Although golf is not renowned for being physically demanding, injuries still do occur!
Lower back pain, golfer’s elbow, wrist, hand and knee injuries are all prevalent in golfer’s, amateur and professional alike.
How can swinging a club and walking around a golf course, cause injury?
A golf swing is an explosive movement that involves coordination between different areas of the body (from the hands all the way down to the feet!). Across 18 holes, most of us would be swinging the club between 80-100 times.
Although the majority of the force required to hit the ball comes from shoulder movement, rotation of the trunk and lower body also occur to facilitate more efficient transfer of the force from the club to the ball (you may have noticed that the golfer stands slightly rotated after the swing!).
A golf swing requires power, endurance and flexibility. Add in 6km+ of walking, poor swing technique, inadequate warm up or sudden increases in your amount of playing and voilà; golf injuries are born.
Lower back pain
This can stem various different structures (ligaments, bones, muscles or nerves) in the spine. We have other articles about that here. As mentioned previously, sudden increases in activity and poor warm up are the biggest contributors to this injury. It is important to recognise when your back is feeling tighter or fatigued. Continuing to play whilst experiencing either of those symptoms may lead to lower back pain.
Also known as “golfer’s elbow” is quite common in these athletes. It refers to the inner surface of the elbow where the forearm muscles attach. The biggest contributing factor to those who develop this condition is an increase in playing time, however the condition may be exacerbated through jarring the elbow when you clip the ground on a swing or if you are gripping your clubs too hard.
Wrist and hand injuries
These injuries are often associated with poor control of the wrist during the swing. This could mean a slight deviation from proper technique which over time may start to cause pain, or it could be a quick flick/twist of the wrist during the swing, which may be enough to irritate one of the many structures in the hand/wrist. Injuries to this area may include stress fractures to one of the many hand bones or DeQuervain’s tendonitis (irritation of tendons which enter the hand).
The golf swing requires coordination of a lot more than just the shoulders. In an ideal swing, rotation from the trunk and hips will occur, whilst the front leg will stay stationary. In more powerful shot than normal, more twisting may also occur at the knee. This has the potential to irritate structures within the knee such as the meniscus.
Do any of the above injuries sound all too familiar to you? To learn more about improving your gold technique check out this.
If so, it might be a good idea to see your physiotherapist to Tee-off your rehab!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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