Golf is a sport enjoyed by an estimated 60 million people around the world. But love of the game may cost more than green fees when a day on the links ends up in an injury.
Let’s look at some of the most common golf injuries and what you can do to prevent them.
What are the most common injuries in golf?
Upper extremity injuries commonly occur in golfers at all skill levels. The most common golf-related injuries involving the upper extremities include:
Golfer’s elbow/medial epicondylitis – a condition that involves pain on the inside (medial side) of the elbow, caused by damage to tendons (strong tissue that connects muscle and bone) that allow the wrist to bend toward the palm.
Wrist and hand tendonitis – inflammation of the tendons in the wrist and hand.
Trigger finger – a condition in which a finger gets stuck in a bent position due to inflammation in the tendons that flex fingers.
Blood vessel injuries – a condition known as Hypothenar Hammer Syndrome is an injury to the main artery in the hand and can cause pain, discoloration and numbness.
Wrist bone fractures – these fractures can be caused either by repetitive movement or sudden trauma.
What is a common golf injury?
The most common cause of injuries related to golf is overuse. An overuse injury is one that occurs due to repeated trauma to a particular area.
Other causes for golf injuries include:
- poor technique/swing mechanics
- core/upper body deconditioning (reduced strength due to a period of inactivity or following injury)
- not warming up before golfing
How to treat Golf injuries
Golf-related problems like tendinitis typically get better with rest, bracing, stretching, ice, and a brief course of anti-inflammatories. A medical professional should be consulted and treated for more serious diseases including fractures.
How to prevent common Golf injuries
The good news is that there are ways golfers can reduce their risk of injury on the greens. Many injuries may be avoided by:
- taking professional lessons to learn proper swing mechanics and grip
- stretching and warming up prior to golfing to help prevent tendonitis
- slowly increasing the duration and frequency of golfing to allow your tendons to adapt to the demand of the game
- allow yourself time to recover and heal after each event