Common Golf Injuries – And how physiotherapy can help!
Golf Injuries & Golf Physiotherapy
It’s not uncommon for golf to be seen as a low impact sport that poses more as a mental challenge than it does physical. However anyone who has endured 3-4 hours on a golf course (particularly the first game back in a while) can appreciate waking up the next day with pain from your shoulders to the tips of your feet.
The explosive and repetitive nature of a golf swing requires high levels of power, speed and mobility. It is deficits in these areas such as reduced spinal flexibility, weakness in trunk muscles and incorrect technique such as poor weight shift that contribute to the likelihood of sustaining an injury. Also not to be underestimated is the impact of no warm up or poor activation performed prior to participation.
Some common golf injuries and possible contributing factors include:
Lower back pain: This is the biggest contributor to injuries amongst golfers. The rotational forces that are transmitted through your spine over and over again each swing combined with hours of being hunched over your club can lead to very debilitating pain. Technique can also play a role in increased incidence; Golfers who don’t transfer their weight from the back foot to the front foot as they swing their club will frequently experience lower back pain.
Golfers elbow pain: pain on the outside of the elbow (Tennis elbow) or inside of the elbow (Golfers’ elbow) are common in golfers who have a large increase in participation over a short period of time and don’t allow their muscles and tendons enough time to adapt to new forces and loads. Technique factors such as excessive wrist use in an attempt to achieve greater force will significantly increase the demand on the elbow joint and its associated musculature. (Interestingly, despite the aforementioned names, most golfers suffer more from tennis elbow than golfers elbow)
Shoulder/ rotator cuff injuries: Pain may be felt in the shoulder or upper arm at throughout the golf swing, or even following play, often during the night. Injuries to the rotator cuff are often sustained through traumatic force resulting from a poorly executed golf swing, hitting a root or rock, taking a deep divot, and from overuse. Golfers who don’t weight-shift have a tendency to use a shoulder turn or thoracic spine rotation to create club head speed and are potentially at risk for rotator cuff injuries or thoracic sprains. Overuse injuries such as tendinopathies, bursitis, and tears in the rotator cuff come about due to the repetitive motion of the golf swing.
Knee Pain: During the golf swing knees undergo a lot of strain whilst trying to stabilize the rotation of the hip. So much so that poor strength and stability around the knee can lead to enough stress that ligaments, meniscus and other soft tissues become injured.
How can A Golf physiotherapist help?
It is potentially obvious that if injured your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough interview, assessment, diagnosis and treatment . Helping you in your initial consultations in becoming pain/injury free, all the way to building you a tailored home/gym program to prevent any further disruptions to your golfing endeavors now or in the future. However not everyone knows that your sporting physiotherapist is able to identify potential risk factors in you sustaining a golf related injury through screening of joint range of motion and mobility, muscle strength and power testing, load management and technique advice (to name a few) to avoid any disruption in the first place!
How can we help you?
At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy our goal is to get you moving pain free as soon as possible.
But, we also want you to actually move better and live a healthier, more active and fulfilling life!
If your sports, fitness training or work has been wearing your body down, book in with one of our expert massage therapists so we can help you reduce your pain or stiffness.
If you are showing some signs of this condition or simply want help prevent this from happening in the future then book in with one of our highly experienced Remedial Massage Therapists today!