of injuries are normally caused by striking something firm, an aggressive swing or just the repetitive action involved in golf swings.

4. Wrist tendinopathy

Golfers are known for injuring their wrists as wrist movement is a key part of the swing, one of the most repetitive movements in golfers. Tendonopathy causes the tendons that are responsible for wrist movement to be quite painful.

5. Foot and ankle injuries

The golf swing can also place stress on the feet and ankles which can lead to injuries in the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and ankle bone. The best way to avoid injuries is to prevent one from happening. Here are some tips on how you can prevent golfing-related injuries and stay in the game this summer.

Golf injuries: physio tips to avoid them

  1. Warm-up stretch and cool down. Stretch before and after golfing: stretching keeps your joints mobile and your muscles relaxed. It also helps you move with ease and improves your game.
  2. Wear the proper footwear and equipment. Make sure your shoes are comfortable and provide the necessary support. Choose your golf equipment to match your skill level and body type.
  3. Use proper posture. Swinging, putting, and picking up your ball, a round of golf involves a lot of work to be performed by your back. When picking up the ball make sure you bend at the knees and hips and try to keep your back straight.
  4. Watch your back swing. If you swing the club too hard or too fast, you may stress your joints. The golf swing challenges the lower back and involves powerful muscle contractions. Your swing should be a relaxed, fluid motion. Relax and take a nice, easy swing at the ball.
  5. Undertake strength and fitness programs. Weight training and/or aerobic activities, e.g. walking or jogging will help you stay in shape and prevent possible injuries. For instance, to prevent back pain, practice correct form and regularly strengthen the muscles of your back through a gym based program. Flexibility and stretching exercises such as yoga can also help to prevent injuries.
  6. Seek professional advice. See a physiotherapist/exercise physiologist to help you prevent injuries and understand how golf affects the body. If you get injured, come see us. We have the best equipment and experience to help you recover from a golf injury and to educate you to prevent future injuries.
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