7 Common Golf injuries and Treatments
The explosive nature of the golf swing and the many hours spent in practice on the golf course can result in nagging injuries, which if left untreated may cause permanent damage to your musculoskeletal system. Here is a list of 7 common golf injuries and how they can be treated:
- Golfer's elbow: Also known as medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow is characterized by pain in the tendon on the inside of your elbow. It is caused by repetitive gripping, flexing, and swinging which can cause irritation and tiny tears in the elbow tendon. Treatment involves avoiding any movement that aggravates the pain and application of ice for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times a day. You may also take pain medication to relieve severe pain. It is important to note that tendon injuries take a long time to heal, and you shouldn’t try to return to the game until symptoms are fully resolved.
- Tennis elbow: This condition is characterized by pain on the outer aspect of your elbow. Interestingly, more golfers suffer from tennis elbow than they do from golfer’s elbow. Tendon injuries can be aggravated by improperly hitting the golf ball. Treatment involves rest, ice, strengthening the muscles of the forearm, and using proper technique while playing.
- Rotator cuff injury: Injury to the rotator cuff in the shoulder is a common golf injury that may be caused due to overuse, an improperly executed swing, hitting a rock or a root, or taking a deep divot (a piece of turf cut out of the ground when making the golf stroke). Rotator cuff injuries are usually repaired by rest and anti-inflammatory medication. In case of severe injury, surgical repair of the tendon may be required.
- Back pain: Golfers are required to send a lot of time in the bent-over stance as they prepare to hit the ball. This posture along with the rotational stresses involved in making the golf swing can put considerable pressure on the spine and back muscles. If you do get back pain, take a couple of days off from the game, and then start stretching and core strengthening exercises to keep the spine strong and flexible.
- Neck injuries: This is a common problem among players newly introduced to the sport who are not used to twisting their bodies so much. Many hours of swinging can result in painful neck spasms. Treatment involves rest, ice, warming up thoroughly before playing, taking frequently breaks during play, and performing exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
- Hand & wrist injuries: The speed of a typical golf swing can place your wrists, hands, and fingers at high risk for injury. Repetitive blunt trauma can lead to deformed or broken bones and tendon injuries. These injuries can be prevented and treated by a golf-specific conditioning program, learning proper gripping and swinging technique, and rest.
- Foot & ankle injuries: While performing the golf swing, power is generated from the feet which pushes against the ground. Foot and ankle injuries can easily occur if you lose your footing at any point during the golf swing. Sprains, strains, tendonitis, and blisters are common injuries in the foot and ankle that can be managed by rest, cleaning and bandaging any blisters, icing inflamed tendons, and using strict form while playing.
The physicians at Carrell Clinic are committed to providing the highest standards of excellence in orthopedic care. For appointments and inquiries, call (214) 220 2468.