Sports Medicine

Avoiding Injury on the Golf Course

By on 06/15/2015

Hitting the links this Father’s Day? Our own Dr. Brett Sweitzer, an Orthopaedics Sports Medicine expert, can keep your day fun and injury-free.

Dr. Sweitzer’s advice:

As many dads and their kids flock to the golf course on Father’s Day, many for their only round of the year, it’s important they keep in mind a few simple tips on how to avoid common golf injuries.

Though golf is often perceived as being a “safe” sport with little risk for injury, many recreational golfers will suffer injuries if they do not use proper technique.

The most commonly injured areas of the body in golfers are the back (strains, herniated discs), shoulder (tendonitis, rotator cuff tears), and elbow (golfer’s elbow).

Most acute injuries occur during a single traumatic swing during which sudden pain occurs, such as hitting the hard ground “fat” or taking an awkward shot from the rough.

Swinging too hard can also result in sudden injury. Overuse injuries are more subtle and occur over a longer period of time, but can be just as disabling as the acute injuries. Both acute and overuse injuries may be preventable.

Lack of flexibility, poor conditioning, improper swing technique, and excessive play are all important factors that increase the risk of injury. Thus, it’s important for golfers to take the following steps during their Father’s Day golf outing:

  • Utilize a specific routine of stretching/flexibility exercises to perform prior to starting each round, focusing on your lower back, shoulders and elbows.
  • Always warm up by hitting some golf balls before a round, starting with the wedge and irons before working up to the driver.
  • Listen to your body and if you’re feeling fatigued, maintain proper swing technique—and don’t continue to play extra rounds.
  • Remember to rest, rehydrate and stretch again between rounds.
  • Seek the advice of a sports medicine specialist if any sudden injury occurs or if pain persists after the round.
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