Common Golf Injuries and How to Prevent Them
Golf is one of the best ways to stay active and spend enjoyable time with friends. Even though it's a low impact sport that can be played all throughout your life you can still injure yourself if you aren't careful. Improper stance, bad swings, and damaged fairways can all contribute to common golf injuries. Check out the list below to find our list of the eight golf injuries you're likely to face if you don't take the time to learn the game.
Most Common Golf Injuries
The most common injuries a player will experience when playing golf are in the moving parts of your body. Your joints, tendons, and the muscles of your back are usually the biggest culprits. Some of the best advice we've seen for preventing golf injuries is to work on your technique. Golf isn't a sport you should get hurt playing. As long as you work on your fundamentals and build the proper movements into your swing you greatly reduce your chances of injuries. There's a reason there are 90-year-old players still hitting the links every day in retirement. Golf is an excellent way to stay active entire life.
1. Back Pain
The muscles in your back are some of the most important when taking that perfect swing. Golf back injuries are very common if you don't have the proper swing mechanics down. When you're getting ready to swing you have to bend over. Many golfers unconsciously tense up their muscles when they do so. This puts extra strain on several parts of your body, including your back. If you focus on staying relaxed at all points of your swing you can greatly reduce your chances for back pain. Make sure you aren't trying too hard. You should let the momentum of the club move the ball.
2. Elbow Tendinitis
Tennis elbow is a common complaint by active people but golfer's elbow is also a thing. If you move your elbow improperly over many swings of the club you risk damaging your tendons. Interestingly enough most doctors see golfers in with tennis elbow instead of golf elbow. This comes down to the way they swing their club and the added strain they put on their tendons. Even if your form is perfect you may still experience pain in your elbow. If you start to notice any kind of twingeing or pain in your elbow take a break for a while. Take a rest from the activity and try icing down your elbow. You can also put something like Icy Hot or a warm compress on to soothe it. If it lasts for more than a day or so or if you're 55 or older it's a good idea to see your doctor.
3. Knee Pain
Knee pain from golfing mainly relates to the stress placed on your knees during your swing. When you rotate your hips your knees naturally try to help stabilize your body. If your form is off or if you suffer from arthritis it's very easy to accidentally damage the tendons and ligaments in your knee. This can result in permanent damage if you aren't careful. If you feel any knee pain after being active you should immediately have it checked by a doctor.
4. Rotator Cuff Injuries
Your rotator cuffs are located in your shoulders and can suffer from a number of different injuries. The most common causes are repeated improper swings and sudden impacts such as hitting a rock or deep divot. Golfers may experience tears to the rotator cuff itself. Tendinitis and bursitis are also very common injuries. Usually, these can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs but you should always see a doctor as well.
5. Hand and Wrist Injuries
Your back and legs may seem like they're doing most of the work during your swing, but your hands are what carries it out. No part of your body will move as much as your wrists and hands during a golf swing. That's the biggest reasons hand and wrist damage are some of the most common golf injuries. The sudden blunt impact of your club head against a rock or other impediment can shudder up your club into your wrists and hands. The first step to preventing hand, wrist, and finger injury is to learn to swing properly. This limits your chances of striking the ground too hard. Always make sure any course you're at is being managed effectively. This makes it less likely you'll encounter poorly maintained fairways and damaged tees.
6. Hip Damage
As we get older hip injuries are very common. What many people don't realize is how much strain a golf swing can put on your hip. All golf swings involve significant twisting and shifting of the hips. If your muscles aren't used to the strain or movement you can easily injure yourself. The best way to prevent hip injuries during your swing is to fully warm up before you play. You should also try and do hip strengthening exercises.
7. Neck Injuries
Many new golfers are advised not to move their head during their swing. Not only does it affect where your ball goes, but it also has an impact on the muscles of your neck. When you twist your head during a swing you're actually putting a strain on your neck muscles. If you don't correct your swing this can eventually lead to injuries. The best way to deal with a golf neck injury is to improve your swing technique. If you're using your head correctly during your swing you're much less likely to injure yourself.
One thing many golfers don't think about is the sun. Sunburn is one of the leading injuries that people playing outdoor sports experience. A round of golf takes hours. If you don't use sunscreen and proper sun protecting clothing you might come home looking like a lobster. Sunburns are painful in the short term, but also lead to long-term issues. Sunburns are one of the leading causes of skin cancer. By properly applying sunscreen and using sun-blocking clothes you can greatly reduce your risk.
Remember to Have Fun
Golf should be something you do because you love it. Make sure that being too competitive or stubborn to learn doesn't lead you to golf injuries. Knowing how to prevent these injuries can keep you safe, allowing you to get the most enjoyment possible from your golf game.