With warmer weather and longer daylight hours, it’s easier to find time to sneak off to the golf course and hit a few balls. With it comes the usual aches and pains associated with the sport.
Golfers will usually feel stiffness and pain in three core areas: Lower back, elbows, and wrists. The initial tweaks from introducing dormant muscles to an unfamiliar movement can lead to more than just a double bogey on the scorecard. It’s important to pay attention to your body so that your early season strains don’t turn in to later season overuse injuries.
The lower back is one of the most common complaints among golfers. The rotational stress, coupled with poor flexibility and bad swing mechanics can aggravate your low back. Medial epicondylitis, or “Golfers Elbow,” effects the tendons in the elbow as a result of poor swing mechanics.
To help you stay out on the course, here’s a few tips to avoid the most common golf injuries.
1. Warm up and stretch.
I know it’s tough, you’re late for a tee time and you just step up and start playing. It might help you get 18 in today, but it will do you no favors as the season wanes. Try to arrive early and warm up with a few easy practice swings and stretching, concentrating on your large muscle groups—your back, legs and shoulders.
2. Slow Down.
Golf is a funny game. The harder and faster we swing, the worse the outcome of the shot. Let the clubs do their job, ease off and keep a smooth pace throughout the swing with a proper follow through.
3. Go Back to Basics.
Technique is everything in golf. Not only will it allow you to hit the ball further, it will also help you prevent injury. Proper mechanics allows your muscles to work as they were designed to work. Improper mechanics puts additional stress on smaller muscle groups that can’t handle the load, resulting in strains or overuse injuries. It’s always a good idea to take a refresher lesson to start the season.
Usually, many of these injuries can be treated with ice, rest and anti-inflammatory medications. However, if pain persists, stop in at Emergency One and we’ll get you back on the course in no time. If you have questions about the right types of exercise or stretching you should be doing for golf, we’ll be happy to provide you with an appropriate routine.