When one thinks of sports injuries, they generally think of a hard hitting running back, a too-tall-for-his-own-good center, or a rambunctious hockey defense-man. After all, injuries are just part of life when you play a contact sport such as these. However, with any sport come injuries.
Although it may not be the most physical of games, golfers can often find themselves on the injured list. Look at Tiger Woods, who hurt his knee so bad he was limping through the final round of the 2008 US Open at Pebble Beach. It’s no surprise that many of today’s professional golfers put themselves through intense workouts, in order to avoid common injuries associated with the game.
Here are some of the most common golfer injuries, and how they come about:
Your spine is the foundation of everything you do. That’s why things like swinging a golf club, putter’s stance, and bending over to pick up your ball can really take a toll on your lower vertebrae and lumbar spine. It’s important that golfers maintain correct posture while swinging their clubs and putting the ball. It’s very easy to hunch over into a Forward Posture, which has your body compensating to keep things balanced when you swing.
Practicing your game can help in that less swings on the course result in less force on your back (and the rest of your body). If good posture isn’t maintained, frequent golfers may have back arthritis in their future.
Medial epicondylitis, or “golfer’s elbow”, is caused by overuse of the elbow when swinging and gripping the golf club in the wrong way. It is inflammation and pain in the inside portion of the upper part of the arm located near the elbow. It can make the elbow painful and stiff, especially when making a fist, and may make the grip weak as well.
A well-balanced swing and a proper grip on the club should be the best precautions.
Golfers can often damage their rotator cuff from; you guessed it, their swing. This joint can develop arthritis, bursitis and other inflammatory conditions. In extreme cases, a golf can even dislocate their shoulder if their swing is too aggressive.
Wrist and Hand Injury
The hands and wrist are what absorb the impact of hitting your golf ball. As tendons are strained, they eventually lose their mobility. Some specific injuries that can occur are tendinitis, a stiffness and swelling of a joint; carpal tunnel syndrome, a numb feeling that radiates from the wrist to the fingers; and DeQuervain’s tendinitis, a condition where the wrist hurts near the base of the player’s thumb.
Last but not least, a golfer’s improper swing can attribute to a knee injury as well. Swelling, pain, or clicking in the knee are all symptoms that something is not right. As mentioned earlier, it is important to focus on your swing; both the balance and your posture.
It is easy to think that you are invincible when playing a sport like golf. With the proper precautions and physical awareness, you just may be someday.