Golf might not be as strenuous as contact or collision sports, but you can suffer a golf injury. Some injuries are minor overuse injuries, while others are more serious muscle or tendon injuries. In this article, I review some of the common injuries that competitive and recreational golfer can suffer.
Golf injury #1: Low back pain
Low back pain is one of the most common injuries in recreational golfers, but professional golfers can experience it as well. Often the cause is muscular in nature, resulting from the rotation of the lumbar spine during the swing. Routine exercises to increase flexibility might prevent the development of low back pain.
Golf injury #2: Shoulder pain
Golfers often develop overuse conditions of the shoulder as well. Impingement of the rotator cuff tendons can occur due to the overhead nature of the swing. Rest, activity modification, and anti-inflammatory medications can often be helpful for this shoulder pain. Working with a physical therapist, performing strengthening exercises and improving shoulder mechanics, can be helpful as well.
Golf injury #3: Wrist pain
Overuse injuries of the wrist can develop in golfers who play and practice frequently. Often inflammation of the tendons that flex or extend the wrist develops over time. Rest, short-term activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, and a wrist brace can be helpful.
Golf injury #4: Medial epicondylitis
Medial epicondylitis is often called “golfer’s elbow.” It is a condition marked by pain on the medial (side closest to the midline of the body) side
of the elbow. The golfer notices pain on the inside of the elbow just past the medial epicondyle (bony prominence on that part of the elbow) with activity. This pain can develop over time or after hitting the ground during a shot. A period of rest, physical therapy, home strengthening and stretching exercises, and/or use of a counterforce strap can relieve symptoms from medial epicondylitis.
Golf injury #5: Lateral epicondylitis
Lateral epicondylitis is often called “tennis elbow,” but golfers can develop it. It is a common cause of pain on the lateral (side away from the midline of the body) side of the elbow. A golfer often feels pain on the outside of the elbow just past the lateral epicondyle (bony prominence on the lateral side of the elbow). Treatment options similar to those for medial epicondylitis are often effective.
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