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How to Avoid Common Golf Injuries

Posted on August 18, 2018 by Joe Fleming

golf-picture-1At first glance, golf might seem like a fairly safe sport with low injury risk. In reality, though, golfers’ bodies can take quite a beating. This is especially true for professional golfers like Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, both of whom have had to take breaks from their careers to let serious injuries heal.

Golf injuries are definitely possible, but they’re not inevitable. By taking the proper precautions, you can keep injuries at bay and continue to keep the sport as a regular part of your life.

Read on to learn about some of the most common golf injuries, as well as what you can do to prevent them.

Common Golf Injuries

Some of the most common golf injuries that you should take extra care to avoid include:

Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is one of the most common injuries a golfer can experience.

This injury is characterized by inflamed elbow tendons, as well as pain, swelling, and tenderness on the inside portion of the elbow. Golfer’s elbow is most often the result of overuse (i.e., repeating the same motion over and over again without enough rest).

Lower Back Pain

Many golfers also complain of lower back pain. Usually, lower back is caused by a poor golf swing, especially if that poor golf swing is repeated over and over for an extended period of time. A poor swing puts a lot of pressure on the spine and the muscles surrounding it.

Some golfers also experience back pain because they lack muscle strength, suffer from muscle imbalances, or lack flexibility.

Knee Pain

Knee injuries are also surprisingly common among golfers. Many people don’t understand that the knees are heavily involved in a proper golf swing. They’re required for hip stabilization and following through with one’s swing.

If the muscles around the knees are weak, it’s harder to stabilize oneself while swinging. As a result, this places extra pressure on the knee and can lead to inflammation and even torn ligaments.

Rotator Cuff Tears

It’s also common for golfers to experience tears or inflammation in the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint (rotator cuff). If you’re dealing with a rotator cuff injury, you’ll likely experience pain in your upper arm or shoulder during your swing.

Rotator cuff injuries can be brought on by a poorly executed swing, trauma that occurs when you hit a root or rock or take a deep divot or overuse.

Wrist Tendonitis

Due to the repetitive motions involved in golf, wrist tendonitis is highly common. People with wrist tendonitis often experience pain and tenderness in the wrist, particularly at the top of their backswing and at impact. People with weak wrists or hands, or those who don’t swing properly, are more prone to tendonitis.

Neck Spasms

In new golfers, neck spasms are quite common. When you’re not used to twisting your body a lot, it’s easy for the neck muscles to seize up after just a couple hours of practice. Seasoned golfers may also deal with them if they don’t warm up properly.

Foot and Ankle Sprains

The feet are also heavily involved in the golf swing. You need to your feet to provide power and stability and help you follow through with your swing. If you lose your footing or balance, swing improperly, or hit the ball off an uneven surface, you could end up with a serious foot or ankle injury.

Avoiding Common Golf Injuries

When it comes to avoiding these common golf injuries, some basic rules apply. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll have an easier time keeping injuries at bay:

Master Your Swing

The most important thing you can do is develop a proper golf swing. Swinging with poor technique increases your risk for almost every golf injury.

To make sure you’re swinging properly, consider hiring a coach for a few lessons. Even if you’ve been playing for years, it’s always helpful to get a tune-up and make sure you haven’t developed any bad habits.

Warm Up Properly

No matter your age or skill level, a proper warm-up can make a huge difference. Take some time before your next match to do some practice swings and stretching exercises to loosen up your muscles.

It’s also a good idea to avoid starting right with your driver since it requires the greatest amount of force to swing. Instead, hit a few balls with your wedge and then work your way up.

Avoid Overtraining

Overuse is also responsible for many golf injuries. When combined with a lack of warmup and poor form, it’s a recipe for disaster. It’s important to practice regularly if you want to improve, but avoid spending hours on the course every day. Remember that your body needs time to rest and recover.

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