How to Prevent 4 Common Golf Injuries by Mark Palit, M.D.

April 15, 2021

Now that spring is here one of our favorite outdoor activities is in full swing. For many of us, there is nothing like waking up on the weekends and hitting the course. While golfing can help keep you active there is potential for an injury. The repetitive motions of golf can have an effect on the body. Below is information on 4 common golf injuries, and how you can prevent and treat them.
1.    Back Pain: When preparing for a swing, rotation of the frame of your body can create rotational stress. With repetition, this can result in low back pain. You can prevent low back pain by improving your form and technique. One option is exercising your back muscles through flexibility-focused exercises, such as yoga. If you have increasing low back pain you may need further evaluation and treatment by one of our qualified orthopedic providers.
2.    Shoulder Pain: Golf swings can cause stress on the shoulders. The motion of swinging the golf club behind your back, hitting the ball, and then the follow through. All of these motions together can cause an injury to the rotator cuff. Most important in preventing an injury is practicing a proper golf swing. Routine exercise will also strengthen these muscles. Rotator cuff tears is one of the most common injuries from a golf swing, however this is a treatable injury.
3.    Golf Elbow: A golfer’s term for tendonitis, which is inflammation in the inner elbow tendon. This is caused by over-use on the forearm muscles. The best way to avoid this injury is to vary your swings. This will allow your forearms and elbows time to rest and rebuild tissue which is essential in preventing further injury. If you develop elbow pain, limit your golf time to allow you to recover from the injury.  
4.    Knee Pain: Without correct weight distribution during your golf swing, you may cause yourself a knee injury down the road. The rapid side to front-facing position during a golf swing can cause extra stress and/or inflammation. Standing and walking on the golf course can also cause a flare-up of existing knee conditions, such as osteoarthritis. Stretching before hitting the course will help your knees prepare for that perfect golf swing.
Treatment options for the 4 common injuries listed above can vary. Typically rest, icing, and use of an anti-inflammatory can help. In addition, if you continue to have pain, then you may need to be seen by an orthopedic provider who may recommend physical therapy, cortisone injection, or if needed, an alternative treatment may be an arthroscopic surgery if non-invasive treatments do not help relieve the pain. At Iowa Specialty Hospital-Orthopedic Specialists, our providers work with the patients in providing a specific and restorative approach to helping a patient regain full function.
 

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