Golf is often viewed as a sport that’s free of injury risk. Sadly it’s a myth. Golf presents many physical challenges and the fact that they go unnoticed makes it even more hazardous to the body. We all know that injuries can’t be 100% prevented, but there are certain ways to give yourself the best chance at staying healthy if you’re frequenting the golf course.
Strikingly common golf injuries are listed below, along with specific ways to work towards the prevention of them.
Knee injuries can hamper most athletes, regardless of sport. Golf is no exception and the knee is much more prone to damage while playing than most players understand. For one, those that walk 18-holes frequently understand that the distance can be taxing physically. While the impact that golf has on the knees from a walking standpoint is low-impact, the weight and pressure is accentuated by the weight of the bag and the fluctuating terrain.
Golf also creates unnatural pressure on the knee during the swing. The leading knee is under a lot of lateral and vertical stress during each and every swing. For those with inconsistent swings or rampant foot slippage, this danger can quickly become worsened.
Advice: Your knees allow the rest of your golf game to come together, along with get you physically through the course if you’re walking. Take care of them by limiting bag weight and also wearing shoes that will diminish slippage potential on hard swings. Quality shoes made exclusively for golf can limit the stress on your legs, and knees in particular. Stretching before walking up to the first tee box is also a must.
Any repetitive motion that puts awkward pressure on the upper body can harm someone’s shoulders. The golf swing can be detrimental to shoulder health for a number of reasons. Firstly, when people flub a shot and tear through the ground before coming in contact with the ball, there is some serious impact going on in the shoulder joint. The fluid swing interrupted abruptly by the ground is cause for concern, especially if it’s happening frequently.
Additionally, the constant swinging motion can be a risk to players of any caliber, specifically those that swing forcefully on each tee box. If someone has ever had surgery to fix a torn labrum or rotator cuff, the red flags are more significant for shoulder injury in golf.
Advice: Your shoulders are naturally meant to do certain activities. Swinging a club incredibly hard 80 times during a round of golf (if you’re playing pretty well!) isn’t one of those activities. Be careful and be conscientious of your swing mechanics. More uniform and consistent swings with low-torque follow through are ideal.
Golf, due to the posture requirements and incredible torque applied throughout a round, can increase the risk of back issues for players. The lower back is the prime area that many golfers identify as the most oft-injured area. The amount of pressure put on the lower back during and after a swing is enhanced by the repetitive nature of the game. It’s important to understand that your back is not only central to golf success, but it’s also an area utilized throughout every facet of the game. Whether you’re bending over for a put or following through on a powerful drive, your back is being utilized. Be careful with it.
Advice: Injuries to the back can affect not only your golf game, but your daily routine. It’s critical to perform exercises that increase range of motion and strength in your lower back. It can work wonders for you in preventing injury.
Golf can surely be a casual day under the sun, but it doesn’t mean the sport is free from any chance of injury. It’s important to avoid overlooking this reality because the unexpectedness is a main reason that so many golfers get hurt participating. Keep it in mind and you’ll be fine.