Despite golf’s relaxed pace, the popular pastime is linked with a host of common but preventable injuries. Low back pain is the most widespread complaint among both professional and amateur golfers, followed by injuries to the elbow and shoulder, according to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). These stem from the powerful rotation and extension motion of the golf swing.
Golf-related injuries can be significantly reduced, however, by warming up and stretching muscles before a round of golf, concluded a study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The study found that golfers who warmed up for at least 10 minutes were half as likely to be injured as those who hadn’t.
To increase blood flow to the muscles and lower the risk of injury before teeing off, the website of PGA Professional offers a list of recommended exercises. These include arm circles, overhead extension, partial squat and side lunge. Meanwhile, cool down using slow controlled stretches can help ward off pain. Other ways to reduce golf injuries were identified in a 2010 study in the journal Sports Health, including year-round core-strengthening exercises and correcting errors in golf swing technique and posture.
Despite preventative efforts, some golfers still experience aches. Pain that doesn’t go away after four to six weeks may have a more serious cause, and you should consult with an orthopedic, spine or sports medicine specialist. If you don’t already have a physician, appointments with the board certified physicians at OASIS (Orthopedic and Spine Integrated Services) at locations across Northern New Jersey and Brooklyn are available by calling (844-366-8800).
“If pain is keeping you from your favorite activities for more than a few weeks, it is best to see a physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment rather than risk further injury or endure continued pain,” stated OASIS founder Bryan J. Massoud, M.D. “We like to to help people get back to whatever it is they love doing as quickly as possible.”
For more tips from AOSSM on golf injury prevention, visit https://www.sportsmed.org/uploadedFiles/Content/Patient/Sports_Tips/ST%20Golf%20Injuries%2008.pdf.