Sports Injury: 4 Most Common Golf Injuries, Causes, And Treatment
Golf is a fantastic sport that requires concentration and a lot of focus for one to master its many complexities. But for those new to golf or those not as naturally skilled, it can also be quite tiring for the body.
Unfortunately, this means that even with its increasing popularity, many people still shy away from trying it because they think it’s too dangerous. If played correctly and responsibly, golf is one of the safer sports, especially compared to other demanding contact sports, like rugby and American football.
Nevertheless, playing golf is not just a walk in the park; golf poses some unique risks to your body that you might not expect. This article guides you on the six most common golf injuries, their respective causes, and how you can treat them fast and effectively.
Back pain can be caused by poor or incorrect technique when swinging the club. It’s vital to keep your spine as straight as possible and maintain a neutral posture when swinging. If you have an incorrect posture or your spine is not aligned, there’s a chance you will put too much pressure on your lower back, which in turn can lead to pain.
A correct posture when playing golf requires standing upright with straight legs. Keep both arms straight, making them comfortable and relaxed. Tilt your hips forward while keeping your back straight. Your knees and hips should be slightly bent, and your weight should be evenly distributed between both feet.
Also, a lack of flexibility in certain body areas can result in tight muscles, which limits you from moving properly during a golf swing. And if you have an existing problem with your spinal cord, a golf swing can worsen these abnormalities.
In most cases, back pain injuries are acute and can be relieved by taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). You can also take some days off the golf course and use cold compression. But if the pain persists despite these measures, you should see a doctor whose an expert in handling sports injury.
Shoulder pain can be caused by poor swing mechanics that put too much strain on the body, particularly on the rotator cuff muscles. When you swing your golf club, you need to rotate your shoulders forward, back, and forward.
If your swing is too aggressive, or you’re lifting your club with your arms rather than your hips, you risk putting too much pressure on the rotator cuff muscles, which can lead to pain and injury. To avoid shoulder pain, ensure you rotate your shoulders at the right pace and with the proper amount of power.
Shoulder injuries typically need proper medical attention. In many cases, shoulder injuries may require a sling or brace to restrict movement temporarily. But a joint separation or a severe tear may require surgery.
Physical therapy can also help you get back on the golf course. But you must let a physical therapist identify the biomechanics that impedes your performance. They should be able to develop a customized treatment plan.
Wrist injuries are common among golfers, especially those who have played the sport for a long time. The most common wrist injury is a sprain. This occurs when the ligaments supporting your wrist are overstressed and tear. A torn ligament causes pain and swelling around the joint, which may be accompanied by bruising or discolouration.
A sprain is most likely to occur during activities that require repetitive wrist movements, such as swinging a club or using a putter. These activities stress your wrists, increasing the chances of injury due to overuse.
Because of the nature of these injuries, it’s best to seek medical attention and have the affected area x-rayed to see if there’s any damage and properly secure the wrist. The doctor will likely splint the injury. Physical therapy can also be beneficial to help faster healing of the impacted wrist.
Elbow injuries are common in golf. They can be extremely painful and debilitating. Most elbow injuries are caused by incorrect mechanics and worsened by overuse.
One of the most common reasons for elbow pain is muscle strain. Strain injuries occur when the muscles tighten up too much, which causes swelling and inflammation. A common type of muscle strain is the biceps tendonitis strain, which occurs when friction between your forearm and your upper arm bone (humerus). This type of injury is also referred to as a golfer’s elbow.
Most of these pains can be managed at home. But you must see a doctor for more severe elbow injuries as soon as possible. The doctor can then make a proper diagnosis and prescribe an appropriate treatment.
It is recommended to spend some time off to focus on resting the injured elbow. Applying ice and compression therapy would be the first step to handling this injury. Use an elbow brace to hold the elbow and restrict unnecessary movements, particularly in the injured area. With your physician’s advice, you can also take NSAIDs to reduce pain and decrease inflammation.