When the weather is nice, chances are the golf course will be busy. Whether you’re on a league, playing for leisure in your spare time or golfing with a group for a party, the course is a great spot for fun, exercise and socialization. That doesn’t mean golf doesn’t come with its own risks to be aware of. Amateur and professional golfers alike are prone to similar injuries that can arise on the course. In this blog, we’ll go through some of the most common golfing injuries and give you tips on how to deal with them.
Experiencing shoulder pain from golfing is likely due to a rotator cuff injury. The repetitive motions and strain on the joint while swinging and from swing follow-through can cause injury to the muscles and tendons of the shoulder. The most common symptoms of rotator cuff issues are pain, stiffness and weakness in the shoulder. This injury can range from mild, such as a strain, to severe and can even require surgery if the rotator cuff has been torn.
Between rotating through your swing and hunching over beforehand, it’s no wonder golfing is just one cause of lower back pain among avid players. It doesn’t help that back pain is one of the most common ailments of adults over the age of 40. The twisting and hunching postures put additional stress on the spine, leading to various back injuries, including strains and herniated discs.
Tennis and golfers elbow are the most likely sources of your golfing elbow pain. Tennis elbow refers to inflammation on the outside of the elbow, while golfers elbow is experienced on the inside of the elbow. Both of these conditions lead to pain at the elbow and along the arm, stiffness and weakness. These injuries are generally caused by the repetitive movements during your golf swing, putting stress on the tendons on the inside and/or the outside of the elbow.
Knee pain is another common symptom of a golfing injury. As you rotate during your swing, the twisting motion can put stress on your knees, especially in those with an existing knee condition. Along with general knee arthritis, twisting while golfing can lead to a torn meniscus or ligament damage. Additionally, the amount of time spent of your feet while on the course can also put additional stress on a weak knee, contributing further to the problem.
Conservative Treatment and Prevention
If you’ve experienced a severe injury while golfing, it’s best to get checked out by your PCP or an orthopedic surgeon. For mild discomfort, more conservative measures can be taken to heal your current injury and prevent one in the future:
- Apply ice to the affected area for at least 10 minutes a few times a day. Try this for a few days to reduce the pain and swelling.
- Rest the joint by limiting movement as much as possible while you’re experiencing pain.
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
- While playing gold, be sure to practice proper technique when swinging to reduce your risk of injury.
- Warming up before starting any activity is always best!
- Lastly, be sure you’re playing with equipment that is properly fitted to you.