Golf keeps us active and healthy because we get a chance to spend a lot of refreshing time in the golf course’s sound environment. There are also possibilities of getting injured due to poor swing mechanics because our body requires us to move with a complex repetitive motion to throw the ball. A little bit of unconsciousness can create difficulty in the muscles or any joints of the body parts. You may think that only novice golfers have the chance to get the injury. But it is not the absolute truth.
The pro golfers got overuse damages on different body parts several times in their impressive golf career. Tiger woods missed the tournaments for two months for his knee surgery in April 2008. Besides, he suffers from lower back pain, neck pain, and Achilles tendon. Moreover, Rory Mcllroy and Paula Creamer got ankle and shoulder pain in their pro golf career. Therefore, get an acute injury is quite common in the game of golf. Perhaps, it is not so severe for health. Physical therapy and some unique exercise can be enough to get rid of these golf-related injuries.
Table of Contents
- 1 Common golf injuries and the treatments suggested by Experts
Common golf injuries and the treatments suggested by Experts
1. Back pain
Pain in the muscles or ligaments at the lower back of the body is the most common injury for athletes, especially golfers. While they are swinging, they need to stand rigidly to get accuracy. At that time, if there is a little bit of deviation in the standing position, muscles or ligaments can tear, damage, or get more stress than they can tolerate. All of these incidents result in back pain. Sometimes, it becomes so painful that players need to break from their loving game, golf, for a specified period. Besides, a golfer requires practicing a long time from the training to become an amateur or a professional. Spending a long period in the course and swinging with the golf clubs, maybe hundreds of times in a day is enough for suffering from back pain.
Once golfers get a back injury, they must go for treatment, whether physical therapy or medicinal treatment, depending on the intensity of the damage. The general procedures to get rid of back pain problems are –
- Take a break from playing and get rest.
- Take on hot and ice packs alternatively.
- Go to the gym or therapeutic center for a deep massage.
- Take any pain-killer pill to reduce inflammation.
- Visit a doctor for any steroid injection.
- Decide for a surgical operation if the injury is too much, of course, under a specialized surgeon.
2. Elbow injury
Another recurring pain that the golfers get frequently is an elbow injury. Getting more pressure on the elbow tendons leads to this condition. Improper or massive range of motion also causes elbow pain. When the inflammation feels at the outer tendon of the forearm, it is called a “tennis elbow.” Golfer’s elbow, however, refers to the soreness of the inner muscle. Generally, golf players suffer more from tennis elbow than golfer’s elbow. Age enhances the risk of inflamed tendons problems, and the players who struggle to improve their performance have more chance of getting this injury. This muscle damage results in stiffness on the elbow, tingling or numbness to the fingers, and weakness on the wrists and hands.
Taking rest between rounds and using the proper golf swing techniques decreases the possibility of damaging the forearm tendon. But if the sufferings become more serious, then golfers have to stop playing for the time being. In general, doctors suggest medications, take a break, oppose force bracing and therapy. If the muscle destruction happens more, then they prescribe surgery on the tendon of the elbow.
3. Carpal tunnel syndrome
The wrist and rapid swing’s recurring movement in golfing resulted in Carpal tunnel syndrome for a long time. Due to swelling in the wrist tendon, golfers can’t move their hands, feel more soreness, tingling on the fingers and golfing at old age, no warm-up before starting a golf session, and playing with a weak physical condition higher the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
This injury does not persist for more than one or two weeks. Take a break from golfing for this period can dispose of this wrist pain. Proper rest, medication with only pain-killer, ice packs, and splinting can also solve this stress disorder. It is rare to need surgery to get rid of this injury.
4. Shoulder injury
The shoulder is the more complicated body area where a rotator cuff group provides the necessary strength for doing something with hands. Therefore, tenderness on the shoulder joint at night after passing a whole day on the golf course is typical for any golf professional. But when the player overlooks this little bit of shoulder pain day after day, it will be more painful, resulting in a massive injury for any athlete. When this soreness sustains through a traumatic breakdown of the strength, the amateur golfers get tendinitis and rotator cuff damage while swinging the clubs and hitting them.
Any anti-inflammatory medications can solve this shoulder injury. With medication, the ice pack is also an excellent solution to get rid of muscle pain. But if it becomes severe, then surgery on the rotator cuff needs to cure it. They are besides, stretching the shoulder tendons before swinging lowers the risk of it. Exercise before starting the game also makes the scapular muscles flexible to prevent damage or pain on the shoulder muscles.
5. Knee injury
As the body structure, legs take in the entire body weight. So it is mandatory to stand in a correct position while a golfer is striking the golf ball. When a professional golfer is swinging the clubs, the leg absorbs pressure 4 to 5 times more than the body weight within a few seconds. Any misposition while turning results in a torn meniscus due to the twisting in thigh muscles. The cartilage between the thighbone and the shinbone is called the meniscus. It performs like a shock absorber of our body. It can shred for twisting the thigh muscles that are frequently happening at swinging. And the symptoms of tendon twisting or torn meniscus come with stiffing and swelling with massive pain that limits the leg muscles’ movement. Besides, arthritis is an ordinary pain for the golfer or any athlete because their legs have to absorb more pressure than any other person. Due to arthritis, men have to spend their time with more pain in the knee, the most critical part of the body.
The golfers must recover the torn meniscus before starting golfing again and give enough rest on the meniscus to get rid of the tears. Moreover, regular exercise before beginning the swinging lowers the risk for injury or twisting on the muscles. The doctor prescribes general anti-inflammatory medicine for a knee injury with proper rest. Surgery needs some exceptional cases where the players’ body structure is slightly different from others, or the chance of injury is too severe for the weak knee.
6. Neck injury
The golfers get neck injuries because of more stress on the neck muscles for staying in the course for most of the day and imperfect swinging techniques. As the neck is a more sensitive body, it gets hurt for a bit of displacement of the muscles. Spasms or knots result in poor postures and neck stiffness that hampers the putting, driving, or other golfing activities. So never try to overlook the neck muscles inflammation.
Ice packs are enough for a little sore on the neck, but if the collar becomes stiff with more pain, you must take the doctor’s advice. And, every golfer has to stop playing before the neck muscles become flexible to move around. If golfers want to lower the chance of getting neck injury, they have to take warm-up exercises before swinging because it strengthens the shoulders and upper arms’ muscles. Besides, take breaks after a specific time of practice and less stress for the perfection of the striking may also lessen the risk of this injury,
7. Plantar fasciitis
The plantar fascia is a fibrous tissue layer attached to the heel bone at the foot’s bottom. Most of the time, golfers feel pain while they are going out for the sport. The inflammation feels mainly in the morning, and it happens due to wearing the wrong shoes, extensive practice with no breaks. It is also known as a foot and ankle injury because golfers need to move their bodies more frequently than other athletes, damaging the foot and ankle bones.
Ice treatment and non-steroids anti-inflammatory medicine are pretty enough to remove the soreness or pain in the heel. Besides, the stretching exercises help to lower the chance of getting hurt in the heel bone. Using the precise swinging mechanism reduces the possibility of getting an injury on the feet and ankles.
8. Hand and finger injury
As the golfer requires more stress on the fingers and hands while creating the golf swing, these parts of the body have a high risk of getting wrist injury. Generally, golfers suffer from recurrent blunt trauma or severe pain in the fingers to practice more without rest. If anyone overlooks this injury, it may turn into chronic tendinitis, broken or deformed finger bones, or HHS (Hypothenar Hammer Syndrome).
Use the perfect gripping technique and take a break while the need to swing for a long time to improve the performance reduces this injury or damage. Besides, golfers must avoid more ball blushing and ball off in the artificial mats to eliminate this injury.
9. Hip injury
Although the hip joint is the most movable part of the body and can absorb more stress than other parts, golfers also injure it. They have to stay on the golf course for the whole day long and use different techniques to improve scoring, and they are at high risk of injury on their hips. The joint gets injuries such as groin strains and lower back pain without extra adduction and flexion pressure on the hip’s gluteal and adductor muscles.
Proper warm-up exercises and taking rest between the sessions can prevent this hip joint pain. Besides, if anyone gets an injury, they need to rest as per the doctor’s prescription.
While golfing, the skin gets more damage due to the direct sunlight. It is the largest and more sensitive organ of the body. If anyone does not use the sun protection agent while staying in the direct sunlight for a long time, permanent burning signs may appear on the skin that remain open. Long-term sunburn can turn into skin cancer, so every golfer requires proper preventive measures for this less painful but irritational injury.
Use of sunscreen lotion or cream having SPF 15 or more, depending on the intensity of the UV rays, can prevent the burning of the skin. Moreover, the use of golf sunglasses, golf hats, and an umbrella on the caddie can protect the face from direct sunlight.
Tiger Woods drops to his knees in pain
If we compare golf with other athletic games, it will be less harmful to getting wounds. Besides, the common injuries that a golfer can face can easily be solved and not so dangerous like football, wrestling, baseball, etc. So take the usual preventive measures like the proper technique of swinging, tea break between the rounds, stretching exercises, and enough warming up before beginning the swing to get rid of golf injuries. And enjoy the game of golf without putting stress on the mind except to concentrate on the score.