08 April 2016
Recognizing the Injuries Golf Can Cause
Just like any other sports, golf burns calories and is highly beneficial for the health, but it may also cause injuries. We need to remember warm up and ensure our body is in top form before playing golf.
The advantage of golf being a “low impact” sport is for those suffering from health risks, such as obesity, heart problems and other symptoms related to cardiac health; golf encourages them to continue being active. Although golf does not fall into the category of “high intense” sport, golf can still cause injuries.
Here are the most common golf injuries and one may experience:
1. Lower back pain.
Because of the movements made during swinging, the rotation of the trunk itself might put considerable pressure and stress on the spine and the surrounding anatomical structure. This usually occurs because of poor swinging technique, poor flexibility, and poor muscle strength, especially in the back muscles.
2. Elbow injuries
Pain that occurs in the elbow area is usually known as “tennis elbow” or “golfer’s elbow”. Both injuries consist of inflammation of the elbow joints, specifically the tendons. These conditions may arise from poor swinging technique, poor muscle strength or endurance, or overuse injury.
3. Shoulder pain
Pain in the shoulder area may occur due to an overuse of the shoulder or poor technique. Thus it is very important to not over exert yourself and give some time to resting your muscles before involving yourself in another round of golf or any other exercises after golfing.
4. Wrist pain
Pain in the wrist might be caused by an overuse of the wrist, strained to the tendons - which are the overstretching of tendons, or it might indicate signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - inflammation of a certain nerve in the wrist. These conditions might arise due to poor technique or poor muscle strength of the wrist.
Headache is a very common complaint and is not specified to golf. If one has a headache without any other symptoms (such as paralysis or numbness in a certain area of the body), it is possible that you are dehydrated or having a heat stroke. Thus, it is very important to use head protection, such as a hat, to cover your head from the heat and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while golfing.
Tips and advices to reduce the risk of injuries:
- Ensure you warm up and stretch properly before you golf. Every stretch should be done to target every major joint. Do stretches until you reach the point of discomfort, but NOT inducing pain and hold it for 10-15 seconds.
- Learn the right technique. It is advisable that you train with a professional and learn the right techniques of golfing from the beginning rather than correcting.
- Complement your golfing sessions by doing exercises that will improve your fitness level as a whole. This means an exercise that includes cardiovascular endurance, such as jogging, swimming, cycling, strength exercises, and flexibility exercises.
- Hydrate! Drink 200 ml of water every 15-20 minutes and as much as you need after finishing your golf session.
- Exercise regularly but limit the time and manage your rest days according to your capability and fitness level. Do not force your body to exercise more than what it’s telling you.
- Rest when you are injured or fatigue. Exercising when injured will only exaggerate and prolong the pain and might lead to chronic injuries. Give time for your body to rest and heal.