As the weather begins to break in Michigan, golf season is in full swing! It is important to keep in mind tips for healthy golfing as you enter the golf course in the coming months. As a healthcare professional, I would like to offer some tips to promote your golfing health and prevent injuries that may keep you away from your favorite pastime. While I cannot guarantee that my advice will improve your game, I can assure you that being aware of the common injuries that sideline golfers and taking preventative measures may allow you to spend more time on the course this season and potentially enhance your performance.
Despite the perception that golf is a relatively low-level sport, golfing injuries are quite common, especially in areas such as the shoulder, elbow, wrist, low back, and knee. For instance, the rotator cuff, responsible for much of your shoulder’s function, is prone to acute strains and tears, as well as overuse injuries resulting in tendonitis or bursitis. Simple shoulder stretches, strengthening exercises, and a proper warm-up routine can help prevent rotator cuff problems.
Refers to inflammation and overuse of the inner part of the elbow, which can also be prevented by strengthening the forearm muscles and slowing the swing to reduce shock on the arm. Similarly, wrist tendonitis can result from stressing the tendons that control the hand and fingers, so it’s crucial to incorporate wrist stretches and strengthening exercises to ensure optimal performance.
Low Back Pain
Another common complaint among golfers is often caused by a poor swing that places considerable pressure on the spine and muscles. It is vital to maintain balance and strength in the core muscles, including the low back, abdominal, and hip muscles, through proper stretching and strengthening exercises.
This can occur in golfers, especially from the twisting motion of the golf swing. Proper warm-up routines and seeking guidance from a professional to ensure proper mechanics can help prevent knee injuries.
Engaging in simple stretching and strengthening exercises, proper warm-up routines, and seeking guidance from professionals can promote golfing health and potentially prolong your career. Remember that taking care of your overall health and fitness can also enhance your golfing performance.
If you’ve already hurt yourself, remember: rest, ice, compression, elevation, and anti-inflammatory medicine can help with most minor injuries. If you’ve really hurt yourself and it’s not getting better with the “simple stuff” like RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), ibuprofen, and a brace or compression sleeve– get it checked out. For more information and links related to preventing and treating golf injuries, visit our website at www.performanceorthopedics.com.
Dr. Joseph Guettler is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, as well as surgery of the knee, shoulder, and elbow. His office is located in Bingham Farms, MI. Visit www.miorthosurgeons.com for more information on Dr. Guettler and his practice, Michigan Orthopaedic Surgeons.