Golf injuries

People think of golf as a sport requiring little athletic ability with a small risk of injury. The reality is that golf injuries are fairly common among recreational golfers, affecting 15-20 percent of golfers each year. The risk of injury increases with age. A large portion of golfing injuries are caused by poor mechanics and the explosive nature of the repetitive motions required to swing and hit the golf ball. These repetitive motions can strain the tissues and cause injuries; while most golf injuries are minor, some are traumatic.

According to the Top 5 Golf Injuries are:

  1. Low back pain
  2. Golfer’s Elbow plus wrist and hand strains
  3. Plantar Fasciitis and other foot pain
  4. Knee pain
  5. Shoulder pain

Lower back pain is the most common golf injury, accounting for around 20 percent of all golf injuries.

Prevent golf injuries with these tips

Follow these tips from Mayo Clinic to reduce your risk of the most common golf injuries:

Work on your mechanics

Your swing uses muscles in your entire body; it is a complex and coordinated movement. Prevent repetitive motion strains by learning how to swing properly:

  • Warm your muscles up with a brisk 10 minute walk or a set of jumping jacks before starting the game.
  • Stretch your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, spine and pelvis after your warm-up.
  • Swing your golf club a few times, gradually increasing your range of motion.
  • Don’t over-do practicing your swing. If you are just starting out spend twenty minutes practicing your swing and work up to an hour.
  • Use proper posture with your feet shoulder-width apart and rotated slightly outward, and with your knees slightly bent. Keep your back tilted forward but straight and avoid hunching over the ball.
  • Use one smooth motion that evenly transfers movement between all the muscles necessary to execute the swing.
  • Avoid “over-swinging.” Relax your muscles and take a slow, easy swing at the ball.
  • Try to avoid hitting the ground or the rough when you swing.

Note: If you are planning to carry your own clubs be very intentional and careful when lifting the bag. Never jerk the bag, keep your back straight, bend your knees and use your leg strength to lift.

What to wear, eat and drink

  • Wear proper golf shoes with short cleats.
  • Dress in breathable fabric.
  • Wear sunscreen and don’t forget to re-apply.
  • Wear a hat with a visor & sunglasses.
  • Drink plenty of water (even if you don’t feel thirsty) and watch for symptoms of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. If you have a headache, weakness, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, confusion, muscle cramps or nausea remove yourself from the game and seek water and food.
  • Eat protein rich snacks while out on the course such as nut mix to keep your energy up.
  • If using a golf cart, always keep your feet inside the cart.
  • Quit the game at the first signs of a storm.

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