Even though golf appears as a simple game to play by striking a stationary object using a golf club into a wide open space, you have to think again. The best way to become proficient with the sport is to start young and consistently practice.
Golf is considered as a low-risk sport when it comes to golf injuries. On the other hand, many individuals who play the sport especially those who lack correct technique can end up with golf injuries, either the acute forms or from overuse.
Common golf injuries
The acute golf injuries are due to a single, traumatic episode such as striking the ground of a submerged tree root in a sand trap. As for the overuse injuries, they are more subtle and occur over time.
These injuries often stem from strain that the golfer places on the shoulders and back when swinging. The commonly injured areas include the shoulder, back and elbow. These can be managed with rest, proper stretching and warm-up.
Why do golf injuries occur?
Most cases of golf injuries are due to overuse. The usual causes of these golf injuries include the following:
- Poor conditioning
- Lack of flexibility
- Intermittent play
- Extensive practice or play
- Impact forces from the ground
- Poor swing mechanics
Always bear in mind that poor flexibility is a main factor for golf injuries. This is why proper warmup is vital since it reduces the risk for injuries.
The golf swing is divided into four stages – back swing, down swing, acceleration/ball strike and follow through. Any limitations in the range of motion can disrupt with the capability to achieve proper swing, thus increasing the stress on the affected muscles and joints.
Another reason why golf injuries occur is the repetitive nature of the sport. The golf swing is comprised of monotonous, high-speed movement of the shoulders, neck, spine, wrist, elbow, ankles and knees. The cases of golf injuries directly correlate with the number of rounds or the number of range or practice balls struck in a week.
How to prevent golf injuries
The best way to avoid any of these injuries at any age group is to establish a concrete swing technique. A golfer who plays with a poor swing technique face a higher risk for injury due to the excessive strain placed on the shoulders, back and elbows.
All golfers regardless of age level must have a specific routine of stretching exercises to be performed before starting every round. Along with stretching exercises, it is best to always hit some golf balls before a game, starting with the wedge and steadily working up to the driver.
It is recommended to seek guidance from a sports medicine specialists in case golf injuries occur so that an accurate diagnosis can be given and prevent recurrent issues. The individual can return to the course once clearance has been given by the doctor.