With the golfing season now in full swing – pardon the pun – and courses across the UK fully open again, you’re probably spending more time on the golf course this summer than ever before! With an increase in physical activity after a long layoff, there are a number of common golf injuries which can be easy to develop, but not so easy to identify.
Fear not, because help is at hand – if your day-to-day life or golfing game is being affected by an injury, we’ve put together some of the most common golf injuries around, as well as some tactics which you can adopt in order to manage them effectively and efficiently.
Shoulder pain from golf
Shoulder injuries are common in golf, with repetitive motion and shifts in weight distribution putting a strain on the upper body. If you find yourself having shoulder pain from golf, either when playing or when carrying out daily activity, you may be suffering from one of the following common shoulder injuries:
- Rotator cuff tear
- Shoulder impingement
- Shoulder instability
There are a number of exercises which you can adopt in order to alleviate pain, but you should always consult a medical professional ahead of attempting something new. Gentle rotation, chest expansion exercises and spinal rolls can all help, as well as remedial massage treatments designed to focus on the more problematic areas of your shoulders and upper back.
Upper back pain from golf
As with shoulder pain, the upper back can be prone to injury for golfers. From bending before striking the ball, to carrying clubs around 18-holes, the shoulders and back can come under a huge amount of strain.
As with many injuries, prevention is the best route to recovery. You could perform balance exercises, or if you are currently carrying your clubs manually, consider user a trolley to carry your equipment rather than just slinging your golf bag over your shoulders.
Lower back pain from golf
Some of the most common golf injuries occur in the lower back. Some notable causes of pain include;
- Muscle strains
- Muscular spasms
- Disc injury
A number of lower back injuries can be avoided by ensuring a good golf swing. Consider having lessons with a PGA pro at your local golf course. Even just 30 minutes with a professional can help iron out some weaknesses in your game and ensure that you develop good habits when striking the ball.
If you are unfortunate enough to be suffering lower back pain as a result of golfing activities, don’t panic – seek medical advice.
Golf forearm pain
Much like tennis elbow, ‘golfer’s elbow’ is an injury which can be developed through repetitive activity, and the pain itself can spread across the elbow and forearm. The technical term for golfer’s elbow is ‘medial epicondylitis’, and it can easily develop if you have developed a poor technique, or even just spent a little too much time on the driving range!
Rest can be one of the most effective treatments for golfer’s elbow, as can gentle exercise and remedial massage treatments. Kinesio taping also has a number of benefits, and is a favourite amongst an array of professional golfers, including Tiger Woods himself.
If you are concerned about the level of pain you are experiencing or if your arm has become swollen or inflamed, there may be something more significant at play. If in doubt, always consult your local pharmacist or GP.
Golf wrist injuries
Repetitive bending of the wrist, or sudden shock impact when striking the ground with a golf club can both lead to injury, and the wrist is a delicate and at-risk area. The most common golf wrist injuries include;
As with hand injuries, wrist injuries are not to be taken lightly, and you should never just try to play through the pain. A thorough examination from a medical professional followed by a personalised programme of rehabilitation and rest will always be the best solution.
Hand injuries from golf
Let’s face it, your hands are one of your most useful assets when on the golf course. It all begins with the grip, and if you are finding yourself experience significant hand pain, you may have developed one of the following two golfing injuries;
- Trauma (such as a hairline fracture or break)
If your hand is swollen or inflamed, or if your hand pain is getting in the way of basic activities such as lifting or using a keyboard, you should consult your GP or dial NHS 111. There are a number of gentle hand exercises and rehabilitation programmes that can help get you back to full strength, and a Sports Therapist would be able to guide you back towards recovery once you have had a thorough examination or, if advised, an x-ray.
Golf knee injuries
As if golfer’s elbow wasn’t bad enough, you may also find yourself susceptible to ‘golfer’s knee’. One of the most active parts of the body in a golf swing is the knee, with effective weight distribution shifts causing you to turn your knee inwards when striking the ball.
If you find yourself experiencing knee pain after playing golf, you may have developed one of the following injuries;
- Cartilage tear
- Ligament injury
A Sports Therapist can implement soft tissue techniques as part of a sports massage to focus in on the area in question, and as with the majority of golfing injuries, a recovery programme can help bring you back to full strength once a thorough examination and diagnosis has taken place.
Golf foot pain
Foot pain is less common in golf, but you may be suffering from an injury through the amount of walking you are doing on the course. According to Golf Monthly, the average person walks 6.6 miles during a round of golf. That’s no mean feat, especially if you are doing other forms of exercise during the week such as running.
If you are suffering from foot pain, you may have developed an injury such as plantar fasciitis, an annoying injury which can cause long term pain. Deep tissue massage and regular stretching can help alleviate some of the symptoms. Speak with a medical professional for further advice.
Soft tissue therapy for golf injuries
If you are suffering from a golf injury and would like to find out more about how soft tissue therapy can help alleviate pain and discomfort, contact us today. Alternatively, our online injury rehabilitation or massage treatments could be just what you need to help get you on the road to recovery.