Summer is right around the corner and for many people, that means hitting the links. Golf enthusiasts will be spending more time perfecting their swings. But an increase in golfing activity can also mean a higher likelihood of injury. Don’t let your love for the game be your downfall by doing too much too fast.
Although golf is not a high impact sport, it does involve many parts of the body. Therefore, the chances of sustaining an injury from golfing is higher than some sports. The repetitive nature of golf results in a significant amount of wear and tear on the joints. The strain on the body is even more damaging if you jump right into a rigorous golfing routine after taking a long break over the winter months.
So how can you take advantage of the warmer weather on the golf course without landing yourself in your orthopedic surgeon’s office? Take a peak at these tips for avoiding the most common golf injuries.
Common Golf Injuries
- Back pain can result from stress on the muscles and spine during the twisting motion of your swing.
- Rotator cuff injuries commonly result from poor form or overuse.
- Foot and ankle injuries can occur if you lose balance or simply employ poor mechanics during a swing.
- The repetitive motion involving the elbow during a swing can lead to inflammation of the elbow joint, also referred to as tendinitis.
- Hip and knee injuries are also common as the pivoting and twisting motion puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the joints.
With so many ways to injure yourself during a golfing outing, how can you ensure that you remain injury-free this summer?
- Start out your golf routine gradually. It is important to avoid overuse as much as possible, especially if you have taken a long hiatus from the game.
- Listen to your body. If you feel strain, discomfort or pain in your body while golfing, don’t push through. What might start as a simple injury can develop into something more severe if you continue activity.
- Visit a sports medicine trained orthopedic surgeon if you start noticing symptoms in your knees, hips, elbow, shoulder or hip after golfing. Again, addressing an issue early can mean the difference between simply rest or needing surgical intervention.
- Stay hydrated. Spending hours out in the heat during a golf game can easily lead to dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid overheating. This can impact stamina, form and even proper swing mechanics as your body fatigues.
- Develop a solid swing technique. Because so many injuries result from poor form and mechanics, it is vital to learn the right way to swing. This might mean working with a pro or a coach to ensure you have a solid foundation.
- Stretch your body thoroughly before even setting foot on the course. Make sure your muscles and joints are warmed up before jumping into a long game.
Get your summer golf game started on the right track. Be sure to take these simple precautions to ensure a long, fun summer of golfing.