Golf may be a low impact sport compared to things like football or basketball, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without risk. Golfers can suffer from accident and injury on the course, same as any other pro or amateur athletes. Check out these common golfing injuries, and how to avoid them.
1. Golf Cart Accidents
While you may think golf carts are safe, they are the cause of a surprising amount of injuries on the course! Even with their relatively slow speeds, too sharp of a turn can eject a passenger and cause fractures or concussions. In order to avoid golf cart accidents, make sure you’re seated with all legs and arms inside the cart, and that you haven’t exceeded the maximum occupancy. Be extra careful of your driving in wet or muddy terrain!
2. Back Pain
If you spend hours on the golf course, a good chunk of that might be twisting your back around as you work on your swing. The repeated strenuous activity can cause pain in your lower back and shoulders. Try to avoid pain by holding your body in the correct form — don’t hunch over your club! Instead, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your spine straight. The movement should come from your hips, not your back!
You can also try exercises like yoga to improve your flexibility. If you do hurt your back after a round of golf, remember to rest and alternate hot and cold packs until the pain goes away. Heading back to the course before your back injury had healed can cause further damage.
3. Rotator Cuff Injuries
A common injury for golfers, pro and amateur alike, is to the rotator cuff. These are four muscles in your shoulder region that stabilize movement. Since you can easily twist your shoulders during a golf swing, an injury to the rotator cuff can occur. Muscles can swell and pinch the nerve, or tendons can tear. The best way to prevent rotator cuff injury is to learn the proper shoulder turn in golf, and then keep your form correct when swinging. Off the course, you should use strength exercises for your shoulders, back and abs. If you do find yourself with an injury, RICE is the best way to heal: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
How to deal with injuries on the golf course
4. Knee Pain
While your swing is meant to come from the hips, an incorrect form can put a lot of undue pressure on the knee. If you have a weaker knee to begin with, say from a previous injury, this can cause a lot of stress and strain. Knees also weaken as you age, so older golfers need to be extra careful about putting stress on the area. You can prevent knee pain by wearing quality shoes and making sure to stretch your legs, focusing on the calves, hamstrings, and thighs, before hitting the course. If you already suffer from weak knees, you might want to wear a brace for additional support.
The worst thing to do with knee pain is to ignore it! If you feel twinges of pain or like your knee may buckle, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem could increase the damage and affect your ability to play!
5. Golf or Tennis Elbow
Straining your tendons in the elbow is so common for athletes, that’s how the conditions are named! Tennis elbow is when the outer tendon is inflamed, while golf elbow refers to the inner tendon. Golfers can suffer from either, however, depending on how you strain yourself during a swing. Tendinitis occurs from overuse, so a good prevention method is to allow lots of rest between sessions. If you’ve already irritated the tendon, the best way to treat it is by taking a break from the clubs for a while and letting it rest.
We hope that this blog will serve you as a preventative measure rather than a guide toward healing. Either way, recreation and sports activities sometimes bring injury and these are some of the ways that you can deal with them. Let your body recuperate before going back to the field.