Golf is safe. Right? Golf is known as a low-impact sport. But, surprisingly enough, about 60% of new players will deal with golf injuries at some point while playing—according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Chances are, you’ll encounter some golf-related injury while out on the field regardless if you’re an avid player or just learning.
In this blog post, we’ll be sharing with you three practical tips with three stretches you can act on as soon as you finish reading! Read on.
Top 5 Most Common Golf Injuries
Before we tell you how to reduce the severity of potential injuries, it’s best to know the most common injuries in Golf. This way, you know how you can help prevent them.
1. Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow can be caused by excess or repetitive stress, primarily by forceful wrist and finger motions. According to Humanitas Research Hospital, Golfer’s elbow is a condition that causes pain on the inner side of the elbow.
This is caused by excess or repetitive stress, usually by forceful wrist and finger motions. The elbow may feel stiff, and hands and wrists may feel weak.
2. Back Pain
According to NBC Sports Group’s Golf Division, an estimated 75- 85% of all Americans will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime. But these numbers may be higher among everyday golfers.
Why? They spend an average of four to five hours in a bent position with every swing—applying pressure to the spine and back muscles, repeating the same swing motion hundreds of times.
This can lead to inflammation, strains, and other injuries of the muscles and discs of the spine, which can cause low, middle, and upper back pains.
3. Knee Pain & Damage
The twisting motion of the knee while carrying weight on it during a golf swing can damage the intricate soft tissues, resulting in pain and overuse injury in the knees.
Furthermore, excessive force placed on the knee can result in torn ligaments.
4. Tendonitis in the Wrists
Many players experience golfers’ wrist due to frequent cocking of the wrist caused by the swing and force applied to your tendons, which are responsible for wrist movements.
In general, overuse and a poor swinging technique can cause tendonitis in the wrists.
5. Rotator Cuff
Daily golfers can end up damaging their rotator cuffs due to overuse without proper rest. These are the four stabilizing muscles found in each of your shoulders.
Rotator cuff impingements are when your muscles swell and pinch the space between your arm and shoulder bones.
3 Golf Injury Prevention Tips
Here are three things you can do right now to prevent or treat the five golf injuries mentioned above.
1. Wear the Appropriate Braces
Wearing the right back brace helps support your lower back to let you golf with peace of mind without worrying about repetitious golf swings.
If one of your knees is weak, ensure you wear a proper knee sleeve or knee support to help prevent tears and sprains.
If you wear a wrist support brace when golfing, you’ll nearly eliminate the risks of tendonitis in the wrists.
2. Be Aware Of Your Posture
According to The Mayo Clinic, you want to be sure you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and tilt slightly outward with your knees slightly bent.
Hold and keep your spine relatively straight. Your torso should be tilted forward, but most of that movement should come from your hips. Avoid hunching over the ball, which may lead to neck and back strain.
3. Warm-Up By Starting Off Slow & Easy
Never rush into a round of golf. Especially if you haven’t golfed in a while.
We suggest hitting some practice balls on the driving range before beginning a round. This allows you to pace your swings similar to how batters do when warming up for a baseball game.
3 Stretches to Prevent Golf Injuries
Arm, leg, and back stretches can improve your range of motion, lead to a more fluid golf swing, and significantly decrease your chances of sprain or injury.
According to the Rush University System for Health, you should try out these three stretches before you play a round of golf.
1. Twisting Stretch
Step 1: Begin with your legs wider than your hips.
Step 2: Rest your right hand on your lower back palm, facing away from you.
Step 3: Inhale. With an exhale, bend the right knee and reach your left hand outside your right foot.
Step 4: With an exhale, lift your torso up and switch your hands, placing your left hand on your lower back.
Step 5: Twist toward the left, reaching your right hand around the corner.
Step 6: Follow your hand with your gaze to exaggerate the twist.
Step 7: Repeat six times and switch sides.
2. Scarecrow Twists
Step 1: Start with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders.
Step 2: Place your golf club behind your neck and onto your shoulders with both arms over the golf club in a scarecrow position.
Step 3: Bend your knees slightly and inhale. With an exhale, twist to the right, pivoting in the left foot.
Step 4: Look around the corner to intensify the stretch. With an inhale, return to the center.
Step 5: Repeat on the other side. Continue this twisting action six times on each side, breathing through it.
3. Shoulder Flossing
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and grab your golf club with each hand.
Step 2: Lift the golf club over your head. With an inhale, begin to floss it behind you until it becomes parallel to the ground.
Step 3: Release an exhale, return to your original position. If you want to intensify the stretch, inch your hands closed together; to simplify the stretch, move the hands wider apart.
Step 4: Repeat 6 to 8 times while breathing through it.
We realize it may be hard to visualize these stretches just from reading.
Here’s a link to the source so you can see the stretches with your own eyes to help you perform them.
The stretches in order go from 1 to 3 to 5.
The Bottom Line
Now you know some of the most common injuries that can occur while playing golf and how you can help prevent them. Truth be told, injury is inevitable and a natural part of sports, but you can still prevent intense injuries from happening if you’re careful and aware.
Get In Touch With Us
If you’d like personal 1:1 care or want to learn more, please contact us at (410) 946-1672, or click here. We’ll get you in touch with one of our dedicated professionals. At True Sports Physical Therapy, your health is always front of mind! It’s our mission to help you get off the sidelines and back on your feet in the fastest and safest way possible.