Top 5 Golf Injuries
Although considered a low risk sport, both professional and amateur golfers have a fairly high chance of suffering either a traumatic injury or an injury caused by the overuse of certain muscles.Professionals tend to get overuse injuries, simply because they play much more golf. The injuries that amateurs sustain are more likely to be caused by a poor swing technique.
Pain in the lower back is the most common complaint, especially among male professional golfers. The rotation and extension necessary to swing the club, along with the characteristic hunched over position, can, with repetition or poor technique, cause microscopic tears, arthritis, or stress fractures to the ligaments, muscles or facet joints in the lower back.Interestingly, there is twice the incidence of low back pain if the golfer carries his or her golf bag.
Medial epicondylitis is a common enough injury among golfers to be known as Golfer’s Elbow. Pain and tenderness results from damage to the tendons in the forearm where they attach to the humerus (upper arm bone) at the inner side of the elbow. Gripping the golf club too hard, and overuse, can cause the condition. Golfers can also suffer from Tennis Elbow. This involves similar damage to the forearm tendons, but in this case the damage occurs where the tendons attach to the humerus at the outer side of the elbow.
Wrist and Hand
Golfers, particularly female professional players, suffer from wrist injuries, usually to the lead wrist (left wrist for right-handed players; right wrist for left-handed players). Most wrist injuries are from overuse of the wrist flexor and extensor tendons and can lead to deQuervain’s tendinitis, damage to and inflammation of tendons and tendon sheaths that extend across the wrist.
Golfers can also develop carpal tunnel syndrome. This is nerve damage that causes numbness to radiate from the wrist down the fingers. Impaction syndrome is another possible wrist injury, when the bones in the wrist are excessively or repeatedly banged against each other and may even develop small fractures.
The muscles most active during the golf swing are the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder: the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus teres minor, pectoralis, and latissimus. Any of these can suffer microscopic tears in the muscle fibers due to repeated swinging of the club, particularly if the swing technique is faulty.
A rotator cuff tear the most common shoulder injury for golfers, but another injury, impingement syndrome, can occur when the rotator cuff tendons rub excessively against the acromion (top of the shoulder), causing inflammation. Shoulder problems tend to affect the lead arm.
Knee and Hip
Playing golf does not often cause new injuries. The golf club striking the ground during the swing could potentially tear a hip socket lining, or a knee could be injured during the swing, but it is more likely that repetitive swinging of the club, combined with extended periods of walking and standing would exacerbate an existing or pre-existing knee or hip problem.
To help avoid injury, all golfers should warm up for at least ten minutes before beginning to play.